Though I surely did not become more conservative with age or my first paycheck, I found a few things that I do not want my tax dollars funding. Unless we stand up for our values and make an attempt to have some say in where our tax dollars are going, we are complicit in the very types of oppression to which we are ideologically opposed.
These days, a soccer World Cup is a multi-billion dollar project, with a number of financial "winners," such as FIFA, and many losers, given the development priorities that are sacrificed to build gleaming stadia. Does this also mean that one can explain a nation's success at the cup largely by money?
The ultimate folly is the belief that people are infinitely malleable, that Americans have been anointed to shape and mold humanity against its will, and that there is nothing which cannot be achieved through a few bombing runs, an occasional invasion, and a thorough military occupation. Real leadership means being prepared not to get involved. Real leadership means not being flattered into war by other states proclaiming America's indispensability in solving their problems. Real leadership means allowing, indeed, expecting, others to take control of their own destinies. Foreign policy is a difficult business. In practice the administration has been foolish and feckless, often blundering along even when it has made the right decision, such as not to attack Syria. And its desperate desire to do something risks drawing it in by increments, a serious danger in Iraq today.
If Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is expecting the United States to deliver the $1.3 billion in annual military assistance without any delays or restrictions, he may be in for a "rude awakening," as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said during a hearing on Egypt earlier this month.
For the United States and many other foreign leaders around the world, from Great Britain to Australia, this sentence was a vivid reminder of Egypt's grotesque reality: that of a country dominated by the military, where the right to a fair trial, a free press, and free expression are blatantly crushed.