Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cartoon in Sunday's La Vanguardia: An African woman is preparing what looks like a meager meal for six skinny children; the children are rather unattractive caricatures of black people, with thick lips and jutting jaws. They're sitting on the ground in front of a hut. The woman says, "The US has spent $565 billion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 42 times what would be needed to eliminate hunger in the world in 2015." A child replies, "And what are we going to eat in 2015? Crude petroleum?" (Play on words in Spanish; see, "crudo" means both crude and raw. Ha, ha.)

a) Who really thinks that the world's hunger problem could be solved with $15 billion? Where did that figure come from?
b) I don't see Spain or Europe stepping up to do anything about world hunger. The cartoon seems to assume that world hunger is America's responsibility.
c) Iraq and Afghanistan are comparatively cheap wars; see Niall Ferguson in the Wall Street Journal today.
d) The US spends lots of money on defense. This is largely because it's our job to be the world's policeman. It's our job because Europe wimped out. Any European who dislikes the American role as the world's cop needs to immediately call for the quadrupling, at least, of his own country's defense budget.
e) It is a lot easier to get your people to pay taxes for their own benefit than for the benefit of some people in a faraway country who they do not know. This is why your country isn't helpìng Africa out too much, either.
f) Could Africa's situation possibly be Africa's own fault, and if this is true, why is it the United States's job to send money?
g) If Africa's situation is to be blamed on colonialism, where does the US come in, since we never tried to colonize Africa? Shouldn't it be England and France and Belgium paying the bills, not us?
h) For the last time, Afghanistan has nothing to do with oil, and neither does Iraq. Afghanistan has no oil, and Iraq's oil was its problem, because any bandit warlord like Saddam who managed to seize control of the state suddenly had a lot of money to spend on weapons. America does not need Iraq's oil, and even if we did, it's a lot cheaper to buy it than steal it. No American president would ever go to war to grab raw materials, because we have plenty of our own and war is bad for business. The very idea of going to war for raw materials is an 18th century mercantilist concept popular in Latin countries, where economic thinking is very backward.

But left-wing Radio Ser, Spain's least responsible radio network (much worse than Cope, whose lies are limited to Spanish internal politics; Ser regularly lies about the entire world) is running two-page ads in the Spanish press. On the left page, there's what looks like a blurry photo of a violent Baghdad street scene, with the title in large yellow letters, "Weapons? No, petroleum." On the other page there's a photo of the aging, egotistical, and unintelligent radio host Gemma Nierga, a PSOE mouthpiece, who read the manifesto at one of those anti-American rallies they had in 2003.

Looks to me like Radio Ser is advertising that they're going to tell you the lies you want to hear.

Speaking of oh-so-holy do-gooding La Vanguardia, they link from a prominent place on their own website (under the masthead, run your cursor over "Clasificados," and "Contactos" will appear) to this. That is, they're acting as pimps, shilling up clients for prostitutes, some of whom are victims of debt slavery.

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