Summary of DERMOT RYAN’S unpublished essay ‘‘Democratic Development would Win the War on Terror” [previously entitled “Terrorist Triumphs are sewn in the Disasters of Development”]
I give evidence of the almost hysterical United States fear of terrorism including from poor agricultural countries and ask would the benefits of giving a fair price for their agricultural produce be an important step towards the basic human security necessary for democracy through strengthening the lower and middle classes to resist oligarchic rule and corruption.
President George W. Bush spoke of "an age of terror in 2001” And among almost innumerable pessimistic references, in 2007 said: "The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others.” The United States policy defining National Security Strategy Report identified a seedbed for terrorism with the words, "poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak States vulnerable to terrorist networks." Apprehension is sufficiently great that defensive measures taken include provision of continent-wide ‘Africa Command’ new US bases and permanent military forces.
US intelligence reports indicate that force, which has blown oxygen on the flames of belief and sacrifice, is failing. Terrorism thrives in undemocratic conditions. Those who have most to gain from democracy and would support it are the peasant and farmer. The number of these would need to be enlarged by placing the basic needs for literacy, shelter, clothing and food more within the reach of the over 1 billion peasants and farmers. An open market price for their output would support their needs. We could cease our manipulation of the world price of agricultural produce down to almost 50% below Adam Smith's natural price which we achieve through agricultural subsidies and import tariffs.
More tolerance of political competition and more possibility for elites who are voted out of office to continue living adequately would follow. The benefits would enable the 66% of total aid which is presently given to non democratic or corrupt regimes to be ceased thereby giving a further boost for democracy. We could fund some compensation for the starvation deaths caused by the price manipulation in past years from this saving.
We would avoid the moral damage to ourselves of the killing in the war which the US Administration forsees and its associated torture, rendition and possibly cluster and plutonium bombing, landmine laying and cross border clandestine kidnapping. The world order we presently maintain would no longer ordain 25000 deaths by starvation related causes daily. Our do gooders would no longer fear the question; ‘why has no good been done’
The loss of low cost physical resources and some political control would be offset by the lessening of the undemocratic conditions which lead to terrorism. Not by coincidence, the most undemocratic country in the world, albeit utterly friendly, almost an honorary Western state, Saudi Arabia, supplied most of the 9/11 raiders
President George W. Bush. September 20, 2001“Some speak of an age of terror.”