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Why foreign aid is critical

by Ron Holdraker
April 8, 2023

Nothing irks me more that social media nuts who post "The government should take care of veterans and the poor of America, before giving millions to foreign countries". (Actually there are a lot of things that probably irk me more).

Let me try to explain why the U.S. is in the business of foreign aid, and has been for generations.

We are the top of the prosperous nations, and supporting third world countries is critical not only to world stabilization, but moral consciousness. We have a quasi-stable economy, our veterans get more perks than any other nation in the world and nobody can starve to death, or remain homeless unless they are really unknowledgeable of services, or high as a kite.

Yes, veteran problems exist in the Veterans Administration, but we work for solutions. Vets have their own medical services and programs and every state, county in the nation has a veterans service office.

We continually strive to improve services to mentally ill and drug addicted persons and just about every facet of human conditions. Yes, there are problems, but the U.S. very often addresses public concerns.

Other influential nations do the same in foreign aid, in the face of ours and their financial restraints. Could everybody do more? Yes, but the same folks who post stupid ‘pass-it-on’ social media posts, would scream bloody murder if taxes were raised to solve all a nation’s problems.

Foreign aid has helped democracies survive, saved millions of lives throughout the world, even in quasi-democracies, or dictator run countries.

The U.S. and other well-off nations understand that without some forms of foreign aid, there would be world wide chaos.

And when U.S. foreign aid is withheld, or denied, China, Russia, North Korea and a host of other non-democracies are willing to fill the gap.

Recently, Honduras switched allegiance to China in a never ending attempt to further alienate Taiwan...using money (aka foreign aid)

Honduras’s decision, which fulfills a campaign promise made by Castro in 2021, came after weeks of diplomatic back-and-forth over the country’s mounting debt problems. Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina earlier this month described the country as “up to its neck” in debt that included $600 million owed to Taiwan.

Both Russia and China supply billions in funds to build infrastructure, support dictatorships, prop-up third world countries economies and feed and provide medical services to people on many continents.

Examples... Could Cuba have survived without Russian moola? Could Venezuela, Nicaragua and numerous other  South American, Far-East and non-democracies exist without Chinese infusion of money?

If third world countries get foreign aid from those opposed to Western policies, there are usually restrictions and conditions. That is why China, especially, is gaining access to ports and launching points, military support and infrastructure and military equipment throughout the world.

That is why some countries you thought would be friendly to western politics and some semi-democratic countries often vote with communist countries, or refuse to take a stand. Some simply have no choice with China and Russia pulling their political/financial  strings.

Don’t get me wrong, the U.S. and its western partners play the same games with foreign aid, but the influence of especially China, has more and more third world countries bending to demands.

Countries such as South Africa, India and even former other staunch allies now owe billions to China.

When the ‘bank’ holds the mortgage to your country, politics be damned.

This leads to the erosion of fledgling democracies, more trade problems, more migration conflicts and more headaches for Washington. So, that is why foreign aid is crucial. Without it, we are morally and politically dead in the water.

Still, there are those, usually prompted and angered by dubious (foreign) social media posts to spread titillating"  "The government should take care of veterans and the poor of America, before giving millions to foreign countries".

Bottom line: Don’t become one of the U.S. stooges to encourage any of the "I dare you to pass this on"... anti-U.S. social media plants.

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