"Hey buddy, can ya spare an F-18?"
In this evening's online NY Times I found Weapons Sales Worldwide Rise to Highest Level Since 2000 - once again the U.S. tops out the list as the foremost arms dealer on the planet. We racked up some $6.9 billion in arms deliveries to various nations, many of whom, such as India and Pakistan, are developing nations that should really have other priorities besides investing billions of dollars in limited riches in high-performance jet aircraft and the like. It's bad enough here when we can't provide decent healthcare to the average Jane or Joe on the street, some of whom are reduced to pulling out their own teeth in lieu of seeing a dentist that they can't afford, but these other nations have citizens by the millions who'd give up a mouthful of teeth to live the life of our Jane and Joe if only they were given the chance.
I'm not trying to make sense of it, nor do I intend to get on a soapbox about it much past what I've already done. It just makes no sense to me, though after 22 years in the Navy, with the last four in the Pentagon, I have to admit that in a perverse way I understand what sort of sense it makes and it ranks right up there with wanting to have the latest brand of sneakers or thinking that P. Diddy, or Puff Daddy, or Sean Combs, or whatever the heck he's calling himself these days, is someone important because he convinces us he is. There's a general lack of depth and a sense of what's important in life that spans all levels of a nation's citizenry, and indeed is truly international in nature.