The Mental Fog of Our Foreign Policy Leaders

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By Sigrid Weidenweber

For more years than I care to admit, I have watched our government elites rob us blind in the making of foreign policy.  Americans support an amazing amount of military, educational, health and food programs all over the world that are paid for by American tax payers. We provide enormous sums even to those countries who hate us with unveiled passion and work to undermine us in word, vote and deed.

We are told that all this expensive foreign aid is necessary to keep the world in balance and functioning. But despots all over the world have lined their bank accounts and the accounts of their families with our foreign aid money that rightfully belongs to American citizens.

Examples of recipients of wasteful American largesse are the Palestinian Authority, which has used American foreign aid money to manufacture weapons, dig tunnels into Israel, shoot rockets into the selfsame country, pay the families of suicide bombers and still have enough left to feed their Parisian bank accounts. The same applies to Pakistan, whose Haqqani network, one of the deadliest terrorist groups, together with the Taliban, which we are still fighting, are supported with American money via interest groups within the very same government we send foreign aid to.

I sometimes wonder if our House and Senate suffer from projecting American social, religious and political values onto foreign aid recipients as a way of justifying the foreign aid they send to them.  The practice of projection is well known and one would hope that those giving away this foreign aid would  be aware of this human foible and take it into account in their allocation of foreign aid.  Alas, apparently not.

Politicians and diplomats often project their good intentions on the likes of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and Turkey in vain the hope of creating democratic institutions in those countries.   But these politicians and diplomats do not seem to understand that despite all the hopeful babble around the diplomatic value of foreign aid, the recipient governments have no real desire to bring about the changes American aid-givers would like to see in their countries.   Often the recipient governments are out to defeat every effort to bring about change in their tightly controlled countries and deceive our representatives into believing they will change, while taking advantage of our generosity.

Charitably, I can only assume that this failure to understand projection is responsible for the long term self-defeating behaviors of our politicians when handing out foreign aid.

I would like to quote Walter Russell Mead at this point, who sums up the situation eloquently: “American values may one day prevail around the world, but no leader should base strategic calculations upon a hope that Russia, China and Iran will turn into friendly, liberal democracies in a relevant time frame.”  Mead further postulates that other powers are not quite as interested in preventing North Korea from becoming a nuclear power as is America.

I stipulate that many other nation-state leaders grew up with cultural concepts quite different from our own. They see the world as their field to divide and conquer to suit their purposes. And until recently, a view prevailed in this country that America should sacrifice heavily for the rest of the world. What a noble concept, although suicidal, when the rest of the world forges onward with their self-serving, nationalistic pursuits.

The effort other countries expend to quash American superiority is mind boggling. For example, it seems that beating up Uncle Sam is the preferred political activity of many countries represented in the United Nations, although, there again, we bear an outsize share of the burden for the upkeep of this viper-pit.

Sigrid Weidenweber

Sigrid Weidenweber


Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weindenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weindenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer.

You can find her books on Amazon.com


 

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