Isn’t it interesting how the political beast we feed bites us?
If we were to feed so altruistically and steadily an animal from the wild, they would certainly come to expect us to feed them, and would probably become dependent on us for the food, but would be far less likely to bite us, as long as we were providing the handouts.
However, on the political front, it frequently turns out that the beast we feed turns and rends us for our troubles. This isn’t even a new phenomenon. It’s quite old in the repeating patterns of ask, take, demand, take, and then the taker finally destroys the giver.
Perhaps the taker sees the giver as weak, because they are willing to give. Or when the demands for more sustenance exceed the ability of the giver to provide, the taker, having gotten fat on what they had been provided, and having weakened the giver by having taken so much, sees an opportunity to take the rest, and damn the future.
Whatever the reason, the patterns are there. As recently as World War I there were angry plotters, who, having been fed and taken as much as could be given, thought to send a further message of revolt to those they felt should stand with them, and shot and killed the son of The Archduke of Ferdinand, thus starting the chain of events that led to WWI.
The son of The Archduke had been one to try always to help those less fortunate. How ironic that he should be the one targeted. Or perhaps it was because he had been to the areas where the help was needed, that he was recognizeable to the plotters of his eventual death. They cared nothing for his altruism, his heart, his intents. Only that he was a political target that would gain them notoriety.
Here we are again, watching the same type of behavior. President Obama, having held out the hand of friendship and sent financial aid to those who asked, is now seeing his hand come back a bloody stump, the image of one of his Ambassadors, having been beaten and killed, being dragged through their streets, stamped indelibly in the hearts and minds of all of his constituents. And to make it worse, the Ambassador was one to always want to help those in whose county he resided.
What to do, what to do? Their betrayal must sting mightily. It certainly does to the Ambassadors family.
And thus we see that the old English saying about Not paying the Dane geld is still relevant today. Not the Danes who are asking and demanding now, but the Middle East, and Near Asia, and Africa who constantly tell us to go away and yet demand that we send them aid at the same time. According to them, we owe them because we have been “Stealing” their oil.
This stealing is defined as, we don’t pay them enough for the oil we take out of their ground. Our (foreign) companies provided the equipment and the expertise, and their people benefit by enjoying the economic benefit of the increased infrastructure, which the companies built, and the increased income from the purchase of the oil fields, and the increased income from the pay given to the workers; all of which has made it possible for the unhappy wretches to arm themselves and turn and rend their benefactors.
Never mind that it is their own government peoples who have made policies that restrict the proper development of their people. Never mind that it is their people who have been corrupt and deceitful and withheld that which would have most benefited others around them. No, They must always see the foreign element as the real reason for their dissatisfaction with life. And that foreign element just happens all too frequently to be the U.S.A.
Why? Because we’re bigger and appear to be strong enough to take the hit and keep on giving; and mostly because it redirects the energy of the base of people they want to control away from their own evil activities, and toward those who are two far away to be able to effect the political climate.
We can inject some cash into an economy, but ultimately, we can’t decide it’s course. It might be wise to observe another old maxim here. By their acts ye shall know them. Perhaps, if we stood back a bit, and observed the overall history of the region, going back several centuries, we might get a clue as to why we shouldn’t bother with them. They have a long standing tradition of destroying that which they have been given charge of. Perhaps, it isn’t just an individual problem, but one of culture and heritage.
The choices now are fewer. We can bring everyone home and Hope that they stay on their side of the pond (that didn’t work before) or we can take a more assertive stance and demand concessions for the aid and the commerce they get. We can back these demands up by building new oil refineries here, by opening up the availability of oil fields here, by increasing our own output of fossil fuels and other fuel sources here. We can let them know that we do not need them.
Will they still want to dance?
Let’s see how the chips fall out then.