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Commentary Last Updated: Feb 1st, 2010 - 00:46:07

American anomalies: Just how insane is our foreign policy?
By Jerry Kroth
Online Journal Guest Writer

Feb 1, 2010, 00:27

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Believe it or not there are a lot of little pieces of insanity which sort of gather about us, and either we don�t seem to notice, or maybe we just aren�t told about them.

For example, the United States gave $13 billion to Pakistan since 2002, and Wolf Blitzer tells us a lot about what is happening there, but doesn�t ever seem to mention that its president, Asif Ali Zardari, likes to sacrifice a black goat every day �to ward off the evil eye.�

Kind of makes you wonder just how rapidly our $13 billion is helping Pakistan move toward a modern, rational government in the 21st century.

Since 2001 we appropriated $30 billion to Afghanistan to help that country fight off the Taliban and establish a modern state. So far they�ve repaid our blood and treasure by voting to establish Sharia as the law of the land. Sharia specifies that women can only work in the medical field, that they should never wear jewelry, make-up, or, more to the point, �make noise with their shoes when they walk.� And, as a rule of thumb, they are generally forbidden to go outside their homes.

Kind of interesting that 975 Americans young men -- and at least one American woman -- gave their lives in Afghanistan to try to make all that happen.

In 2005, Vice President Cheney met with Kazakhstan�s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. They were photographed together, smiled, held hands, and Cheney was effusive in praising Kazakhstan for its cooperation and felicity. He was there to help grease an oil and gas deal. All quite sweet, except that Nazarbayev just had his two leading political opponents, Altynbek Sarsenbayev and Zamanbek Nurkadilov, assassinated. Shot in the head actually. And he seems to have thrown in the assassination of independent investigative journalist Askhat Sharipzhan in the bargain.

Cheney knew about all that before they met and embraced and smiled and talked about their families. . . . and negotiated their oil and gas deal.

I�m not really sure if they kissed, though.

Flash to Saudi Arabia: In 2005, we gave them $19 billion in aid. But it didn�t inhibit our dearest friends in the oil-rich Middle East from ordering the flogging of a 75-year-old woman who violated religious prohibitions about being in the presence of a man not her immediate blood relative. This widow apparently got a loaf of bread from a young man who, it turns out, was only her �late husband�s, nephew.� Oops, blood relationship not close enough! The young man was sent to jail, and our 75-year-old widow given 40 lashes and four months in prison for mingling.

By the way, the nuttiness of our foreign policy is not confined to the Middle East or Central Asia. It plays a role in this hemisphere too. Take a look at Haiti.

Some 150,000 people died in a massive earthquake, a number almost twice that of Nagasaki. Even before the quake their life expectancy was 50 years of age and per capita income only $400 per year. It was, and is, the single poorest country in our hemisphere just 592 nautical miles from Miami. The trauma and tragedy is unimaginable.

But this year the U.S. will give Israel $2.7 billion while earmarking only $100 million for Haiti.

Think about that.

Israel�s per capita income is $19,500 per year, and its life expectancy 74 years. And STILL in Haiti�s year of unimaginable grief and horror, every dollar we give to Haiti, this year, will see 20 times more go to Israel . . . this year!

These are not topics Wolf Blitzer, Katie Couric, or Brian Williams talk about much. Tiger Woods� infidelities or that �pork is better for sex than Viagra� seem to take up most of their time.

But it does cause you to wonder sometimes just how insane our foreign policy really is.

Jerry Kroth is the author of seven books. His latest is �Conspiracy in Camelot: the complete history of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy,� New York: Algora Publishers, 2003. He may be contacted at

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