OT - Gas to hit 4.00

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Thu Jun 5 20:18:16 MDT 2008

On Thu, Jun 05, 2008 at 03:48:11PM -0600, Stuart Jansen wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-06-05 at 15:38 -0600, Jonathan Duncan wrote:
> > I would not say that taking care of our own problems first is the same  
> > as being isolationists.
> I'll get around to saving for retirement, just as soon as I pay rent,
> the electric bill, the cable bill, and buy the bring screen TV I want.
> Some things can't be put off until later, because later is WWII and no
> matter how softly we walked, using our big stick is going to be painful
> and costly.

This assumes that problems can only be tackled sequentially. "First,
I'll do this, then that..." Which is not true. Problems can be dealt
with in parallel.

I'm sick about hearing about World War Two as though it were analogous
to the present problems. The only parallel I can find between the two
is that in both cases the administration lied or hornswaggled the
country into it, in cahoots with the British PM of the day.

The problem today is that the US uses its "big stick" far too much and
far too often, usually not for the benefit of people world wide. The
US has overthrown popularly elected PMs, supported dictators and
torturers, and otherwise ground the liberties and rights set forth in
the Declaration of Independence into the ground. We now see the
blowback from that policy.

> I'm not saying we should invade Iran. Of course that'd be stupid. I'm
> just saying we can't sit back, plug our ears and hope that all the
> problem in Iraq, Afganistan, Iran, Korea, Indonesia and other parts of
> the world will just go away. We knew about the Taliban but we thought
> Afghanistan was so far away and so poor it had nothing to do with us.
> Look how that turned out.

Quit arguing against straw men. No-one has called for such a
policy. Concentrating on domestic problems does not mean ignoring
foreign problems.

Of course the US knew about the Taliban. The US, in partnership with
Pakistan's ISI, created the Taliban, as part of the war against the
Soviets in Afghanistan. The ISI poured lots of US money into the
madrasses in Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, where they
schooled the Talibs and other Islamic radicals of today. The Saudis
sent them Wahibist Korans. The US sent them rockets, but not English
or engineering texts. They fought and died in common cause. After
their blood and their deaths won the victory, the US walked away from
them. Of course they're bitter.

The issues are complex, go back hundreds or thousands of years, and
not easy to solve. The first step is for Americans to admit that in
Iraq they've made an own goal of gigantic proportions.

Last week an American nurse helped doctors in an impromptu clinic in a
stadium to diagnose children hurt in the earthquake in China. That
nurse is America abroad at its best. We need fewer bombers, fewer
hummers, fewer Gertrude Bells, and more of that nurse.


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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