In light of the Republican candidates' debate last night regarding foreign policy, I thought I'd switch gears off economics for today and towards foreign policy. I figured I'd explain how US foreign policy as a whole is really very easy to understand. In fact all you need to do is have gone through grade school at some point in your life. This is because as I'll explain, the US is really just a troubled teenager on the playground that is our planet.
You see many years ago as a small child the United States was abused by their step father (England). One day they decided they'd had enough, found his gun in the box in his closet, and scared him off. America felt great about this, and learning that there was strength in their unity, dedicated themselves to forming the most perfect union of people in history. This is where our troubled boy learns about violence and finds his own strength.
Before long however, the U.S. figured out that the great feeling they had, was more about beating someone up than it was about founding freedom. The freedom was great, but dominating people felt even better to America. Fortunately, they had an entire race to almost completely exterminate in the Native Americans, so settlers went to work at their own version of genocide, driving the natives to small reservations and wiping out most of the population. This was the stage of the troubled boy terrorizing small neighborhood animals. Lighting cats on fire, etc. When the natives weren't enough, Americans shipped in slaves. This is like the boy cruising craig's list for free cats of his own to light on fire.
As America grew, he works to find himself, to figure out who he is. The Civil War happens, the labor movement and women's suffrage, and America begins to meet their neighbors, and make new friends at school, on the playground of planet Earth. They made friends, and they made enemies, but they soon grew bored, and entertained themselves by nearly wiping the Filipino race from the planet, ravaging the Phillipines at the turn of the century. You see, at some point that young boy figures out he's bigger than the other kids on the playground. He thinks "maybe it would be more fun than picking on small animals, to pick on other kids" and he tests out his war machine on the smallest kid he knows.
Over the next 60 years or so, America involved himself in every fight he could find on the playground. Two royal rumble "World Wars", fights against the Koreans and Vietnamese-no matter how ill advised-and generally establishing his place on the playground. He goes through this through about the sixth grade, and then he's off to a middle school for 7th and 8th graders before high school. At his new school are many of his old acquaintances, but there are new people as well. One of those new people is another kid almost as big as America-Russia. The two biggest kids on the playground finally meet.
For several decades the two bullies roamed the school, aware of each other's presence and occasionally passing in the hallways, but primarily doing their work against each other in a covert manner. For this to work America learned they needed friends, and so they found them, in kids like Israel, England, and France. They made friends much more rapidly than Russia, who was a kid that was large and tough-but not very personable, and from the "wrong side of the tracks". The few friends Russia could find were from the same family, the large and sometimes considered crazy "Stan" family.
Eventually the two bullies meet, have a brief fight, and America wins. In truth, Russia's bad habits have essentially destroyed him prior to the fight (he was drunk on vodka when he showed up, so that didn't help either) but a win is a win, and Russia collapses. His friends and helpers suffer as well, as America learns about keeping a country down without declaring war. They perfect this new method of fighting, demolishing a kid by passing rumors about their mother, stealing from their house, and making sure you have plenty of alibi's available when people want to know where you were at the moment of the crime. As they perfect this new method, they turn it on the coke dealers from the neighborhood of "the Middle East".
For a long time America has been hooked on this brand of cocaine known as "oil". It thrives on the drug, and the drug lords in the Middle East sell it at outrageous prices, yet have very little defense against a kid like America, who could easily strike the rich dealers down should it choose to. America picks the least extreme (and richest) of the three dealers-Saudi Arabia-to be friends with, and only occasionally does business with the other dealers-Iraq and Iran. You see America has a dream of building his own pipeline of cocaine. It's found naturally in several parts of him-Texas and Alaska primarily-so his hopes are not a pipedream, so he dreams about his own pipeline.
Throughout the years the US makes significant progress from it's days in Panama/Nicaragua, or the Platt Amendment in Cuba. While what they do today is based on actions like those-taken more than 100 years ago-it's even more perfect, even more "blameless" and cloaked in even more bullshit. You see today America wanders through the hallways of the school looking for kids with stuff in their locker that they want. America has an in with the principal these days (NATO-they pay for him) and so they know they can get away with what they want. They act under the cloak of "spreading democracy", threatening other kids with their previous acts, breaking them down mentally and rebuilding them in America's mold-as America's convert, their submissive. You may think this is hard to swallow, but I'd advise you to Google "Platt Amendment" before you berate me. Then go ahead and berate away, lol.
The US currently wanders the playground of the world with a figurative pack of gum in one hand and a long stick in the other. They hand out sticks of gum to kids willing to be their friends, and hit the others with the stick until they want to be like us. The problem is-we're running out of gum. For years we've been borrowing money from this new kid (China) to buy more gum, to make sure we keep the friends we already have because they can barely stand us, they're just in it for the gum at this point. What happens when we run out of gum and the new kid doesn't want to lend us any more money? This is how simple our foreign policy is these days. I look forward to your thoughts.