Former Ag Secretary John Block’s Weekly Commentary –
Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary—
I think it was a surprise to a lot of people when the public in general refused to support an attack on Syria. Never mind the fact Assad used chemical weapons on his own people.
President Obama thought we needed to bomb Syria (and teach them a lesson). As it turns out, to the President’s surprise, he couldn’t convince the American people that an attack was necessary. Senator John McCain could not rally the Conservative Republicans. He was criticized in town hall meetings – even shouted down.
Something different is going on. The public is war-weary. 70% of our citizens say we need to deal with our problems here at home. We can’t remake the whole world in our image. A lot of countries don’t want to accept our ways. This change in attitude is long-overdue but welcome.
When we consider military action, we need to decide if it is truly in our national interest. The public has this figured out. Syria is no threat to the U.S. We are out of Iraq and scheduled to leave Afghanistan. After 10 years of war, I am not sure what we will have to show for the trillions of dollars spent and the thousands of our young men and women that have been wounded and killed in those two countries. When I see the wounded warriors on television, my heart goes out to them and their families. I was at a luncheon of my West Point class last week. Our military veterans are adamantly against another unnecessary war.
Remember in the 70s when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan? That’s when President Carter imposed the grain embargo to punish the Soviet Union. That didn’t work. It only punished the American farmer. In the end, the Soviets came home with their tail between their legs. Those countries in the Middle East don’t want some other country telling them what to do.
We are finally waking up to the fact that we don’t have the resources or the will to run the whole world. We spend more on our military than all the rest of the countries combined. We have military bases in countries all over the world. It’s time to bring them home. We have a 17 trillion dollar debt. With our oil and gas boom, we don’t have to be as concerned about Middle East oil anymore.