In the Arena

Women Warriors

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Silly, sexist me. Yesterday, I associated military action against Libya with testosterone. As the New York Times reports today, the pressure for action came Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and the NSC human rights expert Samantha Power–with the macho boys over at the Pentagon opposed. This may be a first in American history, a welcome one I might add–although I remain extremely skeptical about military action and heartened that the President seems intent on letting other countries take the lead.

Speaking of which, this right-wing bozo castigates me for (1.) suggesting that Libya’s neighbors and the Europeans take the lead on military action and (b) suggesting that American taxpayers should foot the bill for economic development in Egypt. Well, first of all, I suggested that we use our diplomatic power to organize the countries in the region into a Regional Infrastructure Bank. We’d contribute a small amount annually (the equivalent of two weeks of war in Afghanistan) but that the lion’s share would come from the sovereign wealth funds operated by these oil-rich nations.

Second  and more important: this is a prime example of a fundamental right-wing fallacy. This guy seems to think that the American taxpayer pays for economic development, but someone else–who, the Canadians?–pays for military action. He also seems to blithely ignore that military action not only costs far more money than economic development, but it  also costs lives and limbs. Or that the US military is wildly overstretched and overburdened as it is. Zapping Libya is just a video game. It’s the same fallacy that led us to invade Iraq without thinking about what happened after we got there.

(And for those who say we should be funding major infrastructure projects here, rather than in Egypt–a new electric power grid, a gps air traffic control system, solar, wind, clean coal and a new generation of mini-nuclear power stations in non-earthquake zones–I say, Amen! We should do both! Let’s raise taxes on the wealthy–or redirect funds from the defense budget–to pay for it! Because if we don’t, we won’t have the economic power to buy the military hardware that makes the wingers so happy–and more important, we won’t have the economic power to sustain the solid middle class that is necessary for prosperity.)