National Security: No Time for Useless Pretending
October 29, 2006
(This is a continuation of a series of columns focusing on issues facing the American electorate. A portion of today's article will deal with the war against terrorists)
Our country is a great American Adventure with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is an adventure of men, women and children with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We are an ordinary people made up of farmers, carpenters, teachers, health care workers, mail carriers, community volunteers, retailers and a host of others. We take pride in our great American heritage with the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation. The great and imaginative engine of the free enterprise capitalist system has produced the greatest nation the world has ever known ...economically, culturally, technologically or by whatever measurement one chooses to cite. We are a working people with the wisdom to remember and the courage to change and that is the hallmark of a free society.
The mid-term elections are on the very threshold; just a few short days away. Some of the candidates for public office have spoken words of wisdom with common sense solutions. And, on the other hand, as with SOME of our candidates, the campaign rhetoric is long on generalities and criticisms and short on specifics and solutions. There is, with some of our candidates, sad to say, an apparent intellectual bankruptcy. The American public is wiser than that and they deserve better than that. Americans are looking for an intelligent discussion of the issues, concrete proposals and useful strategies to unlock hopeful future possibilities.
Clearly, there is a number of hard hitting biting issues on the minds of most Americans i.e., national security, border security and the economy. For example, let us hear concrete proposals for providing the adequacy of affordable health care. Rather than, as some have proposed, take from those that have something and give to them that have less and then these so called "problem solvers" pretend they have fixed the problem. This is folly and cruel. And, at the same time, they propose to raise taxes and spend more; that, to them, is creative problem solving. That, too, is pretending. Further, we ask where are the workable formulas for safeguarding Social Security, building excellence in our educational institutions, and instilling integrity in our judicial system? There is the call for expanding government regulations and increased entitlement spending as their creative strategic plan for the expansion of the economic base for economic growth. That is an off the wall pretentious economic plan that is no plan at all.
This week we focus on the critical issue of the war on terror and protecting the American people and safeguarding our American adventure. Some of our candidates for federal office, present no plans for protecting Americans against violent murdering terrorists and winning the frightening war against fascist Islamic radicalism. In fact, they are against the NSA's wiretapping program of potential enemies, strengthening our intelligence gathering component. Further, some are against the Patriot Act while and at the same time they advocate, as a way to protect Americans, to pamper terrorist and coddle enemy combatants. What we hear is "soft on terrorist" rhetoric and moral equivalency rather than moral clarity. Again, that is another example of unproductive pretending. All of this at a time when the men and women of our armed forces are in arms way. This is shocking and must be personally disturbing to our uniformed personnel and their families and friends!
We ask the question: with the "axis" rogue nations of North Korea's nuclear-bomb claims and Iran's intransigence on its uranium-enrichment program and with the current war against radical terrorists, are we safer now or less safe? There is no definite answer. But the fact is, according to the noted economist Charles Krauthammer, "during all wars we are by definition less safe--and the surest way back to safety IS victory." Further, we would do well to honor the wisdom of General Douglas MacArthur in his words "In war, there is no substitute for victory."
There are those, to the dismay of many, who support appeasement over strength, surrender over vigilance and the weakening of national defense. It is disheartening that today we hear voices of "cut and run" pessimism. This defeatist rhetoric, seem to lack any plan for safeguarding innocent lives, to reinforce homeland security or any plan to win the war against fascist terrorists. These strident voices call for immediate "give up and withdraw" from the war against terrorist operating in Iraq. These voices call to negotiate with Islamic militants who have no respect for human life; to negotiate with those whose goal is to destroy those who honor life, liberty and property. These same voices call for a reduction in spending for national defense and to weaken the fabric for homeland security. Think of it, we did not negotiate with the carnage of Hitler's Nazis Germany or with Japan's Hirohito and his attack on the innocent lives at Pearl Harbor. We were determined than, as a people, not to pretend but to defeat the Axis powers. If we had not acted as we did, speculate where might we be today? But we did act. And a willing and committed people along with statesmanship-like leadership moved forward with a will and a determination to protect the homeland and to preserve freedom for millions. Thanks to the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. And thanks to, to John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missal crisis and Ronald Reagan in his call to Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall."
All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally, the major anxiety of their people in their time," said liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith back in 1977. "This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership," Galbraith concluded. It is true, we face daily the threat of terror from the fascist forces of radicalism and the extremism of Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. This is no time for moral equivalence but it is time for moral leadership where there is freedom from tyranny and hope against fear. Truly, that IS in the spirit of the American adventure. There is nothing pretentious about that! And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.