Friday, March 26, 2010

Disappointments in Nation Building

March 26, 2010


While playing in a charity golf tournament today (and playing spectacularly badly) I had to dodge conversation with a caddy who was eager to instruct an Englishman in the dreadful state America is in thanks to ‘government taking over healthcare’. I pretended with dispatch that I was hard of hearing.

On returning home I came across a disappointing article in Newsweek (March 29, 2010) under the banner “Scandal in Afghanistan: The Exclusive Story of how we’ve wasted $6 billion on a Corrupt and Abusive Police Force that may Cost Us the War”. The article describes the levels of illiteracy, the corruption which gets police weaponry, funded by us, into the hands of the Taliban and the drug addiction. The only thing missing from the descriptions of one of our parishioners who is a contractor in that country is the sexual abuse by older men of younger recruits.

It is clear that we can have short lived alliances and some victories here and there as a result, but the long term occupation of Afghanistan is not a viable option for a government determined to reverse the deficit spending that goes with waging war. I await the tea bag protest about our continuing our efforts there.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Well, but there's this:

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity
generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department
of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the
municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the
FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the
weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and
launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I
watched this while eating breakfast of US Department of Agriculture
inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe
by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept
accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the
US Naval Observatory. I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads
built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation,
possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level
determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender
issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit
any mail I have to send via the US Postal Service and drop the kids
off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a
house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and
local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not
been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police
department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com
and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the
government can't do anything right. Really? Go figure...

Elizabeth S. "BJ" McConnell

I don't know what to say about Afghanistan. Corruption and mismanagement are always possible--no, probable--as long as there are humans involved, but does it mean we don't try?