A Poor Understanding
of Where World is Headed

Charley Reese

This originally appeared in the 19 July 2001 issue of the
Orlando Sentinel.

The president says that a key part of his foreign policy will be to alleviate poverty in foreign countries. Horse apples.

Number one, foreign countries are not his responsibility.

Number two, he doesn't have the ability to alleviate poverty even in his own country, much less somebody else's.

Number three, the very globalist free-trade policies he advocates are causing some of the poverty in foreign countries as well as our own.

Number four, U.S. meddling in the internal affairs of foreign countries has greatly contributed to bad government and poverty.

Does he think we are helping to alleviate poverty in Iraq with bombings and sanctions? Does he think we bear no responsibility for the poverty in Yugoslavia caused by our sanctions and our bombing?

Does he think supporting all the African dictators we supported so they would sell out their country's interests to U.S. multinational corporations was alleviating poverty?

Does he think encouraging American manufacturers to move their jobs overseas is helping to alleviate poverty either in the United States or in the foreign country where workers have to live on sweat-shop wages?

Does he think we made any advances toward alleviating poverty in Panama when his Daddy killed 3,000 Panamanians in order to arrest one little guy who had been on our payroll for years?

Does he think he's helping to deal with poverty in Africa by giving Israel (which has a higher per-capita income than Spain) $3 billion a year? That happens to be more than all the aid the U.S. gives to sub-Sahara African countries combined.

Does he think he's going to alleviate poverty by spending $8 billion on an anti-missile system that's going to force a new nuclear-arms race?

Does he think we're fighting poverty by being the world's number one arms peddler? Does he think we're fighting poverty when we browbeat Third World countries, desperate for schools and clean water, to buy high-tech American weapons?

And if he thinks he has to visit Africa to find poverty, I would suggest he visit the Mississippi Delta area or any of the slums that blight most American cities.

And most of all I wish he would read his damned oath of office and tell us where it says he was elected president of the world. And read the Constitution and tell us where it says politicians can tax the labor and sweat of the American people and give the money away to foreign governments.

By God, I'm sick of this pseudo-philanthropic, pseudo-compassion-for-the-world bilge which spews forth from the mouths of our politicians like the filth that comes out a broken sewer pipe.

I supported George Bush because I thought he was a decent man and his opponent was not. I'm sorry to say, however, that after six months in office, I have to say that Vladimir Putin has been a better president for Russia than Bush has been for America. Putin seems to know which country elected him, to which country he owes his loyalty and which people are his responsibilities. Morally, Putin is right about the ballistic missiles, and right about the sanctions against Iraq.

I'm rather tired of presidents who seem to think they are either deputy prime ministers of Israel or emperors of the world.

In the meantime, our economy grows less fast than either the Russian or the Chinese economies. Our public schools deteriorate, our infrastructure grows increasingly old and in need of replacement, and our borders are rendered practically non-existent while our prisons are jammed to the gills. That prison population, by the way, is 62 percent black and other minorities. I would say that indicates a problem that both Bush and the NCAAP might consider working on rather than knocking down old Confederate monuments.

Nobody in public office seems predisposed to acknowledge a basic truth. We have two conflicting forces at work in the world. One is population growth and the need for jobs paying a living wage. The other is corporate consolidation and automation, which are eliminating jobs.

Now you don't have to be a graduate in higher mathematics to figure out that if viable jobs are shrinking and the population which needs them is growing, something real bad is going to happen in the political and social arena in the near future.

The day when people were willing to politely and silently starve to death while their "betters" gorged themselves inside fortified compounds is gone. Unless we address this imbalance, we're likely to find ourselves in the middle of something that will make the French Revolution look like a pacifists convention.

Copyright 2001, Orlando Sentinel

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1 aug  2001