Foreign Potpourri, June 1999

We’ll start with China and computers. After the Cox Commission report said all those nasty things about China and how it stole secrets and spied until the cows came home, what does the U.S. do? It says, here China, have some more high-powered computers. Rep. Cox does a turn around himself and now condones the sale of these super computers. Does our government know what its doing?

Money, that’s what its all about. Our government has decided that super computers are available for sale from other countries, so let’s sell them to our enemies anyway. Is China our enemy? I think so, and so do a lot of other people. Why? Because they can’t be trusted. They’re not on the same wavelength (translate: different ideology) and our cultures are so far apart that each country doesn’t have a clue as to what the other is thinking or feeling – that means they’re ripe for miscommunication. Big problems develop. Time to be super cautious.

Also, you’ll notice that our government makes its decisions on strictly monetary considerations. What about ethics? Zip! China steals, China is untrustworthy, but let’s make sure we sell them our computers so we can beat other countries in the trade war.

U.S. foreign policy is nothing more than trade considerations and agreements – keeping big business happy. Well, I overstated that. Occasionally, the U.S. government likes to throw in human rights, especially with the Chinese.

Détente mavens and foreign policy experts will think this view simplistic. They say we should keep up a dialogue with our enemies; anything’s better than fighting. I say, by all means, chat away. Let’s have cultural exchange and all that. But when it comes to trade, there’s a million and one things we could be selling the Chinese: fruit, vegetables, cars and trucks are fine with me. It’s the technology sales that stick in my throat.

Russians & Yugoslavia: The Russians supported that Serbian butcher Milosevic from the get-go. Then they gummed up the works with the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo. They proved once again that no matter how much we try to get along, we’ll always be on opposite sides of the coin.

Japan and Porpoises: Leave the poor creatures alone and leave the whales alone too. Now the Japanese are trying to wipe out an entire species of porpoise. They refuse to answer to the International Whaling Commission or any other entity regarding the slaughter of these highly intelligent mammals. Hey, Japan where’s the honor in that?

Poor Nations Debt: Leaders of the seven most industrialized nations agreed to forgive about $70-billion dollars worth of debt owed by the world’s poorest nations. Sure they want something back for it, like having the poor guys use the money saved to promote social programs for their populace.

Okay. But top on my list would be birth control so one out of every two kids doesn’t drop dead from starvation and disease the way they do now and secondly, I’d like to know how those seven industrialized nations are going to stop the corrupt and inept governments from continuing on the same course that lead them into the debt in the first place.

The third point is how come the American government is always so quick to forgive everyone else’s debt including its own national debt, but takes away the ability of its citizens to claim deductions for credit card debts among other things?

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