While we are waiting for a stimulus check from a government that didn’t have to go without during COVID-19, a potential stumbling block came up in the form of a separate bill related to foreign aid. Although this is a global pandemic, the stuff our money is being spent on is…well, peak 2020 levels of insanity. One of the big ticket items, and I swear I’m not making this up, is funding gender studies programs…in Pakistan. Now, I’ll admit I don’t follow Pakistan that closely, but I’m thinking they have worse problems than gender studies. Maybe it’s so if/when India drops bombs on them, they know how to sex the bombs?
Regardless, at a time when Americans are struggling to find ways to make enough money to survive, it seems absurd we would continue to spend millions of dollars overseas, gender studies programs or no. Even at times when the only pandemics we worried about were the ones in the game Pandemic, we would be spending moneys in foreign countries like drunken sailors. Wait, wait, I take that back. I’d trust the fiscal responsible of a drunken sailor before I would trust the federal government to buy a pack of gum, let alone spend money.
Since we have the time, let’s take a look at foreign aid.
What the Left thinks it means – money and goods we give to foreign countries to help them
What it really means – money and goods we give to foreign countries to curry favor with them
Here is a fundamental truth the Left doesn’t understand: no matter what sociopolitical ideology you subscribe to, the world speaks capitalism. Whether you’re an anarcho-socialist or a corporate type, everything you believe comes down to how similar or different it is from capitalism. The same concept applies to foreign aid. No matter if you think capitalism is the Great Satan or the great savior of the Western World, if somebody gives you money, your first instinct is to take it.
Let’s just say the American government has been very generous with our tax dollars and the recipients have yet to decline it.
And usually that comes with some strings, namely that the recipients do something or not do something as the case may be in exchange for the money. In some cases, like with Israel, the foreign aid comes with easier strings, namely not letting the country be turned into glass or into the Jerusalem franchise of ISIS. For others, it’s a bit more complicated, i.e. contradictory to anyone playing along at home. (I’m looking at you, Iran, but we’ll get to them here in a bit.)
But that’s only part of the issue. The other part of the foreign aid issue is there are no consequences if the countries receiving the aid don’t follow through on their promises. And when you consider some of the recipients of our largesse hate our guts, it’s kind of important that we hold them to their word. That brings us back to Iran. (See? I told you we’d get to them!) After the Obama Administration freed up funds allegedly owed to Iran since the hostage crisis, Iran took the money and…continued its nuclear weapons program. You know what was done?
Nothing. Not even a sternly-worded memo.
Regardless of whether you maintain it was their money, the fact of the matter is there are leaders who will take our money and not do what they said they would. Just ask Bob Geldof. When there are no consequences for non-compliance, the dishonest will act with impunity. Imagine how different things might have been if we had parked a fleet or two in the Strait of Hormus to ensure Iran was abiding like The Dude. Iran might not even have developed glow sticks, let alone glow-in-the-dark nuclear bombs.
And the saddest part? The Left thinks this kind of diplomacy actually works. Then again, their solution to a lot of problems is throwing money at them, so it’s not that unusual. Still, it’s hard to say if foreign aid actually moves the needle for us, positive or negative. The best outcome I can see from this approach is the countries that already think we’re jerks will tolerate us as long as the money keeps coming.
With the incoming Administration, I have no doubt we will continue to see a steady outflow of cash in an attempt to, well, buy friends. The difference from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration will be who we consider friends. Let’s not forget the Arab Spring came about due to the Obama Administration’s diplomatic efforts under former Secretary of State and current sore loser Hillary Clinton. Say what you will about former Secretary of State John Kerry (and believe me I will), but at least his foreign policy helped people remember James Taylor was still alive and performing. Not that it did anything, mind you…
I know we’re in a global economy right now, but that doesn’t mean we have to deal with everyone who hits us up for aid. In fact, I think we need to be a bit more choosy, especially in the face of the global pandemic, because if there’s nobody to write the checks to these foreign countries because everyone died, the checks stop. We have an enlightened self-interest to turn our fiscal focus inward to see what needs to be done to keep us afloat. Our real allies will understand, and any other country that doesn’t might not really be our allies. Although it might make things a little difficult in the short term, on the plus side it keeps down the number of people on the President’s Christmas card list.
The fact Congress decided gender studies in Pakistan was more important than the American people is a slap in the face to all of us and should be grounds to start grabbing torches and pitchforks. (By the way, I have a new business venture that sells torches and pitchforks just in case you want to go ahead with that.) If America was as on-top of everything as we like to think we are, maybe we could justify it, but we’re messed up more than Charlie Sheen partying with Lindsey Lohan in Las Vegas on All the Blow You Can Snort Night. I’m thinking we should hold off on sending other countries our money so we can work on the infrastructure the Left reminds us is crumbling around us, but never does anything about it when they control the purse strings.
But, hey, $600 is $600, amirite?