National Security and Some
Thoughts from Thomas Sowell
From the outset of my campaign for the U.S. Senate, which began on 12 May 2006, I said my principal concern
was National Security (see Issue #1). As a retired Navy Admiral, I felt qualified to make such an appraisal.
That is why my adopted slogan became "A Serious Candidate for Critical Times."
In the intervening four months, I often defended the President's response to 9/11 (i.e. the U.S. and Coalition
Allies invading Afghanistan and Iraq), while acknowledging many of us might have done it differently given our
20/20 hindsight today.
While I know an increasingly vocal majority is clamoring to "bring home the troops"....who are today's hometown
heroes keeping the battlefield out of our backyard, such complainants seem to think the root of the problem is
US! But for the bigger picture, AND explanation of why I think we may already be 27 years into World War III, I
am including a guest essayist, Mr. Tom Sowell:
For Whom The Bells Toll
By Thomas Sowell, August 24, 2006
It is hard to think of a time when a nation - and a whole civilization - has drifted more futilely toward
a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and Western civilization today. Nuclear weapons
in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in
the hands of international terrorist organizations. North Korea needs money. Iran has brazenly stated its
aim as the destruction of Israel, and both its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that extend even beyond
a second Holocaust. Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
This is not just another in the long history of military threats. The Soviet Union, despite its massive
nuclear arsenal, could be deterred by our own nuclear arsenal. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred.
Fanatics filled with hate cannot be either deterred or bought off, whether Hezbollah, Hamas or the government
of Iran. The endlessly futile efforts to bring peace to the Middle East with concessions fundamentally
misconceive the forces at work.
Hate and humiliation are key forces that cannot be bought off by "trading land for peace," by a "Palestinian
homeland" or other such concessions that might have worked in other times and places. Humiliation and hate
go together. Why humiliation? Because a once-proud, dynamic culture in the forefront of world civilizations,
and still carrying a message of their own superiority to "infidels" today, is painfully visible to the whole
world as ruling a poverty-stricken and backward region, lagging far behind in virtually every field of human
endeavor. There is no way they can catch up in a hundred years, even if the rest of the world stands still.
And they won't wait a hundred years to vent their resentments and frustrations at their humiliating position.
Israel's very existence as a modern, prosperous Western nation in their midst is a daily slap across the face.
Nothing is easier for demagogues than to blame Israel, the United States, or Western civilization in general
for their own lagging position. Adolf Hitler was able to rouse similar resentments and fanaticism in Germany
under conditions not nearly as dire as those in most Middle East countries today. The proof of similar demagogic
success in the Middle East is all around. What kind of people provide a market for videotaped beheadings of
innocent hostages? What kind of people would throw an old man in a wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea,
simply because he was Jewish? Or would fly planes into buildings to vent their hate at the cost of their own
lives? These are the kinds of people we are talking about getting nuclear weapons. And what of ourselves? Do
we understand that the world will never be the same after hate-filled fanatics are able to wipe whole American
cities off the face of the Earth?
Do we still imagine they can be bought off, as Israel was urged to buy them off with "land for peace" -- a
peace that has proved to be wholly illusory? Even ruthless conquerors of the past, from Genghis Khan to Hitler,
wanted some tangible gains for themselves or their nations -- land, wealth, dominion. What Middle East fanatics
want is the destruction and humiliation of the West. Their treatment of hostages, some of them humanitarians
serving the people of the Middle East, shows the terrorists want to inflict the maximum pain and psychic anguish
on victims before killing them. Once these fanatics have nuclear weapons, those victims can include you, your
children and your children's children.
The terrorists need not start by wiping our cities off the map. Chances are they would first want to force us
to humiliate ourselves in whatever ways their sadistic imaginations could conceive, out of fear of their nuclear
weapons. After we, or our children and grandchildren, find ourselves living at the mercy of people with no mercy,
what will future generations think of us, that we let this happen because we wanted to placate "world opinion"
by not acting "unilaterally"? We are fast approaching the point of no return. Send not to know for whom the
bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
Thomas Sowell is a nationally syndicated columnist.
Think about it. It may look quiet and tranquil outside today, but we may be just one suicide terrorist attack away
from becoming a Nation unglued. I think we are THAT VULNERABLE. -LC