Let me get this straight. We now have even more federal dollars and American lives to spend on two countries to help them become beacons of democracy in the Middle East, after thousands of years of tribal warfare. Trillions (yes, with a T) of dollars wasn’t enough.

Afghanistan is a relatively small agricultural country whose cash crop is the poppy – and not the ones you find in your local flower shop.

We’ve tried to show them how to grow other crops like corn and potatoes, but the poppy is light and easy to carry to market in a backpack, while the other crops are heavy, and they don’t have the roads to get them to market in a truck.

So where was that money gainfully spent? Should we have just left them alone?

Iraq is another story. They have oil, which they can get to market, and of course they had weapons of mass destruction. So that was obviously money and lives well spent – except that now oil is a glut on the market (just ask Russia), and we have a surplus.

Nobody saw that coming. I can even afford to fill my tank now. Oh yeah, and it turns out that Iraq didn’t have WMDs.

I can hardly wait for more fiscally and socially conservative people (read: Republicans) to be elected to Congress so they can help us quit spending federal dollars on “big government” items like health care, education and infrastructure. You know, things that rightfully should be paid for by the states. That’ll leave more money for the important things, like war.

Steve Boillot

Kennebunk