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(Note: This commentary was written during the recent so-called Global Economic Summit of 2001 and was inspired by the events in Genoa and the reporting upon those events by national news media. The commentary appeared in somewhat shorter form on radio station web sites nation wide courtesy of Clear Channel, an organization that distributes content to over 1200 sites across the country. In posting the piece to my own site, I am taking the opportunity to expand my comments and touch upon a few points I chose not to elaborate upon at the occasion of original publication due to space restrictions. The good folks at Clear Channel asked me to do a weekly commentary; they did not agree to a short novel each week. The expanded commentary is below.)

The news media is all abuzz, as I type this, with coverage of the riots in the streets of Genoa as the leaders of the world’s great powers huddle behind closed doors to decide the economic fate of the world. Us common folk await quite naturally with baited breath and much anticipation to learn what the great minds of the world have planned for us and how it will affect our small lives.

While the great minds, in well guarded and insulated seclusion, go about the business of deciding our fate, outside unruly groups of "protestors" demonstrate in the hopes of swaying the deliberations inside, in an effort to display their displeasure toward the agenda reported to be on the table before the secluded great minds, and in frantic effort to have their faces appear on world wide television.

The concerns of the "protestors" are certainly as inspired as is the agenda of the secluded great minds.

As of Saturday, July 21, one of the “protestors” has managed to get himself killed.

According to reports, the man attacked an armed cop with the apparent intent of smashing in the cop’s skull. The cop shot the man dead!

The incident is under investigation to determine if the cop acted in an irresponsible manner. Was the cop violating the assailant’s civil rights by shooting him? Should the cop rather have smiled politely and invited the “protestor” to beat him senseless. Or perchance it is expected the cop should have joined the “protestors” in their mindless binge.

Whatever, the media is all awash with crocodile tears for the poor dead “protestor” and his dedication to an idealistic cause for which he was willing to give his life.

Excuse me. Was this guy brain dead or what? How incredibly stupid do you have to be to make threatening advances upon an armed opponent when you are yourself only carrying the equivalent of a blunt instrument? How about a major reality check here, guys? Unlike on TV and in the movies, cops do not normally carry guns in the interest of cosmetic decoration. Most cops, even poorly trained cops in small backwater towns, are perfectly capable of taking their guns out and shooting an attacker. Unlike computer simulation games in which the game player shoots it out with simulated opponents until one of the enemy “kills” the player and the player is no worse for being “killed” than that he has to start the game over, attacking armed cops in the streets in the real world can have real and lasting consequences with the result that the idealistic “protestor” in Genoa is suddenly real dead!

So what is the agenda here? What exactly are the “protestors” protesting?

If the newscasters are to be believed, there are about as many causes up for protest as there are protestors. Each and every group represented and each and every drone in each group has his own variant cause and his own hazy idea of whatever he has been told is wrong with the world and what he should destroy that would solve the problem as he envisions it.

Most of the “protestors” are convinced, we are told, that the bad old United States is the world class villain because the United States exploits the people of the world’s backward countries (read here Sodden Totalitarian Military or Religious Dictatorships) and because the people of the United States consume a disproportionate share of the world’s resources.

Has anyone mentioned recently that the United States has created a disproportionate share of the world’s wealth? Without the innovations made by the United States and by the other industrialized countries, there would not be nearly so much wealth for “protestors” to idealistically demonstrate over. The backwards peoples of the underdeveloped nations would not have near the resources to wax envious over and to demand their fair share of.

Without the wealth created by the United States and the other industrialized countries, AIDS would probably still have originated in the swamps and jungles of Africa because the virus that causes AIDS has not been shown to be dependent upon the technology of the industrial nations for its creation. Without, however, widespread air travel and other cheap and convenient forms of transportation made possible by the United States and other industrial countries, the AIDS virus is likely to have remained a localized phenomenon, creating a similar health crisis as presently exists in Africa today, but leaving the remainder of the world largely free from infection.

Though the AIDS virus evolved efficiently enough without the assistance of technology, the advances that have been made in combating the virus have come primarily from the industrial nations and it is only from the industrial countries that there exists any promise for the eventual cure for the disease and immunization from the virus.

It is only the United States and the industrial countries that offer any hope for the effective treatment and cure of many of the chronic diseases and health problems that infest the impoverished third world countries and it is only with the United States and other industrial countries there exists any hope of improvement of the quality of life on this earth by any recognized standard.

The anti-globalization “protestors” would do well to understand this fact if the improvement of the conditions for life for the people of this world is in fact their goal.