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Commentary :: Education : Human Rights : Politics
The Children
16 Oct 2012
Man, they go on and on don't they? Politicians work so hard to convince us that if we elect the other guy disaster will befall us. They tell us if we take that step in the voting booth we as a nation are doomed beyond recovery. We will turn into 'this kind of nation' or 'that kind of nation,' and never have the opportunity to turn things around. It will essentially be over for us - that's what they try to convince us will happen.
"Can you sit back and watch that happen to the nation you love?" "Do you really want to become like this nation or that nation?" "Your future depends on the vote you cast this year. (Paid for by aardvarks for such and such)" At the end of each of these apocalyptic in tone commercials it's almost always, "I'm such and such and I support this message."

In everything we've seen over the last two administrations, with the only two parties we are allowed to really vote on or have decent equal access to in terms of hearing their stances, positions and propositions, we have not seen much difference outside of the talk. In fact, it never seems as though that's really the way it is supposed to be. In the end, the policies flow towards helping wealthy corporations become more so, ordinary citizen be damned.

We watched the attempted prolonging of the Iraq War by the president that railed against it. The man of "hope and change" became the man of "hey, what's a little more war, huh?" We watched the attempted prolonging of the War in Afghanistan after the goal of hunting down Bin Laden was successfully accomplished. The man of hope and change became the "we will support you indefinitely" man.

Iraq has oil, and, just like many other nations in the Middle East, the more of our troops that are there, the more pressure it puts on the respective governments to acquiesce to the will of our nation's wealthy corporate interests. Even though we have technically pulled out, we have a huge contingent of defense contractors there, in place of the troops that the president was unsuccessful at negotiating terms with the Iraqi government for an extended stay. There are of course still troops there as a part of our diplomatic mission along with the private security, and our Embassy in Iraq is larger than we have in any other nation. It is the size of the Vatican and is estimated to cost a whopping $6 billion a year. As the Huffington Post points out, "While $6 billion a year might not seem like much compared to the estimated $806 billion in direct appropriations spent on the Iraq war and reconstruction thus far, that is still an enormous amount of money. Consider, for instance, that the State Department's total operating budget [for 2011] is about $14 billion." (

In Afghanistan it's something less well known to us everyday folks (though most of us use it everyday). However, it is well known in terms of it's value to certain wealthy interests. A leaked internal memo from the Pentagon put this into context. As the New york Times revealed in 2010 , "The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

"The previously unknown deposits - including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium - are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

"An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the 'Saudi Arabia of lithium,' a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys." (

Bush sent us in, Obama has found ways to keep us there and Romney wishes we spent even greater amounts of taxpayer dollars on this stuff. But who benefits from all this spending of taxpayer dollars? Have we really benefitted from all the bases in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Empire and end of the Bosnian War? Those guns all around the world keep the people in nations where wealthy American corporations have oil, minerals and other natural resources and/or cheap labor, afraid. It keeps the warlords and gangsters from muscling in.

There are those that might say, "great! Americans are protected." Really? How do we benefit by having the factories that used to be here there? We are actually paying for the protection of those foreign workers in foreign nation that now have what used to be our jobs!!! How is that beneficial to us? They don't hire Americans to work the oil fields in those countries. They get the cheapest labor possible. The same is true for those mines. They aren't shipping men and women experienced in mining from West Virginia to Saudi Arabia, they're shipping in folks from Nepal and Bangladesh.

Now they have every right to do that, right? Free market and all. But why do we have to pay for their protection? That's meddling in the free market system. That's government interference right? Do those big corporations actually want more government interference? Maybe when it takes from the little guy to pay the big guy's bill, right?

I mean George W Bush's administration brought us TARP and Mitt Romney supported it. Barack Obama said when campaigning in 2008 he would bring a jobs program like the WPA when he instituted a stimulus, but where was it? Where were the jobs just for us? Sure he bailed out the auto industry, but that also took care of investors and wealthy executives, etc - the donors. When there was no benefit to anyone but the middle class or lower income Americans it was, "meh."

Same goes for the spending on the future of our nation, the children. Our nation was once at the top of the list with respect to other countries around the world when it came to how our children comparatively fared, academically. Now we're at the bottom. While we increase the amount we spend on jails, wars and making sure wealthy corporations get more wealthy, whether they are contributing taxes themselves or not or hiring many Americans or not, our kids are treated to poorer standards in education without Washington D.C.'s politicians really caring at all. We won more olympic medals than any other country, but are behind Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, France and Hungary in terms of the percent of children that graduate high school. ( ( George W Bush, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney don't have to worry about their kid's educations. They don't sit in mold filled rooms, deal with overcrowding, fret over a lack of proper security or lack of funds.

Meanwhile in Bosnia, Columbia and Afghanistan employees of a US military defense corporation have raped and molested child sex slaves. These were the times they got caught. Yet, president Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all said nothing. Further, they have done nothing. This same company maintains it's contracts with us all over the world despite its culture of child rape. Is this what these supposedly compassionate people really do when faced with such issues? Despite a supposed zero tolerance policy they have continued to tolerate it. There are other contractors that could do the work this company does, yet they refuse to stop spending our money on them. Political campaign contributions maybe? (

There's nothing zero tolerance about that policy. It can be overlooked for a sum … and considering it's a contractor that gets its $3 billion annually from the US government exclusively, I suppose that makes the campaign contributions received all the more sweet to those politicians. Shades of green seems to be the primary colors of importance there, innocence of children be damned. I mean it's not like they're American kids right? So what if in some cases wars we were involved in made them orphans in the first place?

Our dollars spent on propping up the lifestyles of child molesters there, while children suffer here. Raping kids is okay there, while cheating kids out of an education is bearable here. Kids run home from school here trying to avoid bullets, pimps, drug dealers and gangs, while their parents' taxes support child rape there. That's not gotcha politics, that's as real as it gets. Mitt Romney has not said a word, but has chosen instead to remain quiet and slump backed on the issue. A real man of religion that one. That moral fiber really shining through.

In the meantime, children suffer both here and there in our underfunded system here, so that children can suffer in that overfunded system there.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to
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