American Interventions

What about American interventions in troubled countries where the perception is that we can influence the outcome to be favorable to the United States?  I think it is useful to look at examples of when we tried to do this, and accurately see just what actually happened — to see whether such interventions were in fact in the best interest of the United States, not of the country we tried to intervene in but of our own country, the benefit to it.

Vietnam comes to mind. Nearly 60k dead Americans and an untold number of wounded Americans.  Perhaps a million dead Vietnamese.  And the hyper inflation of the 70s.  Not much benefit for the US there.

Iraq — not so many American casualties but a very large number of Americans with very serious wounds.  Perhaps a half million Iraqis dead.  But then the creation of an internal civil war between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq that spilled over into Syria and destabilized that country.  Ultimately an Iraq that is now firmly under the sphere of influence of Iran — one of our adversaries.  Not much benefit for the US there.

Afghanistan – the longest war in American history and more or less now a permanent civil war with the Taliban (who by the way never attacked us), and so an endless drain on our treasury.  Not much benefit there either.

So where have been the benefits to the United States?  What has the United States actually gained from these types of interventions?  I only see LOSS, and not small losses either but big ones.

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Stoned

Was following the post on Facebook of a woman who came down with kidney stones. So I’ve been been reading about what causes them and the various types of kidney stones, with each type having a somewhat different origin.

Something that jumped out at me was water — how critical being hydrated is to avoid kidney stones; and the related cause of having too much salt in one’s diet because salt can cause dehydration.  She blamed a plant-based diet and specifically the oxalates from spinach for causing the kidney stones, but I wonder if the real cause of her problem was the amount of salt in her diet.  

From what I read, there is no need to add any salt to what we eat, as the food itself already contains within it enough salt for adequate human consumption (the human body does need some salt, but a very small amount).  Yet you see these cooking shows on TV where the chef adds salt to everything without a second thought — mindlessly.  

No doubt, this kind of thing is a prime cause for kidney stones for those who eat food prepared this way.  Best not to add salt to anything (what a huge change for people accustomed to always add that pinch of salt for taste!), and make it a habit to buy the “unsalted” version of whatever you get from the supermarket.  Otherwise, you may find yourself enduring those terrible pains.  And drink plenty of water — you don’t want to get stoned, do you?

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The Ugly American — All Over Again

Not sure the administration’s open hostility to the government in Venezuela is such a smart policy.  To the rest of the world, it smacks of more American imperialism. Not that I endorse the current Venezuelan government there, but they were elected.  Remember democracy?  That’s what we are supposed to stand for.

Instead, the US is using a tight embargo to make the country’s already fragile economic condition that much worse, and basically backing a coup by endorsing the legitimacy of this opposition leader.  They have given him access to the Venezuelan funds here in the US, even though he has never been elected.  How is this anything but a hostile and undemocratic overthrow of the government of another country?  The “ugly American” all over again.

Rather than an embargo, what would have been a refreshing change in policy if the US had simply sent foodstuffs and supplies to a population on the edge of widespread starvation — foodstuffs with no strings attached and no ulterior motive.   We do this kind of humanitarianism in foreign affairs very well, and much better than blundering imperialism.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the US, for a change, to do something with a high moral purpose, as in staving off starvation — simply because it is the right thing to do…because we will not tolerate starvation in the Western Hemisphere.  Period.

And here’s a new flash to the State Department: Venezuela is not our country to do with what we will because we can.  Leave their politics to the Venezuelans.  It’s not our friggin’ business.

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Extremism

We have seen how the Left in the US now has Antifa thugs, while there have been right-wing thugs around for decades.  But more than that, the political rhetoric and extremism on both the Left and the Right have dialed up considerably in the last 3 years, and, if anything, the media has abetted, if not stoked, this combustion.

Which raises the question, could there be another civil war breaking out in the US, that is, with a widespread breakdown of law and order, perhaps even with breakaway states like sanctuary California declaring their independence?

Could the whole enchilada come apart?

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