Reader Rick Vogel writes in with some excellent questions.
Remember the “your drug money is paying for terrorism” commercial. Well, whose giving the subsidies to Arafat that are paying for the terrorism? How much of the money the US gives the PLO ends up as “compensation”? How many terrorists would there be with no financial inventive? It’s a classic Hollywood stereotype the suicide-with-the-bomb-on-the-plane-for-the-insurance-money, how does it play in the west bank?
Indeed. Per capita income in the West Bank is usually measured in goats because cash is so scarce. Seriously, the CIA Factbook estimates it at about $1,500 — and shrinking. Saddam’s bounty comes out to a one-time cash payment worth almost 17 years of income to a suicide bomber’s “grieving” mother.
In terms of American wealth, that’s damn near 2.5 million dollars. That’s a lot of compensation for one no-good, layabout, fanatical son.
P.S. I love being able to say “ignore” to Kristof when doing a spell check!
Good point, Rick. I’ve just deleted “Kristof” from my personal SpellCheck dictionary.