Selective Outrage

I apologize. I don’t check my email that often, so I must have missed the memo about Ukraine being one of our oldest and most trusted allies. I confess that a month or so ago I couldn’t have found Ukraine on the map. Suddenly it’s somehow now in our national interest to pour (more) billions of dollars into this country and potentially risk another world war in Europe. I’m sure they’re lovely people (aside from that pesky actual Nazi problem they have). And it’s absolutely heart wrenching to see the apparent indiscriminate bombing and killing of civilians. War is awful. Period. Full stop.

But guess what campers, this isn’t the only active war currently going on. Let’s pick one like, hmmm, the Congo. The current hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have produced 4.5 million internally displaced persons, 800,000 refugees in other countries, and an estimated death toll of at least three million. Let me repeat that. THREE MILLION DEATHS. This is a country rich in natural resources, which we need. Our greatest real threat, China, is pulling out all stops to control those resources. And the United States does… [crickets chirping].

My point is that it’s odd what conflicts and crisis of the moment reach our attention span. Why is Ukraine any more or less important than the DRC? I don’t pretend to understand either conflict, and neither should you. I do not trust the narrative we’re being fed. Ukraine is a massively corrupt country full of coups, separatists factions, and a puppet regime installed by the United States. The US has been using Ukraine as a stick to keep poking Russia for years. Well… now you’ve woken up the bear. Maybe that’s what we wanted all along? I have no idea and I doubt you do either.

You should ask yourself some questions. Number one, why is paying for and solving this crisis a problem the US needs to manage? This is primarily a European issue. They’re the ones who are dependent on Russian energy supplies. The EU countries have massive GDP’s, economies, and have huge numbers of weapons, planes, and all types of fancy missiles and missile defense stuff. Our European allies need to be front and center in managing and paying for this crisis. If and when they need our help, we can be there. But the US does not need to be the worlds pocketbook and policeman. If you disagree, please explain why we need to take the lead in solving this?

Similar to the first question, why should the US taxpayers fund this war? You do realize we’re now thirty trillion dollars in debt, right? Our economy is poised to crater. There are literally no more checks in the checkbook. Every dollar we give to Ukraine and every weapon system we hand them, was first money we borrowed from China. WE DO NOT HAVE the 14 billion we just authorized to give to Ukraine. We have to borrow that money. Record setting inflation, gas prices, crumbling infrastructure, supply chain issues, and a 150,000 people a month streaming across our border. We have some issues. Please explain why spending billions to give to Ukraine is more important than any of those things? The best that I can tell, the EU has promised a whopping $450 million. Individually, EU countries are giving a smattering of weapons and other goods. If this was such a momentous issue on European soil, wouldn’t you think they’d have a bit more skin in the game? But why should they when they know we’ll pay for it.

As a side note, we give billions to the UN every year. Where are they? What actual purpose do they serve other than to write sternly worded letters? Perhaps we should divert our UN payments to Ukraine.

There are no good answers to any of this. This morning, Ukraine’s president Zelensky gave an impassioned speech to our congress. He invoked the memories of Pearl Harbor and 9/11. He received a standing ovation. I suspect out of fear of appearing to do nothing, our brave representatives will pour more money and aid to Ukraine, further provoking the conflict and increasing the potential of escalation. Do you really think Putin is going to say, “whoops, my bad. I’ll pull out.”? By further arming Ukraine, we’re forcing Putin to take more extreme measures. I fear we’re one mistake or misunderstanding away from another world conflict. Is that really what you want?

Look, I realize I’m sounding all Neville Chamberlain-ish this morning. But the US is not the superpower we once were. We’re broke, and that’s hard to admit. It’s time for US to step aside and let others shoulder the burden for a while. We shouldn’t let social media shame us into something that could rapidly get far worse than we can possibly imagine.

It’s hard to see human suffering. But I doubt any of you have been outraged at the war in the DRC. Why? Admit it, you couldn’t have found Ukraine on a map a month ago. Me either. And you certainly weren’t outraged at (or even know about) the 14,000 killed and 1.5 million people displaced in the Donbass region of Ukraine in 2014. There’s a lot of human suffering going on in the world at any given time and it’s awful to see. But just because CNN is breathlessly promoting this conflict 24×7 doesn’t mean we have to spring into action. It’s time for cooler heads to prevail and for us to sit this one out.

We have a massive economic war looming on the horizon with China. A war that will alter your standard of living. We may very well be wishing we had some of those billions we pissed away, trying to be the good guy, back.

One thought on “Selective Outrage”

  1. I think I can get my points across a little cleaner if I lean into the pages advertised PG-13 rating.

    I can tell you why I can’t give 2 fucks about a war in Congo. A it’s a “Civil” one and B, nobodies nuclear.

    Plus, I can tell you why a lot of outrage over Ukraine is not only good for your soul, but justified. Goes back to the Spongy Doctrine first formulated in the later half of the last century an still relevant today as it is a pretty accurate predictor of the level of outrage you should achieve over any human conflict.

    And its worded like this:
    “What you do in your own damn house is your own damn business. Break into mine or my neighbors house and I’ll take more than a passing interest. Ifin I like that neighbor I might make it an exceptional priority to send your bastardly ass strait to hell. Ifin its my house, that outcome absolutely rockets to the top of the list.”

    So, according to Spongy Doctrine, Congo, while more horrible cause “Civil” Wars usually are, isn’t even a blip on the threat board. End of the day its their house. Ukraine is getting broken into. Make no mistake, at best, AT BEST, Ukraine is an enemy of my enemy. Given how exceptional an enemy it is, we can notch the outrage up a couple of pegs.

    As far as the whole Nazi thing goes, well its simple. I saw Oliver Stone did a puff piece on Putin awhile back and a mocumentary on Ukraine, “Ukraine on Fire”. That’s what makes it so simple. Because the first corollary of the Spongy Doctrine? Whatever side Stone is on, take the other one and you’ll be right most times.

    As for us always writing the check, those weren’t our jets Poland wants to donate. Soviets paid for ’em last I checked. Defense spending is now up all over NATO and even Germany is going north of their commitment. Read they want to buy F-35s.

    But did you catch the part where Bill Maher actually said something sane? “OK, but if Putin thought Trump was really that supportive of him, why didn’t he invade when Trump was in office?” Maher reacted. “It’s at least worth asking that question if you’re not locked into one intransigent thought.”

    That’s been happening more of late and its downright unsettling.

    Liked by 1 person

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