Letter to the editor, I wrote November 9 2003.
I fear that President Bush's plans for turning Iraq into a showcase of democracy and prosperity have not taken an important factor into account. Population growth, is staggering in that part of the world. Unemployment has been rising in countries like Saudi Arabia. Wealth from the limited oil resource is being spread thin to more people. Per capita incomes are dropping. With out taking this problem into account, our efforts may lead to a hopeless quagmire.
The Bush Administration must have a blind spot for recognizing population issues. Many of its supporters come from our own "family values" movement. Marginalizing people who don't jump on the bandwagon of procreation can be a serious problem; especially in societies where traditions are strict, such as much of the islamic world.
Would distribution of condoms and safe sex information work in the middle east?
A friend of mine pointed out that middle eastern people might resent things like sex education; especially if it was coming from the "liberal" west. There may not be an easy answer, but population and resource issues need to be discussed when developing strategies.
There are many good things about life in the west, but we are not always shining examples of sustainable living either. Our population growth is slowing down, but per capita consumption of resources like oil is high. Are we willing to change our traditions as well?
* Today's flurry of posts is from reorganizing another part of my site.