Either the American public is down right stupid or we really don’t give a rat’s ass about the hypocrisy that thrives in not just our politics, but our culture as a whole. Nothing points this out better than the politics of policing the world while keeping ourselves beholden to Middle Eastern oil.
After decades of trying to balance the two, we find ourselves split as a nation as to what approach to take while ISIS controls our dialogue like a marionette controls a puppet.
OUR MILITARY: Our nation spends almost as much money each year on its military than the next ten nations combined. Our “Intelligence” service is either an oxymoron in name or completely ignored by their boss, our president. How else do you explain goofs like WMD’s or The JV Squad? Still, we have a rich and glorious history of waging wars; in fact, for every year our nation enjoys peace, we have about four years of warfare to show for it. Think of it like having a good economy one year and a bad one the next four. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
It’s clear, as citizens, and increasingly as politicians, we want the rest of the world to fear us and think of us as the biggest bad asses on the planet (think of it as the school yard bully). However, because deep down inside, the public has no stomach for the horrors of real war, we are seen by others as nothing more than big asses.
How else do you explain placing so many rules of engagement on our military that by the time they get the okay for a kill, the enemy is miles away laughing at us? No one wants to see images of innocent lives lost as a result of our military’s doing so we have created such a nonsensical system of checks and balances that a lone enemy sniper can hold a couple of hundred American soldiers at bay because we do not want to kill the wrong person.
War is ugly. War is horrific. War is filled with complexities and loss of life that is all too often impossible to explain away. That said, if war is called on by our President, it needs to be allowed to play out without the burden of trying to defeat an enemy without losing any friends in the process.
This nation has defended the oil rich Middle East long enough. What has it gotten us? Right now, the nations we defend pay our terrorist enemies ransom to not attack them rather than aid us in our attempt to rid the world of their existence. These nations, and I place Saudi Arabia at the top of the list as the worst of the offenders, have no problem with a group like ISIS attacking us and our real European allies just as long as the flow of their oil goes uninterrupted.
Sadly, their desire to have the best of both worlds is a trait they learned from us.
WE ARE NO BETTER: Maybe we do not sponsor terrorism, but our nation is guilty of conducting itself with more than its fair share of double standards. We are okay with U.S. corporations sucking oil out of the earth in the Middle East, but we draw the line when it is done in our own back yard.
Does the average American ever consider how much more money we spend and how many lives we sacrifice to ensure a steady flow of Arab oil compared to what we spend to protect our borders (sorry, but fighting the bad guys over there is not protecting our borders)? Why are we continually playing Keystone Cops thousands of miles away when those same men, women, and military equipment can be used to better protect our borders? It’s not like our border patrol has a handle on it.
The answer is simple; while it saves money, lives, and time to develop the Keystone Pipeline, use more fracking, and improve our solar and wind power capacity, Americans have also lost the stomach to destroy their environment. The Middle East is out of sight and out of mind so who cares what happens there, just keep us swimming in $2.49 a gallon gas so we can keep driving our F-150’s. How insane, no, how selfish is this thought process?
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EXAMPLE: Does anyone besides me remember Apartheid? Sorry, it’s not an app or video game. South Africa’s once notoriously racist and minority ruled government finally crumbled in the 1980’s, not from a U.S. led war, but rather under an avalanche of nations and corporations that grew a set and refused to do business until a real democracy was in place and not the sham the white rulers called fair and non oppressive. When enough nations gave them a gigantic middle finger, real change took place and today, South Africa is a much better nation.
It’s time for such a boycott of the Middle East and it needs to place Saudi Arabia at the top of the list of nations that need real reform. We need to stop policing a region that lacks any politically moral compass and stop propping them up with the continued purchasing of their oil. It’s time we hit them where it matters, their wallets.
But what about Israel? We can still boycott the region and ensure our one steady ally we have their backs. If we can’t, we have no business giving our military half our tax dollars. We can also still come to the aid of refugees fleeing for their lives. We just need to have the strength to tell the nations there we do not need them or their troubles.
It’s time to forget about “intelligence”, spying, and constant negotiations that fail to yield any form of stability. Let’s see how fast Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Libya, Qatar, Yemen, and on and on and on – let’s see how fast they start singing a new tune when the rest of the world pulls out and tells them to F— Off! It can’t be any worse than what we’ve been doing. And who knows, maybe then we can turn our attention to getting our own house, and senate, and oval office in order.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.