Buy Afghanistan

The battle for hearts and minds. Apparently the biggest problem after eight years of Bush policies….unsurprisingly… is a culture of corruption. So, why fight it, why not use it?

According to the CIA’s World Factbook Afghanistan has a population of 32,738,376.

Apparently Afghanistan’s per capita income was around 335 U.S. dollars a couple of years ago. Probably not, haha, counting opium profits.

Estimated cost of the Afghan war per year is loosely $70,000,000,000.

Now I SUCK a math, so I (and my calculator) could be wrong….but if we pay each person in Afghanistan $500 a year, well over the per capita income…that comes out to $16,500,000,000 per year. A relatively small percentage of the cost of war. An even smaller percentage of the money we are printing to give to the assholes bankers.

70 Billion for war, less than 20 billion to help buy peace. Now obviously the Afghan populace is not the only obstacle we face. So let’s try this…

Take that 70 billion, use half of it to build infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads etc. and pay off every Afghani. That still leaves 35 Billion in the budget to…kill people.

Simplistic? You bet. But a great illustration of ‘Soft Power’ as opposed to the ‘Hard Power’ that doesn’t seem to have worked very well. For some reason, the Afghanis look askance at us semi-indiscriminately killing civilians, like their Moms and kids. Would they perhaps like us better if we gave all of them more money than they earn in a year?

Heck, buy them all TV’s and cable. It seems to have worked very well in completely pacifying Americans!

Soft Power works. Hard power has never ever worked in Afghanistan for long. Never. But soft power is …hard werk. You have to think and plan and you have to think and plan outside the box. You have to listen to DFH’s like social planners and cultural anthropologists….you know eggheads. You have to spend money on social programs and such, the stuff Republicans hate….especially when they can just kill people instead. Especially Brown People, who as we all know just don’t count as Real People to Republicans. Republicans like force, I am fairly sure that just as they maintain that poverty doesn’t breed crime. I am sure that they don;t think that poverty breeds terrorism either. I am betting (tongue in cheek quite a bit, because I don’t believe in imposing our culture on others) that if every male in Afghanistan who comes of fighting age gets an X-box instead of an AK-47….that would drive the Taliban’s recruiting numbers down.

Of course that is not the way things work in the real world. In the real world, the Powers That Be need to be bought off. And they are far more expensive than your average Afghan family, since their per capita income is lightly higher than $500 a year. For some reason. Since they were the ones who fucked everything up. Taking 35 Billion dollars a year away from the MIC might run into a bit of resistance.

But just as some people point out with all of our stimuli and bailouts, if we just divide all of those trillions up between each taxpayer who will end up paying for it, and give it directly to them, instead of banks and brokers …that is a LOT of money per person, money that people would spend, iow…bottom up stimulus.

For nearly 30 years we have been officially a top down economy. That doesn’t work. For eight years we have been killing people, and spending trillions to do it. That doesn’t work. Maybe we can try something different?

Maybe we can…….change?

At least change our perspective, our way of thinking.

The old way, the Bush way, the MIC way, doesn’t work. Let’s try something else. Let’s invent a new way.

Oh yeah, and before I forget to mention this part….killing people is wrong. Let’s stop doing it.


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  1. but ultimately money cannot buy us friends either. What is really needed, I think, is for the U.S. to support meddling because it suits us.

    If we value and advocate for democracy, then as a nation we need to support the outcome of democratic processes even if we do not like the results in places.

    I think we Americas should clean up our own act regarding human rights before we criticize other nations.

    Yes, I think we should spend more on peaceful programs than our military, but at the end of our day. We can still spend money ’til we’re blue in the face, but without changes in our behavior as a nation, we still will be a nation with few friends and little respect.

  2. in the financial guru circles about “emerging” North Vietnamese “markets”.

    You can also debate if Afghanistan was about oil pipeline rights or about removing the fundamentalist Taliban that STOPPED the drug trade, “they” need that black-ops money don’t you know.

    Just behind the MIC though is the pharma-med complex and just as Russia “fell” and they needed a new enemy, Islam, there exists yet another industrial complex to corrupt, use to exploit for power control and profits.

  3. require a whole new world view, from economics to the big catchall excuse ‘national interests’. We as a ‘super power’ LOL, could give a rats ass about the plight of the world including our own populace. Giving them our funny money seems like when we dropped peanut butter on their heads. how rude. why not just leave them the fuck alone. If we want a pipeline pay for the damn thing and offer them a chance to make a buck other then the freakin opium trade. Hearts and minds won, well I don’t think I would, if I were an Afghanistan, want this country messing with either my mind or my heart.

    Excuse my cynical take here but last week I watched Charlies War and it really affected my viewpoint on Afghanistan. Agreed the Taliban are assholes and oppressive but what do we offer instead? Nothing but the same misery every nation that has for centuries offered them. Killing scorched earth and no help that is applicable to their culture or land. Outside impositions do not work be they hard or soft. The principle of self determination seems to be dead and gone both here and for the global community.  

    At the beginning of the Irag war when chaos was ensuing I was listened to a NPR broadcast from a  reporter embedded with the Kurds. A tribal chief was watching Bush on TV declaring liberation, and this chief said ” Who the Fuck does this guy think he is”, quite embarrassing to both the reporter and the translator. This was before the big propaganda machine was able to catapult it or censure everything. No excuse for Afghanistan no excuse for thinking everybody who doesn’t roll over is a adversary at best and usually a danger to us.        

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