#rrsrh Bench-marking foreign aid?

There’s a bunch of stuff I agree with in this Harsanyi article about Egypt – and a bunch that I don’t – but the thing that I like most about it is that the author is freely admitting that both he and most of his professional colleagues do not have any more of a clue about Egypt and the Middle East than the rest of us do.  This is actually very useful: when you don’t know much about a situation, and you know that you don’t know much about a situation – this is what Donald Rumsfeld would call a “known unknown” – you tend to defer to ostensible experts, because, hey, isn’t this why we keep experts around?  The problem in this strategy is, of course, implied in the use of the word ‘ostensible:’ a lot of people opining on the problems in the Middle East are very confident, very expressive… and very, very much without a clue.

All of which leads up to the observation that if the only reason you disagree with this notion:

Rather than abandoning allies who share our principles and face growing threats from nations like Iran, why not use Israel’s political and capitalistic system as a benchmark. You’re welcome to our aid if you can match Israel’s political and economic freedoms. How many countries would qualify?

…is because some guy in a suit on Sunday television has just solemnly told you that this is impractical, well, you may want to get a second opinion on that.  Preferably, your own.

Moe Lane

Written by in: Politics | Tags:

No Comments

Comments are closed.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com