Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Panda Bear on the Lure of Helping Foreign Countries

The Panda Bear wants to apologize to her readers.   She finds it hard to stick to her schedule of blog topics.   The Panda Bear believes that  blog entries should be short and that when people are reading blogs they generally want limited pieces of information.   Therefore, she needs to break up her longer topics.   However, during the course of the week new events come up that the Panda Bear wishes to discuss on her blog.   Therefore, she has been obliged to postpone further examination of some topics.   However, the Panda Bear does plan to continue to post about school bullying and the pleasures(ahem!!) of home chores.   She also plans to start doing short pieces of creative writing.

However, today the Panda Bear wishes to discuss her hypothesis that it is very easy for US presidents to get seduced into the helping foreign countries and/or conducting foreign wars that are not in the best interests for the US.   Political theorists from the Ancient Greeks to the moderns often has stated that heads of government like to go to war because it can distract the population from problems at home.   The Panda Bear is not accusing Obama deliberately increasing the US war effort to distract Americans from domestic issues but he may on some unconscious level feel that is easier to deal with the Middle East than the bad US economy(Also, the Panda Bear remembers the economic  theory that was popular in the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties that war was good for the economy).

Actually, the Panda Bear thinks when historians examine the motivations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson for the Vietnam War, George Bush for the nation building in Iraq and Obama for expanding military assistance to  Libya, they might find them to be benevolent even if they were misguided and of questionable value to US interests.   The Panda Bear believes that US presidents find something appealing  and alluring in helping foreign countries.

This behavior is most notable in foreign aid much of which gets stolen.   Herbert Hoover was known as being an outstanding humanitarian abroad but indifferent to Americans suffering during the depression.   What made Herbert Hoover famous was that before he was president, he helped Russians who were starving after the Russian revolution.   However, he appears to have been indifferent to helping Americans who were hungry because of the Great Depression.   The Panda Bear remembers a similar double under George H. Bush.  George H. Bush was all for helping starving Somalis but he also believed it hurt the US fiscally to help Americans hurt by the 1992 recession.

The Panda Bear believes that recent presidents of both political parties have recently been guilty of this double standard-it is good to help foreign countries but too difficult to help Americans in need.   Why is there the discrepancy?   One reason is that helping foreigners does not threaten the American  internal power structure.   When  US leaders help foreign countries in need, the Panda Bear believes that leaders feel like benevolent monarchs helping  the highly appreciative populace, while helping people in their own country means stepping on the toes of some its citizenry.

Therefore, the Panda Bear thinks that common people need to be wary when their leaders want to help foreign countries.   She thinks leaders can easily can get a certain high from help foreign countries that they don't from helping their own people.

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