rhetorical rhetoric

So, I’m really trying to move on and find other interesting things, but then I came across this in the NY Times today:

Is it America’s fault that the richest ruling family in the world, the Saudis, have citizens who are poor and frustrated? Is it America’s fault that Korea had the same per capita income in the 1950’s as many Arab states, but Korea has managed its development so much better since that it now dwarfs all Arab economies? Afghanistan is run by a medieval Taliban theocracy that bans women from working or going to school. How could such a place not be poor? And who was the biggest protector of that backward Taliban society? Osama bin Laden and his men.

Let’s go point by point here:

The U.S. has a large military presence in Saudi Arabia. The current ruling family, while by no means progressive, is US-friendly, and keeps a steady flow of oil coming. Also, it is not a fundamentalist government, which makes for a more stable ally for the US. So the US has no incentive to force change upon their Allies, lest they turn against them. Nor would it remove support for the ruling family, which would endanger oil flow. So yes, the US bears some fault for this.

Korea was invaded by the US, and eventually split into two countries, North and South Korea. S. Korea was essentially a puppet regime for the US, propped up to defend against the ‘evi communist’ North Koreans. Billions of US dollars flowed into S. Korea to ensure their survival. Much effort was made to tie their econmy in with both the Japanese and US economies, to further bolster their so-called democracy. No such aid or ties were given to the Arab states – as long as the oil keeps coming, it appears the US doesn’t really care what happens. So yes, the US could be at faul there too.

This last point is really the kicker. Who was it who funded and trained these people so they could fight off the Soviet incursion? You betcha, the US of A. So lessee…I’d say the US is at fault there too.

For the record, I don’t think the US is the sole cause of any of these things. Maybe not even the leading cause. But their certainly not innocent of any of the accusations made.