Americans never worried about the rest of the world with the exception of the former Soviet Union before September 11th, 2001. For the most part, everything “happened over seas”. Most of the world’s problems and hot spots were things we heard about on the evening news and most of us never saw the imminent threat coming toward our Republic like a fast moving train until those airplanes smashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
Past Presidents did somewhat of a job stopping and possibly postponing the attacks on our soil. Mr. Reagan and his policies did the most in eliminating the Soviet threat. But he also in proxy started our Republic’s ensnarement in southwestern Asia. By not seeing those he helped fight the Soviets in Afghanistan as a looming threat toward America, he inadvertently left open a pathway toward our shores. There may have been something to be said about letting the Soviets flounder around in Afghanistan for another decade that could have been advantageous for America. We will never know and we can not fault President Reagan in his efforts. One doesn’t know that someone wishes them harm until that harm manifests itself.
Mr. G.H.W. Bush saw threats coming. He started his defense of our homeland in the fight against Saddam Hussein. After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, President Bush did what he thought was right, and in the humanitarian aspect, he was right, by removing the Iraqis from Kuwait. If he hadn’t engaged in Operation Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein would have not only seen it as western weakness and furthered his regional aspirations over the oil fields. After the oil, he would have set his sights on the Saudis and eventually Israel. The questions remain about removing Saddam the first time but that is past us now and not worth the breath discussing.
Mr. Clinton saw things differently from his Republican predecessors. He did not see it as an over all military problem but one best fought in the law enforcement way. Instead of using overwhelming force to engage the enemy on their home turf, he instead chose to limit the USA’s responses to surgical strikes against small groups. He did engage more forcefully in the Balkans but for the most part, President Clinton chose to strike from afar.
We all know what Mr. G.W. Bush did and what Mr. Obama has done since taking office. President Bush engaged in boots on the ground military means to take the fight to the enemy and President Obama, to his credit has continued the fight and expanded it into Libya and now Africa. Maybe this is more than the past and the present. Maybe this is the path that America must take into the near future to ensure our peaceful American way of living.
The thought of America fighting continual limited wars and some not so limited is a terrible thing. To know that those men and women that have chosen to serve will be put into harms way over and over again is anathema to the American way of thinking. It seems inconceivable to think that “WE” have to be the world’s policeman. And as a father of a serving United States Marine, it bothers the hell out of me. But, and I hate to ask this question because inside I know the answer, “If not America, then who?”
America is the only nation on earth that can and will be the world’s policeman. As conservatives we hate this idea but there is no getting around it. America is the only super power in history that has not subjugated its neighbors and its enemies. Why is that? It is because the American people are decent human beings. We all that were born before President Reagan’s term remember the Soviet Union. How well did people live under it. And current and past China, how many people have died under their heavy hand. Ask those in Tibet and Mongolia not to mention the forced labor and one child policy for their own people.
As we can see if we will look, America is the only one that can preserve our way of life. That is a terrible thought indeed. But someone has to do it, especially now.
Over the past 10 years, the threat to our way of life has changed from, who is al-Qaeda and where is Afghanistan to radical Islamists in Buffalo N.Y. and the current threat against the Saudi Ambassador. Over those same years it has become clear that the danger is larger and closer to home than we thought.
Most conservatives and liberals for that matter spoke openly against President Bush’s Patriot Act and the perceived loss of freedoms that would come with its implementation. The left railed against Mr. Bush as a fascist. The right worried about it in the hands of Ms. Hillary Clinton. The left no longer mentions the fascism because Mr. Obama has continued the Bush doctrine. The right still worries about the loss of our freedoms in the hands of a President with far left beliefs.
The world is a scary place and the monsters in it wish all westerners, that’s you and me, nothing short of a horrifying death. Radical Islam is far greater problem for us than most Americans know, or believe or have even thought about. It is no longer a problem, “over there”.
Radical Islam is more dangerous than the Soviets were because the Russians loved their children and their homeland as much as we did. Radical Islam has mothers strapping bombs to their babies and mothers sending their sons and daughters out to become martyrs. Ask the Israelis about it and they can show you case after case involving those that will die in order to kill you.
As Americans, we have to accept the fact that there are those in the world and in our own beloved Republic that want nothing more in this world than to kill you. They want to kill you because you are not a Muslim that they agree with. It isn’t all Muslims, not even close. Most Muslims in America have come here for freedom and a better way of life and are proud to be Americans and love our nation and its people. They live around us, are teachers and police officers and serve in our military. Most will be nothing but friends to us. But some will never be.
How do you protect yourself against someone that wishes you dead? How do you protect your family against someone that will kill themselves in order to kill your sons and daughters? People like that can not get enough counseling to change their way of thinking. Those that think and feel that way will continue to think and feel that way. There is no hope of getting them to change their ways through human means. I believe there is one way for them to change but then this is not an article about religion. Maybe later.
There may just be a small, small percentage of Muslims that have this belief. But, even if it is just 1 or 2 percent, how comforting is it to know that 1 or 200 million people want to cut off your head?
Over the last 10 years my thoughts on these matters have meandered back and forth numerous times. After the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, I once again worried about the implications of the Patriot Act but have come to the realization that it has to be there to protect us. YOU and ME. Without it, these two would have continued their path to killing Americans. It is good that these two are dead and good that those that are engaged in protecting us have the means to do so. There is no antidote to radical Islam. There is no rehab and there is no co-existing that you see on a bumper sticker on a left wing liberal’s car or bicycle. Given the opportunity, they will kill you and your family and all that don’t submit to them.
So, in essence, the only way to live in our peaceful America is to pray for and to thank those that serve, domestic and abroad and to remember the words to an old song.
“Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming…
So prepare, say a prayer,
Send the word, send the word to beware –
We’ll be over, we’re coming over,
And we won’t come back till it’s over, over there”