Blowing cash in the Middle East

By Katie Kieffer

Sand Dunes in Middle East

Image credit: “Sand Dunes” by David Stanley on Flickr via Creative Commons.

We blow cash money, baby! We act like rappers with king-size egos. We discount our own laws, norms and massive debt load. We imagine we sit on a global throne.

We kiss away about $2 billion a week in Afghanistan. We’ve spent almost $800 billion fighting in Iraq. We’re offering Iraq assistance from U.S. troops beyond 2011 to the tune of $10 billion annually. We gave Mubarak’s Egyptian regime an annual gift of $1.5 billion in military and monetary aid. The Pentagon reports that we’ve spent $896 million intervening in Libya through July 31 alone and we’ve promised an additional $25 million in aid to the Libyan Transitional National Council.

President Obama is increasingly subverting American supremacy to globalism. France fired the initial strikes in Libya and European leaders convinced him to follow suit. He claims “NATO … is the most capable alliance in the world.” So, where will he send brave U.S. troops next?

Syria? The U.S. has unequivocally called for President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Syria’s hypersensitive regime bludgeons mere cartoonists like Ali Ferzat for anti-government expression.

Iran? Iran backs countless Shiite militants that frequently target U.S. troops in Iraq. She also imprisons two American tourists.

Pakistan? Our “ally” helped us by (likely wittingly) harboring bin Laden in a fortified compound several hundred yards from the Abbottabad military academy. Then, Pakistan brazenly ignored the CIA and let China examine SEAL Team Six’s stealth copter tail technology.

Somalia? In February Somali pirates shot and killed four Americans, including two Seattle missionaries.

Karl Rove told Bill O’Reilly last week that the President “did a courageous thing by actually engaging in (Libya)…” However, given the high American casualties, expenses and the incurrence of greater anti-American sentiment, I’d say perpetually sending U.S. forces, money and weapons into the Middle East is more reckless than courageous.

As of August 23, the Associated Press reports at least 4,474 deaths and 32,175 injuries due to the Iraq war and 1,634 deaths and 13,447 injuries due to the war in Afghanistan. In late 2009 the President authorized a surge of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and casualties have spiked. Since 2008 the U.S. has sustained nearly two-and-a-half times the number of fatalities in Afghanistan as the six previous years combined.

Whether President Obama acted constitutionally in authorizing military intervention in Libya is debatable. The Heritage Foundation states, “Rather than imposing a fixed, step-by-step method for going to war, the Constitution allows the executive and legislative branches substantial flexibility to shape the decision-making process for engaging in military hostilities.”

Two points are uncontestable: First, the purpose of military intervention is always to show strength, never subservience. By ceding to NATO and Europe rather than Congress in his decision to enter Libya, the President showcased us as weak followers rather than strong leaders.

Second, President Obama prioritizes global interests over American interests. “Obama has said the United Nations should intervene if a government or any group is slaughtering its citizens,” reports the Los Angeles Times. By the President’s philosophy, the U.S. should promptly lead a global police force into China. Good luck with that.

I want the President to show consistent muscle, secure the U.S.-Mexico border and proactively halt terrorism in its tracks—not roam the Arab world picking fights while bowing down to China. Like Reagan, I want a well-built military that declares to the world: “Mess with America and there will be hell to pay.”

I’m concerned that we are weakening our country by ever-expanding our military involvement in the Middle East while our national debt races toward $15 trillion, our unemployment rate soars near 10 percent and Standard & Poor’s threatens a second downgrade. I’m also concerned that our President and well-meaning hawks like Rove are guiding us toward globalism—where the International Criminal Court, not the U.S. Constitution, will referee American speech and behavior.

George Washington said in his Farewell Address: “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is … to have with them as little political connection as possible. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to … take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation…”

Are we preventing or antagonizing terrorism? This month al-Qaida of Mesopotamia launched a 100-attack campaign to avenge bin Laden, calling Americans “enemies of God” who must die for bin Laden’s “pure blood.”

We crush one terrorist abroad and scores of new terrorists crop up in vengeance like fertilized weeds. We need to stop blowing cash in the Middle East, quit expanding our military in the Arab world and prevent the loss of precious American lives.

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  1. Sophocles says:

    Whatever happened to respecting other countries’ sovereignty? I suppose it makes sense that we do not place much weight on the rights of other countries when you consider that we downgrade and disparage our own sovereignty with virtually open borders.

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