We need something to take our minds off the increasingly creepy and self-asorbed coverage of how much money the richest nation on earth has lost. Who cares? The vast majority of us are not millionaires anyway and we haven’t been missing any meals lately, have we? Who gives a good crap about wealthy people waking up a little less wealthy? Worry instead about the assistant gardener they fired from one of their their country estates. He’s the one in trouble. There was actually a story in the paper about the heartbreak of one of these “stricken” families suffering the embarrassment of having to quit their yachting club! What’s next, selling their Van Goghs? Good heavens, Junior the Third might actually have to attend public school! Get out the friggin’ violins for these people already! 

Here’s an idea: Let this nation stop bailing out their greedy asses and start feeding the world’s starving people! That’s right, people that don’t live around here because nobody starves to death in America besides wealthy anorexics. Screw them anyway, that’s their choice. We do have some hunger, but no starvation. Big difference. Outside our borders, 36,000 people die every single day from having nothing to eat through no fault of their own. The vast majority are little children and theirs is a long and agonizingly painful death. So while we dither and tremble about our fate in this economic meltdown caused by naked greed, 36,000 children die without ever having lived. The only thing these babies ever wanted to acquire was a full stomach, which to them would have been an extravagant luxury beyond their wildest dreams. How sad and horrible is that? 

We’ll be fine. This is America, not Bangladesh, and there’s zero chance we’ll ever experience the kind of poverty and deprivation that causes huge chunks of our population to wither and die as we look on helplessly. America always bounces back stronger than ever and this time will be no different. We can jump-start the process and start acting like America once again and start feeding the world’s hungry, and teach them how to feed themselves while we’re at it. Birth control education would help too. Give the military a rest and send in the Peace Corps. Besides, it’s not like the Marines are exactly good will ambassadors. We send them in only to kill people and get killed right back. Enough of that shit already!

If the United States cuts its military spending by only 10% and puts that money towards conquering starvation, that would be more than 50 billion dollars every year that could be used for emergency food shipments, farming and irrigation equipment and agricultural education and research. We won’t be in any danger of being conquered or vanquished in any wars as a result. Who would even notice? We’ve already got so much ammunition of every description we couldn’t shoot it all off in another 2 World Wars, and don’t forget our nuclear arsenal that makes that prospect unthinkable. 

China and Russia aren’t conquering anybody. Who the hell would buy their underwear or crude oil? India only wants our service center jobs from us and they’ve pretty much got them all at this point, so 10% fewer guns won’t mean shit militarily. It would mean a hell of a lot humanitarian-wise, though. And if we do so we would challenge the world to match our contribution. Would anybody notice if any army anywhere had 10% fewer guns these days? Hell, even guys who have goats living in their houses have a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher and a couple of AK47 automatic rifles apiece these days! 

Would all the genocide boys in Africa feel like their style was being cramped with 10% fewer bazookas? Hell, no! They’d still be slaughtering their neighbors with gleeful abandon, and if that takes an an extra day or two with 10% less firepower, well, what’s the rush to end that joyful experience? Would Russia miss one out of every ten of her tanks? That wouldn’t exactly reassure Georgia, would it? There’s not much difference getting blown to shreds by 90 tanks instead of an even 100. When you’re shredded, you’re shredded, and that’s that. Those extra 10 tanks would just be overkill. China wouldn’t pummel one less monk in the street or occupy one less square inch of Tibet with 10% fewer firearms. Would Taiwan be 10% less terrified of invasion by China? They’ve got 1.3 billion people, so their army must be huge! That’s 10% of a lot of Yuans if China can brought on board.

If done right, the 10% Campaign could be, and should be, a point of national honor. Forever mankind’s notion of national honor has been tied up in warfare and conquest. A lot of good that’s done us. How much better would be a competition to see who can do more good in this world? Who knows, maybe some ambitious world leader will up the ante to a 20% cut in military spending? That’s the kind of international one-upsmanship this world could use. It’s sure a notion the starvation victims would encourage. Not only to be fed, but to be taught to feed themselves so that their lives are saved forever when humans inevitably tire of the 10% Campaign.

Maybe our soon-to-be new president Barack Obama feels he has too much on his plate already with all the economic and foreign war problems he’s inheriting to think about helping anonymous foreign nationals who are hungry, that it’s their nation’s problem. But just maybe he could help us all a lot better if he took the focus off of feeling sorry for ourselves and looked outward into this world and decided it was America’s responsibility as the most blessed and bountiful of nations to lead the way in helping the least among us in this world. He could tell us that we will do this not for good publicity or political advantage or monetary gain, but simply because it is the right thing to do. 

Like John F. Kennedy’s twin clarion calls to put a man on the moon and to grant every citizen their full Civil Rights, this could become an urgent national crusade, and with enough energy and commitment, an international cause. When was the last time nations had anything to cooperate about except as allies in a war to kill other people? If memory serves, that would be about never. Is there a more compelling reason than saving innocent lives? If this gets off the ground and results start to show, international competition would have something else to revolve around other than business profits and warfare. Imagine nations trying to outdo one another in doing good works? Thats a pretty far stretch considering the belligerent state of today’s world, but we don’t have to be so numb and accepting of death on such a massive scale. Can we work up a little anger over something other than the tiny differences between nations of men?

Maybe you believe in God and feel that someday you will have to explain to your maker exactly why you stepped over the broken and starving bodies of your brothers and sisters while you hurried off to another large meal. Maybe you are not a believer but simply wish to look at yourself in the mirror and see a reflection of your humanity and goodness and not of your selfish, shallow greed and inhumanity. Or just maybe you want to be a part of the generation than stopped the longest and bloodiest holocaust in history, a benign slaughter that claims more than 13 million human lives a year, year in and year out with no end in sight. 

All this can be changed by cutting 10% of of our military budgets. That’s not 10% of all our money, just the money we spend on killing, not all that much to ask. That’s 10% fewer soldiers to be put in harm’s way. Our soldiers are our sons and daughters too, their lives as precious as anyone’s. How many more times can we ask them to solve our ego problems by killing and being killed? It is never their idea to invade some other country they barely heard of and blow stuff up. That’s always the brainchild of our so-called leaders who can’t think of any other way to deal with serious problems even though our entire history is one long object lesson in the futility of warfare. Like Einstein said, the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over and expecting different results. Just maybe somebody someday somewhere on this earth will earn the nickname “The Great” for doing something other than slaughtering his fellow man on a grand scale and stealing their land and wealth. 

Call this notion naive, call it unworkable, call it Quixotic, call it simplistic. Can you call it wrong? The fear mongers among us will call it a potential disaster and the timid will heed their call. Military leaders will consider it a foolish strategic surrender and arms manufacturers would spend untold millions on lobbyists to defeat the measure if any president ever proposed such an idea. But it is a good idea and a way to stop reflecting on how self-pitying we’ve all become just because our financial system has been allowed to be tainted by unchecked greed instead of regular greed. A good antidote to greed is giving, and there are 36,000 people that won’t be alive tomorrow and the following tomorrow and the one after that forever if no one starts giving and teaching and helping and sharing this earth’s great bounty. 

Write your new president and your Congress people. Remind them that the military budget is your money and not theirs. It is tax dollars. Tell them you don’t mind being 10% less of a bad-ass military juggernaut. Tell them enough is enough with the insane wars that never solve a damned thing. Tell them about those 36,000 children that died today and the 36,000 more that will die tomorrow. Tell them you want our nation to do something about it and we want other nations to join us. Tell them the 10% Campaign begins today.

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