Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Soap Box

You know how you start out in the morning, just checking your email and the news online, and one subject leads to another, and before you know it it's been an hour or more?  Things come up that you weren't even thinking about in the first place.  That's what happened to me this morning.

I read that Hamid Karzai has told us he will allow the U.S. to establish nine military bases in Afghanistan.  That got my attention.  In the first place, why do we need nine bases there?  I thought we were getting out.  How much will maintaining and staffing nine bases cost?  Won't those bases be targets for terrorists?  Won't the populace resent them being there?  In the second place, I've recently been reading how the CIA has been handing over "bags full of cash" to Karzai.  Why did we do that?  What was the cash for?  Did we care what he did with it?  Is that the reason he is "allowing" us to build bases there?  Are we bribing our way around the world?

I was 15 years old in 1961.  Strangely, I remember hearing President Eisenhower speaking about the "military-industrial complex".  He warned about the "disastrous rise of misplaced power".  I thought about this at the time of the Iraq war, with V.P. Cheney being so closely involved with Halliburton, a contractor that made tons of money from the war.  Is this an example of what Eisenhower was talking about?

It seems we are thinking of entering an era of austerity in our country.  Teachers are being cut.  Public safety is being cut as police and fire units are reduced or closed down.  Municipalities are going broke all over the country.  Yet we can give "bags of money" to Karzai for unknown purposes, and we are considering building, maintaining and staffing up to nine military bases in Afghanistan?  This is all taxpayer money.  Don't we have a say in how it's used?  It seems we have very little to say about anything anymore.

That's me on my soap box today.  That's what happened when I sat down to look at my laptop.


Pam said...

So much money wasted on war. Boys and their toys. Just catching up on your previous posts Judy - hope you had fun getting rid of your excess stuff - which makes me wonder about where all the no longer used and out- of- date military gear and weaponry ends up. You don't have to look far in the world to see poorer countries enjoying the results of a super power military clear-out.
Give me flowers and cats and love and kindness of spirit - I find war mongering and the motives obnoxious and ego-based.
Oh look - I shared your soapbox!!

judy in ky said...

Pam, I am very happy to share my soapbox with you. I feel the same way you do about kindness of spirit vs. war. I love flowers and cats, too.
I'm still working on the excess stuff, but I've made great progress!

the veg artist said...

I read this first thing, now I'm back with my mid-morning coffee. I shall step up!

What came into my mind was something that happened when I was about six years old. I was looking at a charity collecting box which had been handed out by the church. It was for African children. I was thinking about what we had been told, and, even at that age, thought that everyone on earth should be entitled to the same amount of space, food and opportunities. I pictured myself standing on my little square!

Obviously, some individuals are born with better brains, and some with more drive than others. Some choose not to use their opportunities, but, fundamentally, my views haven't changed.
I simply do not get people who play power games, whether in the home, at work, or at a political/national level. And yet that is what everything seems to come down to. People want to control others. Many people want to be rich, but some are happy to do so at the expense of others. Keeping young girls prisoners in a basement! Attacking countries with might, or using finances to disadvantage others. Is that what they will pride themselves on on their deathbeds?
It's upsetting to think about, and I don't have any answers. It's more than a shame that these clever, capable people don't devote themselves to the real problems in the world - solving hunger and disease. Making us all more genuinely equal.

There endeth my soapbox rant for today!!!

judy in ky said...

Thank you for stepping up, artist. I have those thoughts often too. It's such a shame that humankind doesn't concern itself with making the world a better place, instead of hoarding resources and wielding power over others. We started with a beautiful planet full of wonders and it seems we are squandering it all. There always seems to be a greedy, power-hungry few who come into power and make life miserable for everyone else.