The Right Opinion

Bad News Abroad, Good News at Home

By Rich Galen · Sep. 21, 2012

As part of the continuing success story that is the foreign policy of Barack Obama, the U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, found his car surrounded by protesters, blocked, and pelted with plastic water bottles.

This, directly in front of the American embassy.

He claimed he felt he was never in any danger and the Chinese have “expressed regret” and, the U.S. State Department has expressed the same exact level of outrage as it has exhibited in the attacks on other Embassies around the world.

Which is to say, none.

The protesters were apparently expressing their disagreement with the Japanese over some islands that appear to be in dispute between China and Japan.

Here are the new rules around the world. Angry at a film on YouTube? Attack an American embassy. Mad about a cartoon in a French newspaper? Burn an American flag. Cranky about some islands in the East China Sea? Throw things at the American Ambassador.

Leading from behind, my friends. Leading from behind.

Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared all USAID workers personae non gratae as he continues to consolidate power. The over/under on Putin naming himself Tsar is three months to one year.

Most of the USAID workers involved in democracy building which, CNN reported:

“Senior Russian officials have said that some of the agency's programs, such as some human rights groups and election monitoring, have undermined Russia's sovereignty, according to the state news agency RIA Novosti.”

I have to be honest. If the Russians sent a bunch of government employees to muck around in our political process – hanging around the conventions, slipping notes under the doors of voters, and holding meetings to talk about what's wrong with the American system – I suspect we'd be very happy to toss them out on their Russian butts.

But the USAID mission was more than democracy-building. According to NBC the mission in Russia included working to “fight AIDS there, fight tuberculosis, help orphans, help the disabled, combat trafficking, support Russian programs in the environmental area, wildlife protection.”

To the tune of $50 million per year.

Help me out here. Russia is not Kenya nor Tanzania. It is not Cambodia nor Laos.

It's Russia.

Used to be a superpower. Has (according to the CIA World Factbook) the world's 7th largest economy; the world's 8th largest reserves of oil (just behind the UAE); and, the second largest natural gas reserves (behind the U. S. of A.)

Why would we be spending 50 cents, much less $50 million on any kind of aid to Russia.

Obviously it is not helping to establish democratic institutions; Putin is trampling them as quickly as they spring up.

If the Russians – with all their resources – don't want to help orphans and the disabled; or protect wildlife and the environment, well then, how does that fall to American taxpayers to fill in the gaps?

I am certainly not anti-foreign aid. Nor am I anti-US Agency for International Development.

Their work in third world nations saves many lives and makes many other lives better.

But, at some point we have to look at these things program-by-program and say to countries who can afford to do these things themselves: “We'll send in subject matter experts, but the host country has to hire USAID to provide them, including salaries, travel, housing, and all the other expense that come along with having an American in Russia or China.

"China,” you ask? Yes. From the USAID web page you and I are paying to teach the Chinese how to advance “clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is working with China to improve environmental law and environmental governance.”

Hell, we can't even do that in Texas much less Shanghai.

* * *

I am writing this from Nationals Park where the Nats clinched their first post-season position since 1933 when they were the Washington Senators.

The Nats came to Washington in 2005 and, from the All-Star break in that year onward have been not just a bad team; but an awful team. As post-game analyst Phil Wood said last night “for most of their history in Washington, the turning point in the season has been the National Anthem on opening day.”

Last night, reliever Drew Storen came in for the 9th inning against the LA Dodgers, and struck out the side to clinch at least a wild card spot in the post-season.

It was a bigger deal to the crowd than to the players. The crowd of 30,300 went nuts on the strike three call; the players went through their usual hand-shaking at the pitchers mound.

I also recognize it was a bigger deal to me, than to you; but thanks for indulging me.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the video of Ambassador Locke's car being attacked and to the CNN report on USAID being thrown out of Russia.

Also a Mullfoto of the final pitch in last night's historic Nationals game.

Copyright ©2012 Barrington Worldwide, LLC | Mullings.com

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11 Comments

Bill in Texas said:

Rich - don't hate on Texans for the green energy ideas. We like them and we would love to practice them. Being in the Construction Industry, we also know what is best for the end user. Green Energy (Solar/Wind power, Solar Water Heating, Geothermal Heating, etc.) is not cost effective here in Texas. It is the economics of green energy relating to the project. Case in Point, the company I work for bid the HVAC and the Plumbing on was close to 1 million dollars, for 1200 square feet. Typically, with currently conventional practicies we can do this type of a building for 250 to 300 thousand plumbing and HVAC. Why spend the money on the green system in the first place.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Richard Ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

I agree with Bill 100%. Green energy is a scam and a joke.

As for foreign aid Rich, I am 100% against it. The US is broke, and even if it was not, please tell me what constitutional right the feds have to take taxpayers hard earned money and give it away to some country where it ends up in a fat dictator`s pocket. If churches and charitable organizations want to do charity work overseas, fine and good, but tax money has no place in overseas pockets. Bring all our service personnel home, cut off all, and I do mean all foreign aid. Use our service personnel to seal our borders, and spend the money here at home.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Capt. Call in New Mexico replied:

No foreign aid! Not now, not ever! Nowhere, no time, and nohow! Put America first and pay down the debt. Rebuild and modernize the infrastructure of the United States. America for Americans!

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

And secure the borders and expell illegals!

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 9:43 AM

The American in Columbus, Ohio replied:

I agree, wholeheartedly! Please deport Obama and that cow of his. Please? Pretty please?

Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 4:15 AM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA said:

"As part of the continuing success story that is the foreign policy of Barack Obama, the U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, found his car surrounded by protesters, blocked, and pelted with plastic water bottles."

No one respects weakness and that is all Obama is projecting.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 5:09 PM

demsarerats in Oregon said:

"I have to be honest. If the Russians sent a bunch of government employees to muck around in our political process -- hanging around the conventions, slipping notes under the doors of voters, and holding meetings to talk about what's wrong with the American system -- I suspect we'd be very happy to toss them out on their Russian butts.”

BS, Obama would apologize for making their efforts necessary. Russia may have a chance to survive with a leader like Putin.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Denver Bandit in Denver, CO said:

Rich, no apologies necessary for regalening in the Nats post season success. The Rockies haven't been to a World Series since 2007 and haven't been in the play-offs since 2009, and the Denver Post (which transparently discloses that it is a part owner) wants to run everyone involved out of town. We feel your pain.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Try being a Cubs Fan, that franchises exercise in futility is well over a hundred years. What is it about the magic of Wrigley that keeps people filling the stands, singing at the stretch, and watching another losing effort?

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 9:46 AM

QueensJudyG in Queens, NY said:

I have to laugh out loud at "if the Russians sent a bunch of government...etc."
If? That's been done, and won, witness what passes for today's Party of the Democrats? Their convention proved that the commies infiltrated and won, at least one major party of our two-party system. If there is a statue of Joe McCarthy anywhere in what's left of the United States (who everyone now insists on calling "America") I'd plant flowers all around it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Orf in Pennsylvania said:

In trying to figure out the title of this essay, I had to realize that the only "good news" was something about baseball. That alone is a sad, bad commentary.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM