Since World War II, the United States has financed the reconstruction of Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. For 65 years, we have funded the rebuilding of infrastructure and the development of democracies. We had great success in Europe, assisting in the rebuilding of France and Germany, followed by the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. We have had some failures as well, which will haunt us as we move forward. Overall, working with other nations, we have made the world a far better place.

I am very concerned that our investments in nation building and foreign aid are no longer producing the results they should. We are throwing away billions of dollars on bribing foreign governments. On her recent trip to Pakistan, Secretary of State Clinton announced that we are giving $500 million to build health facilities, dams and assist in agricultural projects. There is another $1 billion in non-military aid already approved to go to Pakistan. This despite the fact that the Council of Pakistan Relations admits that only 17 percent of the Pakistani population have a favorable opinion of America. To me it's simple. If they don't like us, don't give them our money.

Let's move on to Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan is costing us many billions of dollars. More importantly, it is taking the lives and limbs of many American soldiers. They are fighting in a godforsaken place where there is little or no hope for a long-term solution. I believe that we must support our troops wherever they may be, but we should not waste our treasure participating in another country's civil war. Afghanistan has been in turmoil for many decades. We supported the Afghani rebels when they were fighting the Soviet Union. We gave them guns, we give them ammunition, and we gave them training. Now that the Russians have pulled out we find ourselves fighting the very people we armed and trained.

There can be no favorable outcome from this conflict. The Afghan leaders have made it clear in the recent past that they will support whatever side wins. Mr. Karzai was prepared to meet with the Taliban when he had a tiff with our government. If he meets with them, I expect he will be beheaded. Since he has rejected us, it is time for us to drop our support of his government.

I cannot understand what the American interest is in this Afghani situation. If Osama bin Laden is Afghanistan, then the millions of pounds of bombs we have dropped all missed the target. I believe that bin Laden, if he is still alive, is elsewhere. I do not see that there is an American interest in this country, and for that matter, the entire region. They do not have anything of value to America, other than the poppies they grow to make the heroin that poisons our youth. They do not have any minerals that we need, although they do have over $1 trillion in national resources. I pity any company that tries to mine these resources and bring them to market. They will be under constant attack and warlords will steal their product. While I sympathize with the Afghanis, I do not believe it is our duty to protect them from their own people.

Now the war is moving into parts of Pakistan. I've heard that Osama bin Laden is there. This sounds like the "weapons of mass destruction" that were in Iraq. These weapons, which were never found, were used to justify our invasion of Iraq so that we could overthrow the Iraqi government. We have had several aerial missions to seek out " the enemy" in Pakistan. Should this expand, we will have troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We already have troops in over 700 bases in over 120 countries. We are not the world's policemen, nor are we able to continue to fund American intervention into the internal affairs of other nations.

It is time for us to bring our troops home, close the overseas bases, and use the funding for these operations to rebuild America. We need to take the money we have been sending overseas and use it in our Marshall Plan. We must rebuild the burned out, rusted, and abandoned cities and factories throughout America. Pennsylvania needs jobs, not more taxes to fund foreign countries and oversees military operations. Let's take $5 billion and give it to small businesses and entrepreneurs to use to tear down our pathetic infrastructure and replace it with viable industry and commerce.

We cannot expect other countries to fund the rebuilding of our cities and the reemployment of our workers. Only we can do this. It must be funded at a time when money is tight and our government is focused on foolish laws that overburden us with taxation. Like many of you, I have written and faxed my members of Congress, I have marched in protests, and I have stood firmly with my fellow patriots in demonstrations. Since the Tea Party movement started last year, I have met countless people who feel as I do. We love our country, we love our freedoms, and we love the protections granted in our Constitution.

It is time for us to move to the next level. We all talk about voting out the members of Congress and replacing them with new blood. I do not believe that this will cure our ills. We need a new plan. We need to look to our own resources to rebuild our nation from the ground up. Welfare and unemployment insurance is no replacement for honest work. I believe that Americans have a very strong work ethic and they want to work. Many of them are currently unemployed through no fault of their own. While the government debates unnecessary laws like "financial reform", the health-care package we cannot afford, and the other legislative monstrosities that will enshrine our nation in generations of debt, they are not focused on promoting jobs through the revitalization of our national infrastructure. They have ignored small business. I believe that this was intentional for they know that small business, when motivated, will create the jobs we need to climb out of this economic quagmire. By placing more taxes on the backs of small businessmen the government is ensuring that Americans will be dependent upon politicians for their bread and their circus.

The opinions I express are often deemed radical by people who wish to languish in the dismal depths of despair that best describes our current economy. It's time to go beyond "flipping the house" to focus on restoring our country. I want America to return to the prosperity and the patriotism we experienced in our youth. Our children and grandchildren are just as American as we are. They want the same freedoms we want. Our job is to guide our nation through these difficult times and to transfer our beliefs and value system to our children. If we do this properly, the politicians will be facing a formidable force in every election for the next generation.

We cannot wait for others to take the lead because they will not. Each of us has to do our part whether it be writing articles or attending Tea Party events locally or in Washington DC. I look forward to joining with you in DC on August 28 and September 12. We need to stand before Congress and let them know we are watching and that we will no longer tolerate their reckless spending. They need to understand that their focus is America. Not Pakistan. Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. They must concentrate on rebuilding the American dream and putting Americans back to work.

© 2010 Gordon Smith, All Rights Reserved