Contact your elected officials if you agree with this agenda. Tell them what you expect of them as your representatives…and that ignoring “we the people” and the constitution will result in them being part of another electoral bloodbath in 2012.
For too long our foreign aid and foreign policy have been tied together as though they walked in lockstep, one always shadowing the other. The deciding factor in whether we had good relations with another country always seem to hinge on the foreign aid we gave to that country.
In other words, we buy our friends, which means they aren’t really our friends after all, and, frankly, their disdain is understandable.
Foreign aid and foreign policy should be two separate issues, dealt with completely separately. We should ask…no, we should demand…that our government do so. Let’s look at each individually.
Since the failed League of Nations and the formation of the current United Nations we have seen the image of the United States deteriorate. From that of a nation projecting power and strength, the unquestionable pre-eminent world power, we have become a country vilified and disliked by a huge majority of the rest of the members of the world community.
This loss of respect is easy to understand. Countries are no different than people, and they react to stimulus much as people do. If you have neighbors, some roughly your financial equal and some perhaps not as well off, thee natural inclination is to be a good neighbor, keeping your property presentable and not doing things that detract from the neighborhood, and that fosters good neighborly relations.
If you carry it to extremes though, constantly roaming the neighborhood, cleaning up not only the streets but other peoples’ yards as well, all without help and against your own self-interest as you have things on your own property to deal with…if you then extend yourself, either by physical assistance or financially by others not helping to pick up the costs for trash bags and dump fees, you will soon find yourself looked down upon by neighbors as a wimpy doormat to be taken advantage of.
Neighbors who are actually a detriment to the neighborhood, bad neighbors who you COULD influence to be better neighbors, will ignore you as a spineless paper tiger, looking down on your attempts with disdain.
Good neighbors, neighbors without your strength that you have kept a benevolent eye on…perhaps a widowed neighbor who asks little but who you look after and protect…soon begin to wonder if you can be counted on, and these doubts escalate each time the bad neighbors act out without retribution, either by the Homeowner’s Association or by you, a leader and most powerful member of the neighborhood.
Foreign Relations repair, step one
That is the precise situation we find ourselves in because of years of misguided foreign policy. The United States is the powerful, benevolent, and abused neighbor and the United Nations is the Homeowners’ Association…the group of neighbors who largely revile, abuse, and take advantage of the benevolent neighbor. This Homeowners’ Association has one big difference from most though…
Membership in and support of the United Nations Homeowners’ Association is voluntary…and it’s time we resigned our membership. We have no need…or mandate…to be a member of and financially support an organization that works in direct opposition of the best interests of the United States. We are, and have been since its inception, the U.N.’s largest financial supporter. This country is assessed (as mandated membership “dues”) 22% of the U.N. regular budget and 27% of the peacekeeping budget. In dollar terms, the Administration’s budget for Fiscal Year 2011 requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget.
Additionally, the United States pays additional mandated and voluntary contributions to other U.N. organizations. According to the Office of Management and Budget the total US contributions to the U.N. for Fiscal Years 2008-09 more than $6.347 billion, up over $1 billion from FY 2004-05.
This must end. It would be easy to say it must end because most of the other nations despise the USA and are unappreciative for the country’s contributions…it would be easy, and true…but the reason the US should…must…leave the U.N. are threefold:
Being a U.N. member nation is not in the United States best interest, and the constitution does not allow for membership in a world organization simply in order to be benevolent.
Many, if not most, of the member nations of the U.N. actively work against the US’s best interests…and use our own money against us to do so.
We can’t afford it. $2,698,300, our approximate annual U.N. contribution, will not solve our budget deficit or pay off the national debt…but it is a start, a good start, and with the national debt being as out of control as it is the federal government needs to do what any fiscally responsible household does when finances are tight…spend only what is necessary, and the U.N. is not necessary.
The actions of the federal government must be reigned in and kept within constitutional bounds, and this applies to our foreign policy along with all other federal actions.
Nowhere in the constitution is the federal government empowered to act as the world’s police department or as a global Meals-on-Wheels Program. United States citizens are the most giving, most charitable people on earth, and in areas of the world where nation-sized Meals-on-Wheels are needed our people, through private organizations, can and will fill the gap.
Our military intervention in conflicts around the world should be limited to instances where those conflicts have an effect on our best interests as a nation.
As an aside, congress and the president should look at potential military situations and decide if intervention is constitutional and needed, and if it is what the end results should be…and then they should shut up. This country has a history of losing wars fought by politicians instead of generals (think Viet Nam). Politicians should set policy…that is their job and what they are supposed to be good at…and the military should be left to fight when necessary to carry out that policy, as the fighting is their job and what they should be good at. Give them an objective, lay out ground rules ahead of time, then get out of their way and don’t change rules in the middle of the game.
This illustrates yet one more reason the military should not be a worldwide Meals-on-Wheels.
As cold as it sounds, the fact is it is the military’s job to break things and kill people, period. That is what they are trained for, it is what they are prepared for, and it is what they should be used for in those times when it is necessary…AND THAT IS ALL.
Our actions and words should be reassuring to our allies that we will defend mutual interests as we say, and those actions and words should just as strongly tell those who work against our interests that any actions against us, our interests, and our allies will be met with swift, sure, and overwhelming retribution. The current situation on the Korean peninsula is a perfect example of how our policy must change.
North Korea has played the US and the world for ineffective fools for years, and we have let them. Now, in the last eight months they have carried out military attacks on South Korea, an ally of the United States, twice…first in April by sinking the South Korean ship and now by shelling the South Korean island…and we have done nothing but bluster, and based on past actions our response will be economic concessions and hoping the North Koreans decide to play nice…which they never do.
Now North Korea threatens a “merciless” attack on the south for holding war games with the US. I would suggest that our response should be threefold:
First, we should tell…tell, not have a discussion with…the North Koreans that if they fire one more hostile shot at South Korean or American interests we will show them exactly what a “merciless” retribution looks like. Tell them, without allowing discussion, that the result of any hostile actions whatsoever in the future will result in their seeing the bomb bays in the underbellies of ALL of our B-52’s, B-1’s and B-2’s open and rain down bombs, cruise missiles, and, possibly, tactical nuclear weapons on them until North Korea ceases to exist as a functioning country…no discussion, no negotiation, just hard, cold fact.
Second, there should be a dramatic change in our negotiating posture. To date, we have agreed to economic relief based on the promise of certain actions. This is backwards. Any favorable interaction we have with North Korea in the future should be based on a.) if the interaction is constitutional, and b.) favorable interaction should be AFTER the North Koreans demonstrate good intentions by their actions, not before in the hopes they decide to play nice. We have gone down that road before and know it to be a dead end.
Third, China should be made completely clear on the fact that negotiating with North Korea is over, that they (China), as the only country in the world that supports North Korea, have only one choice…to reign in and bring North Korea under control or suffer the consequences of millions of refugees streaming across the Chinese border the next time North Korea provokes either South Korea or the US.
It is time the United States re-grew a spine when dealing with countries…friend and foe alike…all around the world. It is time we got back to looking after OUR interests in our foreign policy. If that raises the image of “the ugly American” then so be it. Being liked is nice. Being respected…and just a bit feared…is beyond nice. It is imperative.
In 2008 (the last year for which figures are available) the United States gave a total of $26,000,000,000.00 in foreign aid. We gave foreign aid to friends (Israel), to enemies (Yemen), to countries that can make a claim for needing it (Kenya), and to countries that are wealthy and don’t need our economic assistance (Kuwait). We even give foreign aid to countries who both are wealthy and don’t need it AND claim to be allies while working against United States’ interests (Saudi Arabia).
The system is flawed when the above can happen. To make it even worse, foreign aid almost resembles our countries department budgets…once in place they are hard to reduce or end. Foreign aid should be:
• Country by country foreign aid should be budgeted on a zero start basis at the first of the fiscal year. Year by year countries should have to ask for aid, stating how much they need (need, not want), what they need it for, and how they intend to make sure it is used for its intended purpose.
• The FIRST consideration that should be given to EVERY application for foreign aid is to ask the questions, “Does this pass constitutional muster? Is this proposed expenditure of money…taxpayer money…constitutional?” If the answer is “no”, the application is rejected at that point, no exceptions.
• The second consideration that should be given to EVERY application for foreign aid is to ask the question, “Does this country work in ANY way…in its U.N. votes, by active actions (overt or covert)…against the interests of the United States?” If the answer it “yes”, the application is rejected, no exceptions. This should include an OPEC member voting to raise oil prices, whether the raise passes or not. Simply voting to raise our energy costs should be cause for automatic rejection.
• Every application for foreign aid should be presented to the House of Representatives for approval. Each application should be examined as to need and the country’s ability to use the aid as a hand up, not a welfare hand-out. Foreign aid should be spent working toward the country not needing it on an open-ended basis.
• Aid to a country should be limited to as short a period as possible in order to achieve the stated goals, but in no case should it be for longer than a pre-determined period…3 years, 5 years, 10 years…there should be some definitive end to aid. The US is not the world’s open ended welfare checkbook.
• Every dollar of foreign aid approved should be accompanied by an accompanying cut in federal spending elsewhere in the budget AT LEAST until the United States operates within a balanced budget.
In general, foreign policy and foreign aid should meet at least three qualifications. Sometimes there will be more answers needed, but these three must be answered first.
Is it constitutional? The answer must be yes.
Does it first benefit the interests of the United States? Again, the answer must be yes.
Does it help the interests of a nation that, by action OR inaction, works against the interests of the United States? The answer to this is…MUST be…a loud, unmistakable, truthful NO.
We are not the world’s unappreciated nanny. We are not the world’s despised Meals-on-Wheels.
W are tired of being treated like we are.
Coming next Monday, the agenda conclusion, “112th US Congress…holding its feet to the fire”, with some ideas on how to assure that congress…finally…represents “We the People”.
This is a discussion, not a lecture. Please…add your thoughts by clicking on the comments link below. Agree, disagree, add to or subtract from the suggestions…all I ask is that you play nice and stick to facts instead of name calling and flaming. We don’t have to act like politicians.
Or, just stop in comments and say, “Hi!”.
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- American Politics: It’s A Homeowners’ Association! (jimmyboi2.wordpress.com)
- My Thoughts: Foreign policy lacks restraint, deliberation (commercialappeal.com)