Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Egypt and other "Allies"

"It is a tragic mix-up when the United States spends $500,000 for every enemy soldier killed, and only $53 annually on the victims of poverty."- Martin Luther King Jr.

So the people of Egypt are demanding freedom and jobs! That is what most of us want, freedom to express ourselves, some control over our lives and the means to live; enough to eat, money to care for our families, education for our children, health care. Oh yes, I forgot to mention clean water. Most of us don't demand to live in luxury, but we do like some security and comfort. The United States spends billions of dollars every year on arms for our "allies", training for their soldiers and maintains a "balance of power" in strategic areas of the world. Often we arm the very countries that will later have revolutions and use the arms we have given them against us,their neighbours or against their own people when they demand the freedom we say America supports. Egypt gives us cause for reflection on American foreign policy. The tear gas lobbed at the protesters was made in America and the dictator they are protesting against is the one we supported. We fear the arms we gave them getting into the "wrong" hands. Perhaps we should reflect on the words of Dr. King and give the kind of aid to citizens in other nations that we would like to receive if we were in their place. I believe in the golden rule, and I would prefer bread to bullets any day of the week. Power to the people of Egypt! If the wrong people gain control, we have only ourselves to blame. It is hard to do much damage with a meal or a job that will provide for a family. People who are employed and well fed tend to avoid revolution. On the other hand, people armed and hungry tend to use their weapons against someone. It is time to change our foreign aid to something we and the rest of the world will find palatable.

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