America, Superman, Liberia, & Magic Buttons

by John Hawkins | July 2, 2003 10:01 pm

America, Superman, Liberia, & Magic Buttons: After reading my post about why we shouldn’t get involved in Liberia, AG in Houston wrote the following in the comments section….

“I believe you are a good person at heart and I take this post in jest. It is my opinion that taking Charles Taylor down and destroying his regime would be the right thing to do.

And if we were to go in and take care of business there, we should do it without the help of the Canadian sh*tbags and without the UN & France.”

When I read that, the first thing I thought about was, believe it or not, Superman — or rather something Seanbaby wrote about Superman[1] on his hilarious, irreverent and obscene (don’t say I didn’t warn you) Super Friends Page…

“Superman has got to be jaded as hell. Besides the crap he has to put up with from Aquaman every day, he can hear the death screams of orphans for thousands of miles in every direction. That kind of thing would get to get to you. When I hear about dynamite ninjas blowing up the president, I don’t feel guilty. There’s nothing I could have done; I don’t know how to defuse a ninja or even where the president lives. Not Superman. He can take every single obituary personally. He can go through the paper and say, “Let’s see, this was the bus that fell off the bridge when I was in the bathroom… and here, I was playing ping pong when this family suffocated under tons of rubble… Oh! And I could barely get to sleep while this former skydiver was screaming for help! Ha ha ha!”

I’m surprised he even cares when the Trouble Alert goes off. I’d expect him to say, “Sorry your government building got shrink-rayed, Congressman, but I can hear a baby being circled by vampire hippos right now. Do you want me to let it get torn apart becau– oh, there. It’s dead. Good job, Congressman Selfish *sshole. How about you don’t call again until there’s a real emergency like poison ivy or a leg cramp?”

To me, there is a parallel there. Yes, like Superman, the United States is tremendously powerful and capable of doing a lot of good work. But how much are we going to do and how far are we willing to go to do it? Sure, it would be the “right thing to do” for us to go to Liberia and settle things down. Of course, I think fermenting revolution in Iran & North Korea, invading Cuba, going back to Vietnam, freeing the people of China, & overthrowing the governments of half of Africa and the Middle-East would be the “right thing to do” as well.

I mean let me be totally honest here — if I had a button sitting on my desk right now that would allow me to put every dictator in the world out of power and replace them with Democratic governments, I wouldn’t even have to think about it — I’d push that sucker until my finger bled.

But we don’t have a “magic button”; we have the United States of America, a country that despite what some people seem to think is not omnipotent. Our nation has limited resources, power, influence, & will and I don’t want to waste any of it in Liberia when we’re in the middle of a war on terrorism.

Moreover, the world has made it quite clear since 9/11 that we shouldn’t expect any gratitude for doing things like this, so why get involved when our interests aren’t at stake? It’s just like giving to the Salvation Army at Christmas. Sure you might toss some change into the kettle as long as they say, “thank you”, but if they sneered at you instead or worse yet tried to poke you in eye after you gave them money, why would you bother?

I pity the people of Liberia, but not enough to advocate putting our blood and treasure on the line to help them for purely humanitarian reasons. Helping them out would be a good and noble thing to do, but then, there are literally BILLIONS of people across the planet who could use the help of America’s military — are we going to aid them all? We’re not capable of doing that and even if we were, would we want to start waging wars — even wars for freedom — across the planet in places where we have nothing at stake? Maybe Superman would do it, but America isn’t in the super-hero business.

  1. wrote about Superman:

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