Bombs and Bribes

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"Free trade is much more conducive to peace because it is generally bad business to kill your customers."

What if tomorrow morning you woke up to headlines that yet another Chinese drone bombing on U.S. soil killed several dozen ranchers in a rural community while they were sleeping? That a drone aircraft had come across the Canadian border in the night and carried out the latest of many attacks? What if it was claimed that many of the victims harbored anti-Chinese sentiments, but most of the dead were innocent women and children? And what if the Chinese administration, in an effort to improve its public image in the U.S., had approved an aid package to send funds to help with American roads and schools and promote Chinese values here?

Most Americans would not stand for it. Yet the above hypothetical events are similar to what our government is doing in Pakistan. Last week, Congress did approve an aid package for Pakistan for the stated purposes of improving our image and promoting democracy. I again made the point on the floor of the House: What if this happened on U.S. soil? What if innocent Americans were being killed in repeated drone attacks carried out by some foreign force who was trying to fix our problems for us? Would sending money help their image? If another nation committed this violence and destruction on our homeland, would we be at all interested in adopting their values?

Sadly, one thing that has entirely escaped modern American foreign policy is empathy. Without much humility or regard for human life, our foreign policy has been reduced to alternately bribing and bombing other nations, all with the stated goal of "promoting democracy".

. . .If we were really interested in democracy, peace, prosperity and safety, we would pursue more free trade with other countries. Free trade is much more conducive to peace because it is generally bad business to kill your customers.

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