Suppose you have a son that wants to open up a tanning salon in Tangier. Why Tangier? you may ask. Seems there are plenty of brown people there already and the sun shines like 360 days a year. Well, your boy says, "Think of the name: Tangier Tanning!"
Now suppose you have another son who wants to be a doctor. Over the years you help the aspiring doctor son with hundreds of thousands of dollars and to your Tanning Salon idiot son you give about $5,000.
Ten years pass. Lou Dobbs comes up to you and asks how come you spent all that money on a son who makes over a hundred grand a year and clearly doesn't need it when you should have spent it on that dim bulb who is barely able to rub two nickels together and could really use some money.
Give me a DUH!
But that's precisely the question Lou Dobbs asks in his commentary:
CNN.com - Dobbs, Not so smart when it comes to the Middle East
While the United States provides about $2.5 billion in military and economic aid to Israel each year, U.S. aid to Lebanon amounts to no more than $40 million. This despite the fact that the per capita GDP of Israel is among the highest in the world at $24,600, nearly four times as high as Lebanon's GDP per capita of $6,200.
Lebanon's lack of wealth is matched by the Palestinians -- three out of every four Palestinians live below the poverty line. Yet the vast majority of our giving in the region flows to Israel. This kind of geopolitical inconsistency and shortsightedness has contributed to the Arab-Israeli conflict that the Western world seems content to allow to perpetuate endlessly.
Further down I will quote Mr Dobbs again in red from the same article.
But to answer: Israel has a high standard of living precisely because they use the money wisely. They use the military aid to defend their country and the other moneys they put into business and industry. The resulting high GDP proves America made a wise investment. As to the poverty of the Palestinians; the majority of them do not live in Israel or Gaza or the West Bank. Palestinians living under Israeli control have a higher standard of living than those living in tent cities under Arab countries' control. So if you have a problem with Palestinian poverty go talk to the rich Arab neighbors, not Israel.
If Mr Dobbs would have financed the tanning salon instead of the medical education then I have to question what kind of supposed financial expert this man is pretending to be.
In the same article Mr Dobbs thinks recognizing Israel was a mistake:
President Harry Truman took about 20 minutes to recognize the state of Israel when it declared independence in 1948. Since then, more than 58 years of war, terrorism and blood-letting have led to the events of the past week.
Then let me make an equally fatuous observation: The UK made a big mistake leaving India. Look at the result: 58 years war, terrorism and blood-letting have led to the events of the past week (Mumbai bombings) and the situation is even worse because India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons!
But does that mean England had any real choice in the matter? Obviously not. Certain nationhood aspiration movements were in the air in the late 40s and early 50s that resulted in the colonial powers disengaging themselves from around the world. The Dutch from the Far East; Germany and France from Africa; Portugal, Spain, even Denmark all had to release and recognize new nations formerly under their mandate. But so what?
We can look at the world and say almost all of Africa was a big mistake. Indonesia, the Philippines, the Middle East; we have had 58 years war, terrorism and blood-letting all over the world. Is Lou Dobbs offering the notion that perhaps the world would have been safer and better off if the Imperial Powers remained so?
But I can't understand what he's trying to say. I read his article and I tried to get to the point he was making. Finding none, I can only conclude, after careful consideration and deep analysis, that he's a f*cking moron or an anti-Semite or both. I know name calling is about as low as one can go in civil discourse, but I have to say there's no other way to adequately describe such blatant stupidity or bigotry. I can't decide which and I don't really care to. If this were a rant from a common blogger with no reputation I would have let it pass without mention or epithet.
Here are some blog posts that actually make some constructive, instructive points about the Middle East::
don surber - [defunct blog] Now we know the situation is serious, Excerpt:
Thomas Sowell said it much clearer than I could in his Townhall column:"Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent"....
Don Surber - [defunct blog] The pampered middle class, Excerpt:
CNN’s Lou Dobbs is peddling his book, the "War on the Middle Class,” and it is the most phony war since John Gibson at Fox said there was a war on Christmas. In an online column today, Dobbs said:"Both parties love to excite their bases by focusing on wedge issues like gay marriage, the pledge of allegiance, school prayer, judicial appointments, gun control, stem cell research and welfare reform. Each of these wedge issues is important in varying degrees to large numbers of us, but none of them rises to the level of urgency or the requirement of immediate change in public policy.”Change in public policy? To what? Dobbs gave no clue as to just what is the great crime against the middle class.