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  1. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Weapons of Mass Consumption

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Garball, Feb 23, 2014.

    How much power would a totalitarian government have over a satiated constituency? Instead of threatening war or embargoes, what if we inundated countries with more food than the 'bad' government could hoard?

    It is an indisputable fact that we live and work for one major goal; to feed ourselves and our dependents. If the government in question has no power over the stomachs of their underlings, how long will they have power over their spirit?
     
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  2. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    so we flood them with cheep food (dictators feel safe as peo,le are happier and dont feel like they have no other option), marginal utility their is not in food production, then we block it all and embargo them after their production has moved away from food?

    I like it, Kinky.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I doubt a totalitarian dictatorship would allow the food to reach the starving people who need it. They'd want to protect their power at any cost, so if too much food was entering their country, they'd ship it away immediately for profit, or burn it. They have no interested in a well-fed population. A population that was receiving the essentials of life from a source other than the government would have no reason to put up with the government. They would attempt a revolution, and no totalitarian government wants that. International attention would focus on how evil the government is, and military assistance would arrive to support the rebels, and the dictator would be losing sleep.
     
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  4. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Right. The people would start their own revolution. Do you think the military would be so inclined to shoot civilians when their reason for loyalty is falling out of the sky?

    What country in their right mind would side with a government that withheld free food from the people. I'm not talking about one convoy, I'm talking about loading every c-130 and b-52 up with food bombs
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    This tactic was implemented basically in African areas like Mogadishu, and when the supplies were dropped in crates with parachutes, the militants would just come and take them by force and stockpile them. So many times the innocent citizens are unarmed, and full of fear from militants who will rape, maim, and kill with no hesitation.
     
  6. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    That's why the supply has to be huge, unmanageable by the gov't. How angry are the taxpayers over here going to be when our government is using tax dollars to help a country through kindness
     
  7. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a fantastic idea, but not, I don't think, workable.

    For starters, totalitarian. That's an extreme level of control. That's a country on lockdown. If the government says you're not getting food in there, you're not getting food in there. There'll just stop it at the border. With authoritarian countries it's not much easier: the border controls aren't wall-to-wall guards and watchtowers, but they still have army patrols and border police. I'm not sure how you intend to get the food across the border without the use of force, and the use of force seems to run contrary to your aims.

    I suppose you could always use proxy organisations to smuggle food in, but then it'll go on the black market rather than the open one, and the quantities would be tiny.
     
  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    They would take it if it was in vast quantities, *without strings*, and the Totalitarian government was allowed to take credit for arranging it. The logistics cost alone would be a significant percentage of the US defence budget.

    Red Cross and UN shipments are always tiny compared to the need. By the time it is distributed (if it ever is) each family is getting no more than one or two days of supplies. If you want contentment they need to be confident that they will always be able to walk into the shops and see food in the scale that Americans or British do. Not just for now, but for the foreseeable future, guaranteed.

    Even if it was a small country, no US or UK government would approve such expenditure, and it would be extremely unpopular with their own people.
     
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  9. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not talking about sustaining a country for a year, but creating a catalyst for hope. No changes happen over night, but looking at it from a managerial standpoint, the best employee is one who wants to come to work, not one that has to. Give the people enough hope to try to change their own country; let them know there is a good world out there.
     
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  10. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I understand. But giving a one off load of food does not create hope. It just puts off the unpleasantness. Does your food donation make their land arable? Does it solve the lack of capital needed for equipment, infrastructure, and investment to create jobs? Does it give them hope that government troops or rebels or drug cartels won't drive by and machine gun them tomorrow?

    Do what the US did for Japan after the war. Pour billions into the country without demanding political control or societal change. Guarantee it's safety with treaties. Open US markets to their products. Then you might see something.
     
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  11. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    [ANGRYRANT] Are you kidding? Half of Americans get angry when tax dollars are used to feed starving Americans, do you really think anybody else has a chance?[/ANGRYRANT]

    *ahem* In all well, some seriousness, just because we send food doesn't mean that it will go to the right people: the ones with empty stomachs instead of the ones with full guns. Dictatorships have control for a reason, and a lot of times there is already enough food that could go around but just doesn't. More food is not going to change anything if the people with guns just take it first the way they've already been doing.

    What we should do is:

    1) Send small, secret deployments of food, tools, and medicine in the dead of night until the military starts cracking down and stealing everything.

    2) Once they catch on, we send larger deployments, tell the world what we are doing, and make the airlifts as dramatic as possible. A lot of shipments will be full of food, equipment, and medicine, but a lot of them will be empty.

    *The military will find a lot of shipments that are full of supplies, so they will know that the mission is still happening, and they will keep spending the resources to counter it.

    *The military will find a lot of empty shipments that haven't landed yet. They will surround the area around the estimated landing site, and they will open the shipments before the people could have possibly had a chance to do anything, so they will know for a fact that some shipments are legitimately going to be empty.

    *Even if the people find an empty shipment before the military does, they will still have had a practice drill for the real thing. If they get caught having opened and/or being about to open an empty shipment, then they might even try - and not always unsuccessfully - to placate the soldiers by feigning anger at the Americans for toying with them and getting their hopes up (and when some of them do get caught, they will need to try every little thing that could possibly keep the military's retribution to a minimum).

    *If the people find a full shipment and empty it before the military arrives - as they will be spread very thin - then the military won't know whether the shipment was already empty or not. Once they do show up, they will obviously know that the people opened the shipments, but they will have no idea whether the people found anything or not.

    3) Once the military gets used to the idea that our airlifts will be as large and as dramatic as possible, then they will stop looking for the smaller dead-of-night drops, which will secretly resume a few months to a year after we claim to have stopped them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  12. Jecon
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    Jecon Member

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    The state's sovereignty makes it hard for another state to interfere with its local, political and social affairs. While external sovereignty (- that is, the power of a state to enter into international treaties and agreements and to enforce it) is somehow diminished by the assertiveness of bigger countries, the internal sovereignty (- that is, the power of the state to implement its laws and its control to its people) is beyond the concern of any other state. Hence,the issue of sovereignty is a major consideration in contemporary International Relations. So, why not just interfere with their politics by sending food to the human rights victim? First, no state will not allow foreign invasion or intervention. So, a state will have to endure the cost of war and the cost of rebuilding the pillaged country afterwards should it choose to interfere with another state's local politics. Second, the international community condemns illegal interference without any substantial reasons. And a state cannot reason that its interference is caused by its desire to help the human right victims. Thirdly, states measure the overall effect of its intervention. If the country that it seeks to help is near a hostile country, then the invasion, interference, etc., will be perceived as a provocative action, which may lead to future conflicts.
     
  13. vera2014
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    vera2014 Contributing Member

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    LOL, my stomach is the Death Star. :D
     
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