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Training Wheels: The Fatal Flaw in U.S. Foreign Policy


Training Wheels: The Fatal Flaw in U.S. Foreign Policy

William Astore

You read it here first: the fatal flaw in U.S. foreign policy is training wheels. Yes, those supplemental wheels you add to your child's bike when she's first trying to learn how to balance herself as she pedals.

How so? Listen closely to America's leaders as they talk about helping Iraqis, Afghans, and other peoples. A common expression they use is training wheels, which they visualize themselves as affixing to or removing from the Iraqi or Afghan governmental bike.


'Murca needs to learn that Freedom upwells and CANNOT be imposed. (They'll not be waiting with flowers, Dick.)


It is characteristic of the dominant military power to mistake what it is doing in a foreign land for what the people of that land may want for themselves. In other words - we invaded - caused vast destruction - destabilized your country and the region - abused your population but ... why don't you do what we want you to do with more enthusiasm? We train you to do what we want and yet you don't really seem to want to do what you are told. Of course we made a mess but you will have to live in it because we are tired about running things there and after what we have done, you aren't really a threat so we kind of have other things to do.

Why don't you do what we want you to do by yourselves? We want you to do what we want without our doing it. No more training wheels!!! We've trained you to do what we want and we expect you to do what we want for yourselves.

The Lt. Colonel (ret.) should ask just who over there is supposed to have their training wheels removed? A government that we installed after invading their country and causing such death and destruction? Or the mass of people who may really hate our guts for killing family members, collaterally or otherwise, destroying their livelihoods and their country, Abu Gharib (yeah maybe they don't want to forget about that) and maybe just maybe the knowledge that innocent people are being kept in Guantanamo without charge for 13 years and won't be let go because even though innocent we figure that they are mad at us for imprisoning them?

I think back to those playing cards of enemies the Bush administration came up with and I wonder if the people over there have a deck of playing cards of photos of torture in Abu Gharib?

Training wheels... how arrogant we really are to think that we would be loved after invading and destroying their nation (s). We call it training wheels because a few in government have thrown their lot in with us but we haven't won hearts and minds... too many dead for that I think. Death by drones is a helluva way to win friends and influence people too.

Training wheels? Maybe they just aren't interested in doing what the invaders want and prefer keeping the training wheels... so that we have to do it and take the risks ourselves?


I was going to say "those aren't training wheels - they are a ball and chain to keep them enslaved to the US system" but you said it so much better!


Perhaps they wouldn't hate us so much for our condescension if we did not turn so many of their children, women, uncles, fathers, friends, husbands, wives, cousins, etc,, etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, into bloody spots on the wall. Considering human beings as so undeserving of any kind of consideration except to kill them where they sleep, worship, walk, eat, etc., etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum is condescension so deep as to mimic the gas chambers and ovens at Auschwitz. They do not hate us for our freedoms, but for our bloody-handed, unchecked, murderous license. If it were only "training wheels"!!


How about "Fatal Flaws in the Exceptionalism Psyche?" I'd think that's a better subject to investigate.


Best comment on this thread so far, Kakistocrat. My first thought was:

"Training wheels": millions dead, millions more displaced, lives shattered, societies shredded for generations to come, histories erased, cultures pulverized.

Training wheels? Genocide is the more accurate term.


The arrogance of the USA thinking it could "train" anyone in democracy leaves any non-Murcan gasping.


What's this nonsense about how we are helping others in Iraq, etc. Spreading Democracy?? What crap. We're the Mafia. We go around the world beating the shit out of people to get what we want.....plain and simple.


Well, all I can say is that we Brits allowed the French to help remove the USA's training wheels around 200 years too soon.


I heard that...lol. You Brits are just jealous that we can speak english and whenever you guys talk people say "Huh? What did he say? What language is that?"


"Training wheels": today's version of "white man's burden."