ISIS Is Gaining Ground While Obama Is Punting

By Sal Bommarito

It’s official. ISIS is a dangerous force in the Middle East that could transport terrorism to the American homeland.

Already ISIS has turned Syria and Iraq into a gigantic cross border battlefield. The radical Sunni-dominated group has dogged President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria and captured vast stretches of territory. It is entirely possible that Iran and the U.S. have the same objective- to eliminate ISIS. Imagine that, Iran and the U.S. fighting the same enemy.

In Iraq, the situation is equally threatening. ISIS has rekindled the nationalistic fervor of the Sunnis who were disenfranchised after the defeat of Saddam Hussein by the Shiite majority in Iraq. It should not be surprising to anyone who follows events in the region that Shiites sought revenge for years of oppression by Saddam and his Sunni supporters and instituted their own form of oppression directed at their former oppressors. The pendulum is now swinging back to the Sunnis, many of whom are backing ISIS’s incursion into the northern part of the country.

As Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) eloquently indicated in their op-ed today in the New York Times, the U.S. must stop “dithering” and “confront ISIS.” President Obama’s announcement earlier in the week that he was not ready to take action against ISIS was very damaging for three reasons. First, the president told the enemy that he has yet to formulate a plan against it. Second, ISIS is becoming stronger and obtaining additional weapons and recruits. Third, the odds of ISIS staging an attack against the West with U.S. and British passport-carrying terrorists are growing every day.

The ambivalence of our Commander-In-Chief regarding ISIS has every American scratching their head. Why can’t our president conceive a strategy to respond to ISIS aggression? The president cannot use partisanship obstruction in this case as McCain and Graham have written that Obama would receive support for military action against ISIS if he presented a well thought out plan. So, it is possible for our president and Congress to get something done in partnership, and for Obama to create some sort of positive legacy for himself.

 

 

Obama Is Unavailable, He’s On The Golf Course

By Sal Bommarito

Has our president checked out? The man was crucified after rushing out of a press conference (about the beheading of James Foley) to make a tee time. Ignoring the avalanche of bad press about spending too much time with his buddies, instead of acting like the leader of the free world, he played golf the next day as well. Clearly, no one is going to deny Obama his next 18 holes.

 

The president has little interest in the plethora of pressing issues throughout the world and within his own country. He eschews conversation about race relations, the IRS scandal (we now know officials lied to Congress), Syria, Iraq, ISIS and Palestine for global warming. The world is seemingly under assault by evildoers, and Obama wants to study polar icecaps.

 

Fatigue may be what every president experiences in his last two years. Being a lame duck leader with a hostile Congress is not fun. But, somebody’s got to run the operation. If you are President of the United States you really should not delegate management of the country to others. Rumor has it that Valerie Jarrett, the president’s principal adviser, is now the most powerful person in the world.

 

The president has ignored ISIS, the latest incarnation of radical Islamic aggression. Defense Secretary Hagel has told us that the group is a clear and present danger to the Middle East and to the U.S. ISIS has tactical military capabilities and a ton of funding from rich Arabs in the region and from pilfering oil and materiel in Syria and Iraq. Does anybody think ISIS is strong enough to repel 24-hour bomb sorties? The Iraq military under Saddam Hussein was crushed in days. The U.S. should initiate bombing immediately.

 

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is out of control. We need to be supportive of Prime Minister Netanyahu, but even he needs to be reined in from time to time. The combatants cannot piece together a multi-day cease-fire. Isn’t that what the U.S. is supposed to do? Shouldn’t we be insisting that the warring factions stop fighting and start negotiating? Where is the leadership?

 

Ever since the Middle East and Ferguson, Missouri have flared up, not a word can be seen in the press about immigration. In the meantime, illegals are streaming into our country inflaming an already outrageous situation. Ten million plus immigrants have entered the country already, yet our government has not done a damn thing to stop it. The U.S. has become an open door country. We now effectively accept any one from any country because if you cannot get in legally, you can just stroll across the border. We sent over 200,00 troops to Iraq to defend (unsuccessfully) its democracy, yet we do not protect our own borders from assault. Bring soldiers home and send them to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

 

And what about Ferguson? Well, Al Sharpton is running that circus. The man is a civil rights ambulance chaser and self-promoter. He has been accused of a number of inappropriate activities over the years. But most of all, he thrives on controversy surrounding African Americans. Without discontent, Sharpton would be out of work. He is not the man the administration should depend upon to help the black community solve problems relating to poverty and unemployment. Nevertheless, Sharpton is effectively a member of the Obama cabinet based upon recent reports in the news.

 

If the president cannot take the heat, if he just wants to play golf, he should step down.

 

 

Al Sharpton: Messiah Or Self-Promoter?

By Sal Bommarito

Recent incidents resulting in the deaths of young African American men are a reminder that police tactics need to be constantly reevaluated to ensure that the civil rights of suspects are respected. Additionally, these events have elevated racial issues to the highest level- consider the active involvement of President Obama and Attorney General Holder. We must change things to allay the concerns of the black community.

 

But African Americans have a responsibility, especially their leaders. For one thing, change is best made peacefully with a minimal amount of animosity. Poverty, unemployment, disenfranchisement and unhappiness in urban centers greatly influence the behavior of city dwellers, which are predominately black. The federal government should work diligently to rectify these conditions.

 

The death of one man is a dreadful tragedy. It has not been difficult to appreciate the extent to which this occurrence has affected the black community. We have been witnessing it non-stop for several weeks in the media, which has been prodded by the likes of the Reverend Al Sharpton. People like Sharpton are the religious versions of ambulance chasers. He hears of a white on black incident and rushes to the scene and to offer his services assuming the worst. Given his clout, the Reverend, and his people, would be better served spending more time addressing the issues mentioned above, which would help all blacks.

 

Sharpton is a self-promoter. He is often retained when an African American has been wronged by a white person or by the establishment. Click here to see a list of projects Sharpton has worked on over the years. Some of these situations were legitimate and some were not. In all of his adventures, he was able to embed himself into a tragedy and serve as the mouthpiece for the victims. But, are Sharpton’s actions empathetic, or just an opportunity to get in front of the media and build his reputation?

 

There are better alternatives for a troubled black family than retaining Sharpton. Some will say that the establishment abhors the man, so he must be doing a good job. Not necessarily. Sharpton certainly knows how to stir the pot, but are his black clients better off after he moves on to the next crisis? We know his celebrity is on the rise; he now has a program on MSNBC where he regularly interviews people he represents- a clear conflict in the minds of many journalists.

 

Sharpton is “working both sides of the street, and it’s paying off for him”- from the conservative Fox Network. In other words, “[you] can’t be a player and cover the game at the same time.”

 

To his credit, the Reverend lectured the black community about some of its social problems in his eulogy of Brown. But, he saved his most animated and inflammatory comments for the police and the establishment.

 

A lot of negotiation and soul-searching must take place before African Americans receive what they rightly deserve. But, these talks need to take place between men and women of peace and great wisdom, people like Dr. King and President Kennedy. It is understandable why the current negotiators have not been making progress in recent months.

 

Ferguson: In An Imperfect World

By Sal Bommarito

In a perfect world, there would be no racial tension and our police force would never use excess force. But, our world is far from perfect.

 

In recent days, two young black men died tragically while being arrested. These incidents unleashed a wave of protest from the African American community that is convinced that police treat them abusively. Social activists around the country have declared war on police departments, however, all of the facts in these situations have not yet been revealed.

 

A 2012 Department of Justice study of juvenile delinquency indicates that black youths commit more crimes per capita than white youths by a wide margin. This is not new information. Yet, activists turn away from the realities and duress of urban life and their impact on black behavior. Rather, they chose to focus on police abuses, not the societal issues that cause some black youths to misbehave. Whenever a tragedy involving a black child and a white cop occurs, the rebel-rousers are on the scene. They do not give equal time to the reasons for discontent and violence.

 

There is no excuse for aggressive police action unless violence is inevitable. Protests that include arson, looting and shooting by out of control crowds are not the type of responses that will help the African American community in their efforts to improve their lives.

 

High crime areas generally are rife with broken homes, poverty, unemployment, poor education and boredom. Perhaps, African American spokespeople should focus more on these social and economic realities rather than on one off incidents that involve the police, as sad as each one of them is.

 

Police departments make poor decisions that infuriate the African American community and should be taken to task. Stop and frisk decreases crime, but the civil liberties implications of this tactic are overwhelming, and so stop and frisk has been watered down or halted in most places, a major victory for African Americans in their minds.

 

Police departments should not be 90% white in cities and towns that are 90% black. And, every police officer should be trained in the use of appropriate force and the rights of suspects. When behavior is in violation of the rules, police officials should pay a price. Training has been increased in place like New York City, another victory for African Americans.

 

Unfortunately, provocateurs created a dangerous environment in Ferguson. Across the nation, a large number of citizens (African Americans) believe that they are at odds with a group (the police) that is supposed to protect them. Every day, honest cops risk their lives and do a great job all things considered. The least accusers should do is to give investigators a chance to collect all the facts before demanding someone’s head on a stick.

 

None of involved parties distinguished themselves in the Ferguson tragedy. The Governor of Missouri rushed to judgment, while the Lieutenant Governor criticized his boss (they belong to different political parties). The police suited up for an all out war and used tear gas and rubber bullets, reminiscent of 1960s overreaction by police. The media aired confrontations between the police and the rioting crowds regularly on TV and in the newspapers. Some protesters looted stores and set fires in their own neighborhood.

 

In a perfect world, local, state and federal investigators would collect information rapidly and inform the public of their findings soon after.

 

In a perfect world, the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would stay away from Ferguson; their presence and rhetoric often times incite the disgruntled to act violently.

 

In a perfect world, the media would limit the coverage of violence and not make editorial comments, which inspire rioting.

 

In a perfect world, every American would be treated fairly including African Americans and police officers.

 

In a perfect world, we would no longer have racial tension in America.

 

 

 

An American Beheading Or Golf?

By Sal Bommarito

The New York Times published an article today titled “A Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Incongruity Fuels Critics.” I wonder how long it took to come up with this title.

 

The Times went through the motions of recognizing the president’s behavior for what it was- totally un-presidential and insulting to the family of James Foley. The president made heartfelt comments about the beheading of the American journalist, and then sprinted off to the golf course and yucked it up with his buddies.

 

In contrast, Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain cancelled his vacation “because the accent of the masked killer suggested he came from Britain.” And, in 2003, George W. Bush gave up golf for the balance of his tenure because the Iraq war was raging at the time.

 

The Times is playing the role of apologist for Barack Obama as it has been doing during his entire presidency. But, this time even the Times recognized that the president was being insensitive.

 

In this regard, the story goes into all of the mental health and emotional aspects of being president, as if Americans do not understand how difficult it is to lead the free world. But, the point that needs to be made is that no president should engage himself in golf or any public sport on the heels of such a horrifying terrorist incident. Obama supporters are going to respond that every president needs down time because the job is so stressful. This is true, but Obama needs to be more careful about the timing of his actions. Maybe waiting a day before heading out to the links would have made more sense.

 

This president has an air of superiority that is raking on Americans and foreigners alike. His condescending rhetoric and insistence that he can make every decision for every American and for the entire world without conferring with others is causing Democrats, Republicans and other heads of state to become uncomfortable.

 

The administration took the opportunity to announce shortly after this story broke that it had sent troops into Syria to rescue Foley and other Americans being held hostage. The mission was not successful, as the hostages were not where intelligence indicated they would be.

 

Why was this announcement important? A cynic might think that public reaction to the beheading was so strong that the administration felt it needed to announce that it tried to save Foley. This sounds like a cover your rear move by Obama and company. And, why would the U.S. give any details about a  rescue operation anyway? The mission should have been kept confidential. Why admit to failure to the whole world and to our enemies?

 

It is becoming more difficult to justify the actions, or inaction, of this administration. The president stayed out of the Syrian conflict for the most part, emboldening a new terrorist menace, ISIS. ISIs is now threatening Syria, Iraq and even the U.S. according to some experts. Is it the next Al Qaeda, planning an attack on American soil?

 

The U.S. is responding meekly in Iraq. The amount of force employed to save the Kurds has been lacking. Much more intensive airstrikes should be utilized, if in fact we will not send troops.

 

In Israel, the administration is moving towards the Palestinian perspective. Sure, popular opinion is backing the oppressed Palestinian citizens, but Hamas is the real evildoer. It is launching rockets at a furious pace at Israel, our most important ally in the region. Obama should be supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu as he fights to preserve the existence of Israel.

 

The president should respond to the beheading of James Foley with great force, as I indicated in my op-ed  yesterday. It’s time America started leading, something only possible with the use of force in the Middle East.

 

 

James Foley’s Beheading: Less Rhetoric And More Action Agaisnt Terrorism

By Sal Bommarito

America has reached a seminal moment in its dealings with Islamic radicals. These terrorists are now stronger than ever throughout the world, and confrontation is inevitable. Our government must develop protocols for how it responds to acts of violence directed at America, its citizens and its allies.

 

The Arab Spring has in effect given extreme groups an opportunity to gain political power and exposure very quickly. The immediate impact has been a significant rise in violence and greater recruitment of terrorists. This phenomenon is prevalent in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Palestine; these countries are experiencing significant distress in which Islamic extremists are playing major roles.

 

The  problems within these countries are exacerbated by insurgency, Shiite provocateurs from Iran and its allies are disrupting Sunni led governments, and Sunni troublemakers from Saudi Arabia are making it difficult for Shiite leaders. One needs a scorecard to keep track of all the players.

 

But, radical Islamic groups are increasing the stakes by wantonly attacking innocent westerners in the region. James Foley, an American journalist, is the latest casualty. Radical elements beheaded him, allegedly because of American military action in Iraq, as the U.S. protects Iraqi Kurds. The purpose of the atrocity is clear; the terrorists want to infuriate the American government and frighten our citizens. These types of crimes against humanity should lead to extreme and deadly responses from the West.

 

Many people are dying unnecessarily in the Middle East; Foley is only one person. Yet, his execution has deep meaning and should be responded to, not with platitudes and marshmallow rhetoric without teeth. America should react aggressively with force to send a message that we will not cower from disgusting acts of cruelty and murder. President Obama’s comments and his response to this point have been inadequate. Significant military action is necessary.

 

The Israeli government has historically responded to violence against its homeland and citizens with even greater violence. This is the only language that terrorists and criminals understand. The fury with which we respond should be multiples of the crimes committed.

 

Ordinary citizens are not privy to the precise military and political circumstances in the Middle East. But, many believe the president should respond with a heavy hand. A great conflict is percolating. The West and Islamic radicals are on a collision course. America must lead the West in its response to violence against innocents. The cost of such a response is a mere pittance of what the impact will be if we fail to act with authority.

Collateral Damage: Innocent Casualties Of War

By Sal Bommarito

Images of dead women and children in Gaza have made a strong impression on many people throughout the world who are following the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The aggressors on both sides attempt to cast blame on their opponents for  “collateral damage.” Wikipedia defines this term as “damage to things that are incidental to the intended target . . .”

 

The “things” referred to in the former quote include innocent women, children and other bystanders. What a cruel concept. The implication is that if the cause is good, then  collateral damage is morally justified. Philosophically, we would be more comfortable if armed confrontations only involved soldiers. However, this is not the reality of war as it was waged centuries ago and as it is waged today.

 

Throughout history, innocents have been dragged into conflicts and butchered. Militaristic and imperialistic leaders have always had the urge to demolish competitors for food, women, land, money, political power and religion. In this never ending aggression, invading armies cause collateral damage as soldiers march through enemy territory. There is little concern for the safety of noncombatants when a soldier is on the hunt for his enemy.

 

The most blatant cases of collateral damage include the Crusades, the nuclear attack on Japan during World War II and the Holocaust. These events do not precisely fit the definition previously delineated, but they are among the grossest examples of innocents being swept into conflict.

 

During the Crusades, which began in 1095, the Roman Catholic Church indicated that the Crusades “stated goal [was to restore] Christian access to holy places near Jerusalem.” The conflicts that ensued have sometimes been described as an effort to stem the growth of Islam. The facts are not clear, but some estimate the number of deaths during the Crusades to be well over 10 million . It is likely that the “infidels” murdered by Catholics included many innocents, or collateral damage.

 

A comparison of the Crusades to “lesser jihad,” which includes the physical struggle against those who do not practice Islam, is easily made. Currently, thousands of innocent people are dying in the Middle East as radical Islamists seek out those who do not worship God in the same was as they do. The religious link between the Crusades and jihad is impossible to ignore.

 

In 1945, the United States dropped atom bombs on two Japanese cities killing nearly 250,000 people . The derivative impact of radiation fallout after the initial blasts is incalculable. President Harry Truman made the decision to strike with nuclear weapons in an effort to bring World War II to a rapid end. He was successful in saving many American lives, but his gambit resulted in horrendous collateral damage.

 

The classic modern day example of collateral damage is the Israeli efforts to destroy terrorist tunnels from Gaza to its territory and Hamas’ armaments, which are being hidden in homes, schools and mosques. When Israelis attack these places, significant numbers of innocents are killed. But, it’s just more collateral damage.

 

And finally, the Holocaust comes to mind. However, in this case, six million innocent Jews were exterminated for political purposes. Nazis used these deaths to gain domestic public support for their war machine. The Nazis might have classified the deaths of Jews as collateral damage in their efforts to conquer the world.

 

What kind of animals would condone such atrocities? Well, there are many terrorists currently who relish the opportunity to kill innocents as part of a warped political agenda. Suicide bombs and the 9/11 tragedy are examples of our enemies attempting to create fear by manufacturing collateral damage. Killing several thousand people in the Twin Towers was not a military operation. It was a cruel and unwarranted attempt to terrorize America that failed.

 

The saddest part of these situations is the death and fear imposed upon noncombatants. Americans expect our government to do everything possible to avoid killing innocents as it hunts down terrorists. If not, we will be no better than the mass murders in history who did little to avoid unnecessary casualties.

 

 

 

America Must Change To Be Great Once Again

By Sal Bommarito

Many Americans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their country. For good reasons, a great deal of criticism has been directed at the president and Congress. Our leaders deserve all the flak they have been receiving. Almost every important issue facing America is being mishandled because of a lack of experience, an inability to articulate problems and solutions, government paralysis and backlash from other nations.

Even more disconcerting is the style, or lack of it, that our leaders exhibit when dealing with complicated situations. The administration’s attitude is creating more enemies every day and an atmosphere that is not conducive to peace, comity, friendship and trust.

But rather than tear apart further what so many have already torn apart, this essay will offer five suggestions to get our country back on track to once again be the leader of the free world.

  1. RECORD SOME SMALL VICTORIES: The U.S. must get some important things done in Congress and around the world. It’s difficult to remember the last time America faced a true challenge, analyzed it accurately and dealt with it successfully. Recently, the Middle East conflicts, the Russian/Ukraine engagement, North Korea, Iran, illegal immigration, scandals in government agencies and many other situations have erupted, but none have been resolved or improved.

The U.S. needs to take smaller bites and win some battles. For instance, rather than trying to find a final resolution to the Israel/Palestine affair, our leaders should settle for a lasting cease-fire, a small but meaningful victory that will save lives. If the cease-fire holds, then we can begin the arduous process of trying to settle the longstanding issues that the opposing parties must resolve.

Simple? Not really. But if the objective is finite, truly obtainable and negotiated between people who trust one another, something will get done.

  1. BRING IN NEGOTIATORS THAT BOTH SIDES TRUST: The individuals currently negotiating Middle East crises are either incapable of closing a deal or untrusted by the interested parties.

I recall the efforts of Senator George Mitchell in the English/Irish feud. He was the right man for the job and successfully caused all the parties to sign the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Similarly, the Simpson/Bowles bipartisan commission was established in 2010 by President Obama to formulate ways to bolster the economy. The co-chairs did an outstanding job and were supported by those on both sides of the aisle. Shockingly, the president decided to disregard the commission’s recommendations, and the country is still wallowing its way through the Great Recession.

In both cases, the individuals chosen were out of politics and were able to do great things. Selecting negotiators who are above the fray, not threatening to either side and well informed is a great way to get things done.

  1. DON’T BE DOGMATIC AND CONDESCENDING. Combatants in the Middle East and in Ferguson, Missouri are not interested in platitudes or moral blathering from our leaders. Each side has issues and problems, and they want them addressed.

In Ferguson, the local police are suggesting that Michael Brown, the black teenager who was killed by a policeman, was using marijuana and had been involved in a felony. African American leaders believe that an aggressive, militaristic, racially biased police force created an environment that makes black men vulnerable to abuse. Both sides need to be heard so that the events leading to the present standoff can be evaluated fairly and peace can be restored.

The governor of Missouri should retain outsiders that both sides respect and can trust to determine the truth, before a full-scale rebellion overwhelms the city. The police are not moved by the opinions of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Eric Holder; and the townspeople are not satisfied with the assessments of the Ferguson police force by another police force. Bring in a peacemaker who can allay concerns on both sides.

  1. MOST NATIONS THINK WE ARE UGLY AMERICANS. We are not. America has fought wars to help the oppressed around the world. Our aid programs are larger than any other nation on Earth. Yet, we are doing a terrible job promoting the American way of life. Many people around world believe that every U.S. citizen is rich and only interested in material things. We need to show others that we are human; we have problems just like everyone else; and we want to work together to end aggression, human rights violations and economic imbalance.
  1. NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON AN ALLY. Many are deeply concerned that our government is on the verge of turning away from Israel. The half-century ties between our countries should be solid as a rock, but some are endorsing the terrorist regime in Gaza.

Every nation in the world must be sure that when America signs a treaty, it will meet its obligations come hell or high water.

The global situation will improve if America leads the effort. We are the only chance for lasting peace and prosperity. Other large nations are withdrawing and leaving a huge vacuum that has enabled terrorists. America is the answer, but we must work in coordination with others.

 

What The Hell Is Putin Up To In The Ukraine?

By Sal Bommarito

The percolating conflict between Ukraine and Russia is not ending anytime soon and is making many leaders around the world increasingly nervous. Russia has backed a separatist group in its former satellite. The concern is that the rebellion could lead to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

 

When the incursion first began, the Russian objective appeared to be the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula located in the southern part of Ukraine. It provides unfettered access to the Black Sea, something that is strategically important to Russia.

 

The citizens of Crimea have close ties to Russia, and so the people in this area were mostly supportive of the rebellion and the possibility of, once again, becoming a part of Russia. The forays by rebels were only possible with Russian materiel. President Vladimir Putin created a subterfuge about the persecution of Crimean Russians to justify the actions of Russia.

 

Ukraine was one of 12 Soviet republics that became independent nations when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991. Many people believe that Putin continues to be embarrassed that Soviet Union dominance has waned since that time. He still reminisces about the days when assured mutual destruction afforded the Soviets equal status with the U.S. Some observers are concerned that the action in Crimea may be the beginning of a massive re-annexation of all the former Soviet states.

 

What is peculiar is that Putin’s ego and imperialistic motivations are creating a political storm that will likely be detrimental to Russia in a number of ways. From history, we know that arming allies threatened by other nations deters aggression. Generally, global outrage of aggression leads to greater tension and could ignite a new world war. So what the hell does Putin think he is going to achieve? What’s his endgame? He is alienating every civilized country in the world with his grandiose plans to reestablish the Soviet Union.

 

Putin is being demonized for his actions, even by nations that are dependent on Russia for critical trade. Yet, if he sends Russian troops into Ukraine, the global community will circle the wagons, and they will likely try to bankrupt Russia with economic sanctions. No other country, including the U.S., is going to start another shooting world war over the Ukraine incursion. The war against Russia will attack its cash flow.

 

Ronald Reagan effectively ended the Cold War by outspending the Soviet Union. In an instant, the Soviet Union ran out of money, agreed to end the nuclear arms race and enabled a dozen Soviet states to form new countries. The Russians will once again be crushed economically if Putin does not back off.

 

All of the blathering about the EU’s dependence on Russian energy will end if Russia insists on following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany. The international community of nations cannot have any of its members unilaterally annex other nations.

 

In the meantime, the U.S. is tossing marshmallows at Russia. The sanctions already imposed by President Obama are not strong enough to make a sustainable impact. Mr. President, stop dillydallying. Take an economic bite out of Russia, and the crisis will surely end soon after. Putin will have no choice other than to face discontent in his own country because military aggression is not good for business. If Putin wants to play global domination, he should play a game of “Risk.”

 

American Charity Worldwide- Is It Too Much?

By Sal Bommarito

The recent immigration of thousands of young children from Central America has inspired a great debate about America’s responsibilities. What specifically are America’s obligations to non-citizens? And, what are America’s liabilities outside of our borders to those in jeopardy?

 

Many conflicting issues come into play in this conversation. Morally, should a wealthy nation like the U.S. come to the rescue of thousands of people under siege on a remote mountaintop in Iraq? Should the U.S. give citizenship to the aforementioned children because they were allegedly victims of abuse in their home countries?

 

In the U.S., millions of people are under duress, in need of food and shelter. Funds to help them are growing increasingly difficult to come by, in part because we are doing so much for so many in others around the world. The growing apprehension in our country about the level of our generosity is fodder for both progressives and conservatives. Discussing the need for more American aid is keeping talking heads along with philosophers and economists very busy these days.

 

The real problem in America is that it does not really budget for crises, so huge arms shipments to rebel groups in far off places together with hundreds of projects around the world put a great strain on our financial resources. The ones who suffer the most from redeployment of funds internationally are those in need in America.

 

Most Americans expect their government to come to the aid of those in trouble. But, there are serious consequences to such actions. For instance, over 10 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S. The federal government provides little data about these people, but it is likely that many are poor and need government support to eat, find shelter, go to school and get medical treatment. Frankly, they tax the resources of local governments across the country. The total drain from an inexcusable and incompetent immigration policy over the past quarter century is incalculable.

 

Taxpayers support the operations of the federal government. A significant amount of taxpayer money is being averted to support people residing illegally in this country. I am not endorsing a massive round up and deportation. It is too late for such an action. A great number of illegal immigrants are willing to obey our laws and pay taxes, so they should be given a road map to citizenship. But, new illegal immigration must end now. It is blatantly unfair to Americans to have to support any more interlopers.

 

The same holds true for aid sent overseas. The U.S. cannot police the world for three reasons. One, we cannot afford to do so. Two, foreigners should not have a call on U.S. taxpayer money. Three, the vast majority of foreign beneficiaries do not appreciate the aid we provide and do not support U.S. policies abroad. It has become an entitlement for them.

 

Many of us give dollars to people begging on the street. It’s human to feel compassion for the homeless and needy. Should we feel guilt if we do not? The answer to this question may hinge o what we do for those less fortunate in the aggregate. If a family donates 5 or 10% of its income to charity, should they feel an obligation to put money in the beggar’s cup? Or can they walk by and feel comfortable they are doing their fair share?

 

One final point relates to Americans who are very generous. Almost always, they are among the demonized “1%.” There are many other Americans who are not wealthy that do a great deal to help their neighbors. They should be lauded for their efforts. But so should those who write the checks.

 

The generosity of America and Americans is staggering. Our monetary contributions to world problems are always significantly greater than all other countries, and rightly so. But, America should not have the world’s problems on its shoulders. There are many other wealthy countries and people globally that should share the load with us. Our government must be more aggressive about making these other nations pay their fair share.