As both Iraq and Afghanistan meltdown after spending $4 trillion and losing thousands of lives, the Obama Administration wants to pour $500 million into training and equipping the Syrian rebels. Ignore the fact that the Syrian rebels have been accused of human rights violations and atrocities (as has the regime). The government insists that U.S. weapons and money will go to the “right” forces — just ignore all those pictures of ISIS rebels driving around with U.S. equipment in Iraq.
President Obama wants $500 million from Congress to help “train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition.” It is another investment after bad returns on the $4 trillion in prior wars in this area. It is like watching a bad gambler at Vegas screaming that the next hand will pay off.
My primary concern is that we are still cutting basic environmental, scientific, and educational programs due to lack of state and federal funding. In Fairfax county (where my kids go to public school), the county has ordered a disastrous series of cuts of hundreds of positions, teacher raises (despite one of the lowest salary levels in the area), and a further increase in class size. My kids already go to school with an absurd 30 plus kids in a single class with a single teacher. All of this for the need of a fraction of what Congress will pour into Syria with little thought. Obviously, the cuts will hurt Fairfax in the long run which has always drawn families to the area due to its schools. I heard a Maryland official on the radio celebrating the cuts in Fairfax as promising a exodus to Maryland which continues to put a higher priority on education. The greater concern however is that, while other countries are increasing their investment in training students for the modern workforce, the U.S. is continuing to fall in the rankings in education. We are frittering away our future by funding wars rather than education and science needed to keep us competitive in the world market.
It is all perfectly otherworldly as these requests are treated an done deals. Half a billion for rebels seems a no brainer but a fraction of that for schools or science or the environment is viewed as excessive and highly problematic.