Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize Winner : To Win War on Terror, Fight War on Poverty

Muhammad Yunus, the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Peace, has a message for the world, and for the United States of America: If you want to win the "war on terror," fight a war on poverty.

Yunus, the creator and founder of the Grameen Bank which extends "microcredit" -- collateral-free loans to small-business entrepreneurs in less devloped parts of the world, believes that capitalism is the way to lift impoverished peoples out of misery and guard them from the allure of terrorism. But existing economic structures need to be overhauled, and more money must be invested in small businesses in less-developed countries.
Poverty is a threat to peace...Over one billion people live on less than a dollar a day. This is no formula for peace.
He said that the UN Millenium Goals is a structure for this type of economic development. But in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the developed world had lost sight of those goals.

“Till now over $530 billion has been spent on the war in Iraq by the USA alone,” he said.

“I believe terrorism cannot be won over by military action,” he said, but added that terrorism had to be condemned “in the strongest language” and the world must stand solidly against it.

“We must address the root causes of terrorism to end it for all time to come,” he said. “I believe that putting resources into improving the lives of the poor people is a better strategy than spending it on guns.”

Yunus and his bank has been putting those resources into the hands of the poor for 30 years. Will the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization follow suit? And will the "liberal media" pay any attention to him?

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