Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just answer these questions

Conflicts in the Middle East have existed since the days prior to Jesus walking the streets of Jerusalem. The problems in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and other countries in the region are just that, their problems. Middle Eastern people don't want intervention by the United Nations, the United States or any other foreign nation.

Our allies in the Arab world are committing worse deeds against their people, but we pick and choose which leaders to demonize. The media will do everything they can to make the leaders America does not like look as bad as possible.  Do not be fooled into thinking our involvement worldwide has anything to do with protecting innocent citizens we are calling rebels
. This has everything to do with helping our European friends fight for the oil all of us so heavily rely on.
A blind eye is often turned to injustices occurring in nations that do not have natural resources to offer the rest of the world, but all bets are off when oil is on the table. The hypocrisy is laughable when people try to justify American intervention in foreign affairs that have nothing at all to do with the security and protection of American citizens.  Don’t get it twisted or believe the hype; it is all about money and power.

Some Americans want to be the social police of the world and tell other countries how to govern themselves. We have so much of our own trash littering the streets that we cannot clean up because foreign interests seem to have taken priority over the needs of the American people. Note: The trash in this implication is not the dead urban thug kind of trash that radio talk show host Neal Boortz wants to see littering the streets of Atlanta.
If being the social police means sending service members to fight in wars, so be it as long as the people making these decisions are not doing the fighting. Anybody that wants to go help the rebels in Libya, or are so concerned about protecting Israel and any other American ally, don’t just talk about it, be about it.  I encourage people with that mindset to feel free to get from behind their desks and microphones, strap their boots on and get to work.

Several questions have been going through my mind that I have not been able to put my finger on as of yet. For instance:

What foreign nation helped America during the nadir when Black men were being lynched, hung, and slaughtered for looking at White women, or registering to vote?  Who helped America when Eugene “Bull” Connor was terrorizing Black people in the streets of Alabama?  Where was the aid from other countries when the Klan was bombing churches, schools, and killing innocent Americans in the South?  Which country came to the rescue when civil rights activists were murdered in cold blood while organizing people to stand up for their human rights?
The common sense answer, generally speaking, is that Americans solve our own internal problems. The common sense answer may not be as simple as we think it is, but here are a few more questions.

Where was the United Nations when European countries were taking over free and independent African and Asian countries?  Where was the international concern when civil wars broke out in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Rwanda, or Tunisia?  I am still trying to understand how it is okay for the governments in Bahrain or Syria to kill their own innocent citizens and for Israel continuing to bomb the Palestinians without any ramifications?  Meanwhile, Cuba is still under sanctions for exactly what reason?

In the spirit of the upcoming election season, here are a few questions I want to ask the current presidential candidates with these rules in place for answering questions. 1. Answers cannot include a word about President Obama. 2. Answers need to be in specific terms and not just the generic campaign jargon. 3. Answers will contain no negative comments or pointing out the other candidate’s shortcomings.  I want to hear more about you and your record on the issues, not how bad you think the other person is. 

Here we go.

What does Libya, protesting same-sex marriage, installing strict voter identification laws, or requiring citizens in need of government assistance to submit to drug tests have to do with creating jobs?  What are you going to do to pay down the trillions of dollars of debt that accumulated over the last decade, not just in the last three years?  How many times has the debt ceiling been raised over the last 30 years without contention?  How are government subsidies for low income Americans any different from corporate welfare benefits/tax loopholes to industries making record profits?  The current tax system is broken, how are you going to fix it?  How do you feel about placing limits on campaign funds from individuals and private companies?
Those questions may seem far-fetched and I surely would not expect to get straight answers, but the American people are tired of the political stunts and games.  What we want from our elected officials is more results, and less television appearances.  Politicians could make life easier for all of us if they would just answer the questions and tell us exactly where they stand on the issues instead of talking in coded language that allows them to play on both sides of an issue.
Originally published by the Charlton County Herald on July 12, 2011

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