If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Saturday 19 January 2013
I love to go to Washington – if only to be near my money.
Bob Hope (29 May 1903 – 27 Jul 2003)
This once very funny and very popular comedian probably would not say anything like that these days – or, if he did, would he be in for the surprise of his life! If the man wanted to be near his money, he’d better go not to Washington but to the grotesquely misnamed Democratic Republic of the Congo or to Afghanistan or to Egypt or … . Of course, even in these exotic venues he probably wouldn’t be so near to his money, since most of it will have ‘been disappeared’ into Mediterranean real estate or Swiss banks as soon as it made intended — and only brief, initial — land fall.
I’ve touched elsewhere (here, here, and here) on the topic of the West’s (incl. America’s!) massive give-away programs to the world’s thugs in order to … well, now there’s a hard one to finish with any precision or hope of accuracy in reporting. Yes, in order to … in order to what?
Take the case of that Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.). It is a country in central Africa fabulously wealthy in terms of its natural resources, but – as our own government admits – a country that “faces challenges that include the destabilizing presence of armed groups in eastern D.R.C., rampant corruption, inadequate infrastructure and human resources, and a limited capacity to raise and manage revenues.” In the vernacular: it’s a total basket case. At the same time Washington “is the largest donor to the United Nations stabilization mission in the D.R.C.” One can only imagine — rather, guess wildly — how many of the actual tax dollars already (more shortly to come by mid-April!) filched from my pockets and filtered through the D.C. bureaucracies to get to the U.N. bureaucracies to get to the D.C.R. bureaucracies actually make it – and then what happens to that fractional sum arriving in the Congo to be used for “stabilization mission in the D.R.C.” I wonder if it’s possible for me to get some kind of accounting for the journey those dollars took from my pocket – probably not: I mean, why should I get access to such information? After all, all I did was provide the money, and it’s so much less complicated if I just let my betters in D.C. and D.C.R. and at the U.N. decide what to do with my money. They’re on the scene and can “assess the situation” much better than I. They obviously have everything under control, busy as they all are at supporting “the security conditions and governance structures necessary for improvement of Congolese social and economic sectors and to permit extension of state authority across the country. U.S. assistance in the D.R.C. seeks to bolster peace and stability, particularly in eastern D.R.C.; protect civilians; strengthen governance institutions and the rule of law; increase food security, agricultural productivity, and access to credit; and support economic recovery, growth, and the provision of basic social services, including access to quality health care and education.”
It’s no wonder they need my money – and yours! The D.C.R. is among the top 25 recipients worldwide of U.S. “foreign aid” (including military expenditures) … in the amount of almost 400 million dollars (in 2012 = U.S.$ 388,900,000). And U.S. $388,900,000 really isn’t that much in the larger scheme of things – we give almost five times as much to the Brothers in the Hood in Egypt, over seven times as much to Israel, and some thirty times as much to Afghanistan. But, still, considering that – for example — the state of Illinois alone has a massive shortfall in its public pension liabilities, I think the United States should rather give all that money that we dribble away in the Congo to the incompetents in Illinois than to the crooks in Kinshasa. Or maybe help New York City pay for the “ … at Least $154 Million in Overtime” that its response to Hurricane Sandy has cost it.
But what do I know?
Well, come to think of it, I do know a couple of things:
1) I know that I still don’t know in any sense of that word what the true point of these massive bribery operations is with my money I’d rather see spent here in America.
2) I know Bob Hope must be turning over in his grave!