Friday, April 25, 2008

Food Prices Could Lead to Revolutions and Chaos

This is the kind of thing that keeps a person up at night...

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a sharp rise in food prices has developed into a global crisis.

Ban said the U.N. and all members of the international community are very concerned, and immediate action is needed.

He spoke to reporters Friday at U.N. offices in Austria. He was meeting with the nation's top leaders for talks on how the United Nations and European Union can forge closer ties.

I didn't know that the European Union and the United Nations were so distant--but here's to our friends in Europe. They are really the only hope that developing nations have right now. Will the US be able to bail them out if there's a crisis? Will the US be able to lend a hand to feed tens of millions priced out of their daily sustenance?

With a broken military, an endless occupation of Iraq stretching our resources to their limits, and with European powers and the US beginning to see that their obligations in Afghanistan are growing by the day, it doesn't look good. How many countries could destabilize, causing us to have to evacuate American citizens? In Africa alone, the number of countries that could spin out of control run to a dozen or more, conservatively. Add in Asia, Central and South America, and that's a whole lot of instability if people decide to stage food revolutions. At some point, someone has to pull the plug on ethanol, and find a way to limit meat consumption. We should be subsidizing or encouraging farmers in this country to grow more food this year and stave off famine in the fall and winter.

Was this neocon thinking all along? Or another unintended consequence of their batshit crazy notion of stabilizing the world's supply of oil? How does your escalating the war in the Middle East by taking on Iran look now? I don't know about you, but aside from drought and famine, it never got this bad in the 1990s when everyone was contained in their little boxes.

But there's a new adage--as soon as you break your Army, you're going to need it. And if you build a force designed to conduct Counterinsurgency operations, then that's the kind of fight you're going to find yourself in every time the policy makers want to engage in "nation building." We had better ramp up our humanitarian abilities and we had better realize that the hunger at home is affecting charities and foodbanks, and has been for many months.

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