Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let's Build Infrastructure... Libya

Oh My Darling | Huckleberry Hound
 ~ GOP Senator Lindsay Graham thinks we should be doing more to build up infrastructure. Trouble is, he wants to do it in Libya, not here in the US. Of course, Huckleberry is really only interested in grabbing the oil, and ramming laissez-faire on the hapless Libyans, but a lot of other things would need to be built too just to enable access to a rebuilt oil operation. Video from TPM:

There seems to be a fair amount of Republican support for infrastructure projects in Libya and in Iraq, doubtless motivated by the prospect of controlling all that oil (and not incidentally enriching their Big Oil campaign contributors.) But there's also support for it in Afghanistan, which has no oil at all (although some potentially interesting mineral deposits worth coveting.)

Why are we spending precious taxpayer dollars in an era of deficit hysteria on infrastructure projects in other countries, especially ones that were once hostile to us and could conceivably be so again? Is there a good reason beyond a neo-imperial desire to control the next period of resource extraction? If there's a bona fide humanitarian motivation, then why do we not apply that same ethos here domestically? It's not as if we don't have a long list of needed infrastructure projects ourselves: roads, bridges, high-speed Internet, rail, HVDC transmission, smart grid... Many other countries are doing a better job on these things than we are. Where is the national impetus to retain our quasi-legendary standing as the greatest country in the world?

Some days I think we should invade ourselves, just so we can then embark on nation building here at home.

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