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This is Precisely How the Indians Lost Manhattan

March 7, 2011

Have we learned nothing from history? (No.)

These days the story is considered terribly non-P.C., but in grade school we learned


all about how the innocent and nature-loving natives of the New World were talked into giving up their land and their homes on Manhattan Island in return for a handful of “wampum”, which even in those days was the financial equivalent of Cheez-Its. That didn’t seem too fair even to the mind of a nine year old, but we were assured that this trade was a good thing (“They weren’t doing anything with it anyway…”) and that the natives were happy to be done with Manhattan. Now that the Europeans had relieved the natives of their burden, they could use it to discover Religious Freedom, or, failing that, build a Starbucks on every block.

The reason I bring this up is because of an alarming Reuters story I read recently, which says that American diplomats were seriously gung-ho on trading Lockheed-Martin F-16 fighter jets to the Thai government. That in itself is not unusual; governments trade things to each other all the time, which is apparently how we wound up with Justin Bieber.

But this was an unusual trade. The Thai government, who swore up and down that they were only going to use the heavily-armed fighter jets to drive back and forth to church on Sundays, did not want to pay cash for the deal. They proposed a different kind of payment.

They suggested that we, the United States of America, trade fighter jets for FROZEN CHICKEN. A lot of it, I would imagine.

And the American diplomats almost wet themselves in response. “Sure!”, they agreed enthusiastically, “A boatload of chicken parts is just what this country needs!”

Unfortunately for the American government, the Thai regime was ousted in a military coup and the trade never happened. But their willingness to give away our technology and military secrets for the poultry version of wampum is just scary and bad business to boot.

I think they should have at least held out for lobster.





One Comment leave one →
  1. March 15, 2011 3:19 PM

    I KNEW the U.S. could not have possibly produced such an atrocity as Justin Bieber. I will sleep better with this knowledge. Thank you.

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