THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CLOSED – BUT THERE’S WORSE NEWS.

 

Government Shutdown

[Photo: Michael Reynolds, EPA]

This government shutdown is pretty friggin’ amazing in that I’ve never seen such dysfunctional behavior in large organizations.

But what’s more amazing to me is how America is on its way to completing a 16-year journey to nowhere.

16…years.

That’s a lot of time when you consider the rest of the world is not standing around waiting for your country to get in the game.

Think about this: the US War on Terror – particularly the Iraq War – became so much of a distraction for the Bush Administration that very little else was accomplished.

Operation Get That [Obama] has created such a knot in the beltway where even if the President had the stomach to make sizable investments in America’s future, the partisan wars wouldn’t permit it. I don’t see Obama’s next three years being any more productive.

Meanwhile, China has surpassed the US in foreign direct investment to Africa, a potentially important partner for America’s future economic growth.

More countries are passing the US in educational achievement. [PDF]

America continues its decline in global competitiveness [PDF].

The employment situation among young adults is so bad where many of them may never meet or exceed the wealth of their parents.

And while the Party of No Brains and the Party of No Guts fight over budgets, America’s lack of respect and influence on the global stage is becoming more apparent.

I’ll use the Middle East as an example.

Aside from this year, when have you seen a time when Russia offered to take the place of the US and conduct military exercises with Egypt?

When, during the past 40 years, have you seen Saudi Arabia, a US ally, offer Russia a $15 billion Middle Eastern arms market, plus the opportunity to have more influence in the region?

How about the time when Pakistani militant Hafiz Saeed, wanted for his suspected role in the Mumbai attacks, responded to the US’ $10 million reward placed on his head by holding a press conference and more-or-less saying “Yo, I’m the dude you want, so give ME the money”?

BTW, Saeed enjoys armed protection from Pakistani law enforcement and seems to roll through the country without worry.

After fighting the Afghanistan war, the US still can’t convince President Hamid Karzai to allow for the establishment of permanent US bases. The US has the same kind of luck with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Do you have any guesses about what the world thought last week when the Leader of the Most Powerful Nation in the World delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly that made more references to wars than about poverty or climate change?

It’s probably the same thought the G20 members had when President Obama was still trying to sell that Syria military strike.

For those of you who are still wondering what that thought is, America won the Cold War, giving the country’s leaders a shot at spreading democratic ideals and economic opportunity across the world with little to no opposition from China and the fallen Soviet Union.

Instead, America invaded three countries since 2000 with one or two more nations next in the queue. This doesn’t include the US drone or cruise missile adventures in other countries.

It makes some countries wonder, “THIS is why America wanted to win the Cold War?”

Meanwhile, the economic and social issues in the homeland have become worse.

When a country spends more effort maintaining 600+ military installations around the world than it spends educating Americans, and builds more prisons than it creates solutions to end poverty, What’s your guess for how all of this will eventually turn out?

What do you think will happen to America if we have an additional 16 years of sailing to nowhere?

My advice to Congress and the White House: grow up and be the Americans we all fantasize about…

song currently stuck in my head: “high in me” – patrice rushen

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