Dambisa Moyo On Why The Fight Against Poverty Is Also The Fight Against Terrorism

Before Boko Haram were making global headlines for their criminal activities, murderous rampages, and pension for kidnap, there was little news of them in the West.

The potential for such organisations to be formed, and such activities to be performed, has always existed though. Where weak infrastructure and institutions are present, where corruption is rampant, and where far too many people are living in poverty, radical extremist organisations have the fertile ground needed to flourish.

Writing in Dead Aid in 2009, Dambisa Moyo warned of the dangers that faced the region, and indeed the world, if the situation in Africa was ignored.

Though the book focuses primarily on the aid given to poverty-stricken African states, and how it has failed to deliver on its promises, Moyo also gives a stark warning to the world. With hindsight we see that this warning has not been heeded, and that Boko Haram have made Moyo’s prophecy a terrible reality.

“Leaving the question of morality aside, there are good reasons based on national interest for the West to help. In the fractured world of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, Africa’s fragile and impoverished states are a natural haven for global terrorists. Porous borders, weak law enforcement and security institutions, plentiful and portable natural resources, disaffected populations, and conflict zones make perfect breeding grounds for all sorts of global terrorist organisations.”

If for no other reason than the self-interests of nations national security, the fight against poverty is one that everybody should do their utmost to succeed in. And the sooner it occurs, the better.

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In Defence of Suicide

“Don’t. Don’t. This will hurt someone”. These were the final words ever spoken by Robert Budd Dwyer before he pulled the trigger on his gun and shot himself through the head in front of an audience of people called together at a press conference.

Budd Dwyer was an American politician who served as the treasurer for Pennsylvania from January 1981 until January 1987.  During his time in office Dwyer was convicted of receiving a bribe from a Californian company that would give the company a contract worth $4.6 million. The day before Dwyer was to receive his sentence, a possible 55 years in jail and a $300,000 fine, he called a press conference and committed suicide in front of friends and members of the media.

The incident was recorded by the gathered media and the footage of the event has been seen worldwide. I have watched the video a number of times on YouTube, and it is without doubt one of the most controversial and tragic things hosted on the website.

Continue reading “In Defence of Suicide”