Debate Magazine

Fun Online Polls: USA Military Spending & "gifts for Islamists"

Posted on the 01 February 2017 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

The results to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:
Without Googling first, how much is the USA's annual military spending?
$100 billion - 3%
$200 billion - 4%
$300 billion - 7%
$400 billion - 14%
$500 billion - 19%
$600 billion - 52%

You are surprisingly well informed, more than half got it correct. When I first read that figure in an article or reader's letter somewhere, I assumed the person was wildly exaggerating for effect, I had to look it up to believe it.
IF you want to put that sort of insanely large figure in context, it's about equal to the entire military spending of the rest of the world put together, or three-quarters as much as the UK's entire government spending in a year (schools, hospitals, pensions, welfare, the lot).
This week's made-to-order Trumpage was the travel ban.
Did he do this purely as an ineffective stunt or does he genuinely think it will reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks? The thinking man's Katie Hopkins points out that Trump was merely enacting something that the previous president had already set in motion.
The vocal minority promptly jumped on their chairs and started shouting. Britain's leading Muslim politician (or the Muslims' leading British politician, as they like to see it) said the international community must show “moral leadership” by speaking out against Donald Trump’s travel ban and even the normally temperate Amber Rudd said Trump travel ban is a 'propaganda opportunity' for Isis.
Ho hum. What bothers me is the asymmetry of all this.
Mrs Merkel in Germany tried the opposite tactic and welcomed in a million Muslims. She was rewarded with an overall increase in crimes against women and spate of terror attacks, culminating in the Berlin Christmas Market attack.
Merkel's policy looks like a "gift to Islamists" to me, so how can Trump's polar opposite policy also be a "gift to Islamists"? Or is the world so f---ed up that both are?
It's a tricky question, so I will turn it round for this week's Fun Online Poll and ask which policy people would prefer for this country.
Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.

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