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.