If you wish to understand the core thinking behind American - and consequently Western - behavior in the world today please read this article Zero-Sum in Brussels: the Savage Vision Driving a Terror-Ridden World by Chris Floyd.
As we've come to expect from the mainstream media, the attack in Brussels has set off yet another wave of the drums of fear, to remind us that we really need to be afraid.
The supreme irony with all this is that Western policymakers are the very people who have created the situations that produced the fear in the first place. And now it's a vicious circle and it's played out for so long that you'd think common sense would have gotten involved to demand an end to it with some semblance of justice. Or at least you'd think this mentality would have withered because it can't stand the test of time (an eye for an eye and we're all blind). But no, not yet anyway, it hasn't. The same mentality/mindset that suckered us into the military invasion of the Middle East in the first place is still on power. And now they are even richer, more powerful, and more determined then ever. They truly believe in the zero-sum game Chris Floyd describes so well.
As evidence look at the fear being whipped up over Brussels, which of course will lead to more tightening of 'security' (aka surveillance), and very likely an escalation of war in the Middle East.
How do we get out of this mess? I think the solution lies in revising our election system so our best people can rise to the top based on their positions on issues important to us. Such a system would first be used to develop the list of important issues. With this done, the system can collect candidates and their positions on the issues. Then it can match our individual positions on the issues to the candidates, to help us identify candidates with matching positions. In other words, we develop the list of issues - as opposed to being told what they are, so we can decide who to vote for based on a comparison of our own positions on these issues with candidates positions. Anyone can announce candidacy for any position by registering and stating their position on the issues relevant to the position. Think of it as a giant matching process, made possible by computer and Internet technologies. All it needs to work is our participation. Who would operate it? The USPS would be my choice. Like it or not they are in the "mail protection" business, and whatever they wind up doing to secure our snail mail will apply to protecting electronic messages as well.
It's a whole concept that has probably been debated since the ancient Greeks that fell into the "good idea but we can't do it" bucket. But times have changed and now we have these amazing computer and Internet capabilities that could support such a system without breaking a sweat.
I'm saying all this because I have absolutely no doubt there are many truly capable and qualified Americans out there, we just need to give them a path to governance. There is still time to start undoing the damage wrought by the fear-mongers.