Social and Political Commentary

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Hey, listen, we are the super power

 ... do you want us on your doorstep?

by Jackie Wattenberg

All around the world, all around our own country, people have been questioning our newest war. Yet, they know we are the world's "super power." But have they once taken the time to ask-- super in what?

The answer, of course, is super in weaponry and arms for war. Listen, we spend more than the next 20 countries on military stuff--do they know what that means? It means that we don't have the money for national healthcare that most of the developed countries have, that even Iraq  has; we spend less on educating our children and offer very little help to college-bound kids, our roads and bridges and highways in some places lack funds for good maintenance, our medicines cost more than in most countries because we don't have the money to hand over to the drug companies when they create a new drug so they have to charge higher prices to make their profits...well, there are lots of places of neglect, sure.

But we are Numero Uno in super weapons and bombs of the greatest precision -- the most intellectual of all bombs in the world -- haven't they all heard from Don Rumsfeld how tremendous these bombs are? They're so smart, he says, that they can pinpoint a target and never miss and hit a civilian! Well, hardly ever.

Sure, of course, some of those bombs may have ADD, or some other little problem that interferes with their interest and intent, listen, nobody's perfect.

But look at it this way -- if a housewife has a tremendous supply of food stuffs -- 40 pounds of sugar, ten chickens, flour by the pound, potatoes just dying to be baked, mashed or scalloped, expensive French (pardon the expression) chocolate and pints of whipped cream and six dozen eggs -- plus a ton of fresh fruits -- strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, juicy lemons -- doesn't she yearn to use these wonders in some great gourmet cooking? Of course she does -- why else have all the stuff?

So it is with our super supplies of killer weapons -- if you got 'em, use 'em. Can a kid have a new bike or skate board and not just HAVE to use it? Of course!

So it is with our government. No one ever said we are the "Superpower in generous giving", although we aren't exactly stingy. But I just read recently that we are number 20 on the list of 20 richest nations who contibute to poorer countries. Okay, that sounds a little tough, but just look at all the terrific weapons we have sold and -- get this -- GIVEN to other countries, like some in Africa, have put them to good use too.

We share.

Even now that we're at war with Iraq, who bothers to remember that we sold or gave lots of this lethal stuff to Saddam a few years back during his little Iranian affair?

Lots of nations that have enjoyed mighty fine wars of their own are finding fault with us. Nations such as Palestine pretty constantly at war with its neighbor Israel, Indonesia at war all that time with east Timor, the sticky situation between China and its neighbor Taiwan, Russia now prickly with Chechenya; the little countries in Africa scuffling with their neighboring countries -- notice a common thread here? All battling countries that are handily NEARBY!

Do they ever stop to think that we have the disadvantage of having two peaceable countries as neighbors? There's Canada on the north, never bothering to take over Detroit or Buffalo, God knows it wouldn't be hard, they're so close, and to the South, Mexico, that mellow little country that never tries to recapture parts of California and Texas and Arizona that we removed from them.

You get the point? We have to go half-way around the world to find countries to have out wars with! And do we ever complain? Just look at our record - Vietnam, really long distance war-making, but did we give up? Not until 10 or 11 years, three million Vietnamese dead and 54,000 plus American fallen. Korea, even before that, somewhere way over in the Far East too -- only five years after WWII ended, 1950 to 1953; which added up 162,708 Americans killed; 17,260 U. N. forces, 58,127 South Korean soldiers, South Korean civilian dead -- one million; Communist forces from North Korea and China killed, 1,600,000.

Not quite so far, but let's not forget Nicaragua, 1980-1988, Ronald Reagan's little Contra War -- hey, we lost only one American there. Ben Linder, not a fighter but a do-gooder engineer, but 36,000 Nicaraguan civilians were killed by bombs we handed over to the Contra mercenary fighters we trained, paid, fed and armed to bomb buses, clinics, bridges, infrastucture, military posts, and all that. And remember, after the war, we sent our own delegation there to supervise the elections so that the most popular party, the guys who won their revolution after years of the brutal Somozas, couldn't win.

Another one was so close to home that it hardly counts -- Grenada, Reagan's little movie-kind-of-war. October to December, 1983, hardly much of a war, with 18 civilians deaths, 14 U. S. soldiers killed, with 6 missing in action; 20 to 40 Cubans killed.

Right now we can't forget the first Iraq War, the well-known Gulf War but beautifully named "Desert Storm" arranged by the first George Bush with a dandy U. N. coalition, January 15, 1991 to March 19, 1991, with U.S. losses only about 300. plus a dozen suicides, Iraqi civilian deaths from bombing, fleeing and poor health conditions such as impure water, about 18,000; Kurds who died in unsupported uprising, several thousand.

Pretty impressive? And that's not counting our participation in a few other conflicts here and there, such as El Salvador's civil war, in which 75,000 died.

So you can readily see that we aren't called the world's "Super Power" for nothing! Okay, Saddam and friends, watch out -- we're on your doorstep again! And all of those pesky little countries in Europe and the Middle East who are still protesting and even maybe sending in night goggles and all that stuff --hey, watch out! Do you want us on YOUR  doorstep?

November 7, 2003

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