I don’t cringe much anymore, but I sure did when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S. Car.) announced he was running for president with the pronouncement (as reported by CNN), “I want to be President to defeat the enemies trying to kill us, not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them.”
Really, Senator? Really? How’s that been working out for us so far?
We’ve spent trillions of dollars on wars in the Middle East that, if anything, have made the oil supply chain we crave to protect less stable, not more. What if we’d spent those trillions of dollars upgrading our mass-transit infrastructure here in America? Gee, we’d have created thousands of jobs and made it easier for people to get out of their cars.
I’m not saying get rid of cars (although I suspect that technology may significantly diminish the need for privately owned cars before too long). I’m saying make it easier for people to get to work. If we’re really a capitalistic society, then the goal of the government should be to help people make money. Corporations, too, even though they’re not – and I don’t care if I’m in opposition to the Supreme Court on this – people.
What is it about politicians that they want to keep sending money to the Middle East? Before these wars, we protected our oil by supporting corrupt regimes – the Shah, the Saudi royal family, and probably a few others in emirates and protectorates that I couldn’t even find on the map. And what has been the result? Those people hate us.
Did you know, according to the Center for Global Development that in every year between 2010 and 2013, the United States has given at least a billion dollars in aid to Pakistan? (The number was only $858 million in 2014.) And they didn’t even tell us that Osama bin Laden was hiding out there. It’s like regularly patronizing a restaurant where the host loses your reservation, the sommelier insults your taste in wine, and the waiter spits in your food.
The religious fanatics think we’re wholly corrupt because we allow women and homosexuals – not to mention homosexual women! – to walk our streets. The opposition thinks we’re not doing enough to get rid of their dictators and bring democracy to their land. But almost all of them have lots of money to fight us, because we keep sending it to them. I would love to figure out a way to cut off the flow of oil for money, but I suspect that China would just buy up whatever we didn’t use.
I don’t care how we do it, frankly, but I would love for the United States to stop obsessing on the Middle East and start obsessing on the United States. Let’s stop sending money to people who want to kill us, and start sending money to people who actually like America – like, say, Americans. Let’s upgrade our schools, our medical care, our transit systems, our crumbling bridges, even the highways that trucks use to get food from place to place.
If we did this, the day may come, China notwithstanding, when the people of the Middle East come begging to us for help. Then, and only then, I might consider it okay to dispense some foreign aid. But only if a delegation of lesbians delivers it.