Reading this, I realized that my lack of excitement about US aid to foreign countries is a mix of Conradian "dark contitnent" metaphorics and post-1980 Washington DC disinterest and smugness.
As the article shows, we spent nearly $600 billion on our Pentagon and military, but a meagre $4 billion on aid to Africa.
I'd like the next batch of presidential candidates make an issue of this, because George W Bush has effectively destroyed US prestige abroad; our country needs to make small, gradual inroads to redress this. The lesson of this presidency is surely that you don't help mutha-effa's by making war on them.
I want to coin the Current Occupant "The Great Squanderer," because on so many levels, US intellectual, diplomatic, economic, budget and military capital has essentially been viscerated. In 2000, we had a budget surplus, mind you. Now we've got...well, f***, Katrina, Iraq, the deficit, Cheney shootin' brothas -- these are the tip of the iceberg.
George W Bush squandered his youth, then "reformed" far enough to squander our future as a country.
(The Great Squanderer)
Few people foresaw the consequences of Bush's radicalism, perhaps least of all Bush himself. Last week, I was in Austin for the Texas Book Festival, where I met a woman who had encountered then Gov. Bush immediately after the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bush v. Gore. "Can you believe I'm going to be the fucking president?" he said.