Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bad at picking friends

I have some good friends in my life. I'm not a person who has made a great number of friends but the friends I've made I've had for a very long time. They're people I could count on in almost any situation. They've stuck by my side through the ups and downs of life and have celebrated the awesome times and gently guided me in the bad times. I'm fortunate.

I have a five year old son who is in the beginning stages of picking friends. He already seems discriminate as he looks for those unwritten character qualities that makes a lasting friend.

As a country, the USA is pretty awful at making friends. Outside of countries that are the equivalent of family (UK, Canada, Australia, and even France) we can't seem to make a lasting ally. The Shaw of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Bin Laden and other Mujahideen. All of these friends we eventually had to turn our back on or outright kill. But not after handing over billions in foreign aid first.

Now we're using NATO, a treaty that exists to defend ourselves against an enemy that no longer exists, to fight Muamar Gaddafi. Although not a full fledged friend, Gaddafi was at least a guy who was receiving some aid and up until a little while ago was on the "up and coming new friend" list under Bush and Obama.

Maybe it's not our friends that are the problem. Maybe it's the USA. Maybe it's because we're always so unsure of how to spell, or even pronounce, our friend's names. I had a girlfriend years ago whose last name I didn't know how to spell. Writing her name was a source of embarrassment as it showed that I didn't know the most basic thing about her. Osama? Usama? Kaddafi? Gaddafi? Is it SaDAMM or SADamm? We never knew.

I wonder who we're making friends with in Libya today that we'll need to kill in 20 or 30 years.

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