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RE: [GreenYes] Fwd: FW: a better way
Dear Paul,
I would love to see that happen instead of what we're doing now.  Unfortunately, we've had so many years when we could have been doing other things that might have minimized the current conflicts in this world, but haven't chosen to do so.  I don't feel very hopeful as we continue to follow an easy and destructive path instead of a more difficult and constructive  one. 
It's always encouraging, however, to hear as many alternatives as possible to making war, since there are so many who want to see this current action.  Thanks!!
Rebecca Brown

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 4:50 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] Fwd: FW: a better way

Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001 13:20:20 -0700
From: "Paul R. Ehrlich" <>

Dear Friends,

Several of us have been discussing a way to counter the intention of the
terrorists and also help to make a small symbolic start at solving the
structural problems that have led to the current situation.  Since we
have moved a major aerial force into a position to bomb Afghanistan, we
think the United States should use its airpower.  We envision a huge
flight ofB-52s over that nation, opening their bomb-bay doors, and
salvoing --parachutes carrying containers of food.  It could be followed
up by fighter-bombers dropping some of our pre-packaged medical
facilities, and leaflets volunteering to supply physicians on loan to
operate them.

This would have certain advantages in addition to helping the poor
Afghans, facing severe food/medicine shortages and suffering under
Taliban repression.  An obvious one from our viewpoint is that food is
cheaper than bombs.  Yes, the Taliban might try to maintain control over
what is dropped, but if it were widely enough dispersed the people would
know where it was coming from, as would the world.   There undoubtedly
would be logistic problems to solve, but we surely have a military in a
position to solve them.

This is not to say we should not continue to try to identify, de-fund,
and destroy terrorist networks, and punish the perpetrators of the
recent atrocities.  But some move like this might make clear that the
United States will not indiscriminately destroy innocent people to get
revenge on the guilty.  At it might give us a good start on the sort of
"Marshall Planto the World" that we and others think needs to be pursued
over the long term to help close the widening gap between haves and
have-nots, clearly one of the roots of recent terrorism.  It might also
help counter the idea that the West wishes to wage war on Islam.  And it
surely would be a result anathema to those who perpetrated the acts of
Sept. 11 -- a stinging defeat for them.

This may not be a good idea; and our government may consider it too
dangerous for domestic consumption in a nation still in shock from the
horrors of New York and Washington.  But if you think it worth
considering, please circulate it to your friends so a widespread
discussion can take>place.

Thanks for listening.

Best regards,


Paul R. Ehrlich
Bing Professor of Population Studies
President, Center for Conservation Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020
Ph 650-723-3171
Fx 650-723-5920
>Please note area code is new
Stuart H. Hurlbert
Professor of Biology
Director, Center for Inland Waters
San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182-4614
Tel. 619-594-5409, Fax. 619-594-5676
CIW website:

Richard Anthony Associates
3891 Kendall Street
San Diego CA 92109
858 272 2905 (P)
858 272 3709 (F)

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