We’ve heard a lot in the news lately about whether we are more or less safe as a Nation now than we were under the Bush Administration. The main bone of contention recently has been the release of memos relating to interrogation tactics used between 2001 and 2008 but as far as the Nation’s safety is concerned all that happened in the past is really a very minor issue.
The real threat to our country comes not from what we did in the past, it comes from the message we are sending the world now — and that message is: we are not going to be that aggressive any more, that we respect those who want to kill us and will treat them as if they were a legitimate army fighting under the flag of a legitimate country. That is not only a dangerously stupid stance, it’s a sure sign of our growing weakness. Those people who hate America, hate what we stand for and want us destroyed, those people who thrive on terror tactics will feed on their impression of our weakness and yearn to use it to their advantage; it makes their mouths water for another bite out of America.
Granted our country is not weak or afraid of our enemies but impressions are very important; sometimes more important than direct threats of actions.
On a personal level: if a violent person breaks into your home, confronts you and your family and gets the impression that you will hesitate before tearing his throat out (to use a violent metaphor) he will not hesitate to tear yours out immediately. I used that violent metaphor for a reason, because extreme violence is the only language that extremely violent people understand.
Its no different with America and the violent terrorist organizations that hate us. If they have the impression of weakness — if they have the impression that we will use only civilized methods to fight them they will attack with such ferocity and such confidence in their victory that they will not be able to imagine defeat. Its a dangerous man who thinks himself invulnerable.
So am I advocating the use of extreme measures against our enemy? Yes I am — as extreme as theirs! Am I advocating torture when we interrogate prisoners? Yes, if our field commanders think it justified and believe that it will yield vital, life-saving information.
Most of all I’m advocating an unrelentingly fierce public stance — a promise to the world that we will ignore all calls for civilized behavior when we are engaged with an enemy who uses uncivilized terror tactics against innocent noncombatants.
The bottom line is we have to scare our enemies — scare them so badly that their hate begins to be tempered by fear and respect for the savage nation that will not hesitate to use their own tactics against them.
This, however, will likely never happen — not until those who provide for our nations safety come to realize the truth in that age old adage: you must fight fire with fire. They no doubt WILL realize that some day but before they do, its a very real possibility that too much damage will be done to our country and far too many innocent lives will be lost.
AlJazeera.net Bush defends “terror” policies
U.S. News & World Report: Obama’s and Cheney’s Dueling Realities on National Security
Chris Simcox’s Weblog: Obama’s socialism, A weak national defense
Rhymes with Cars and Girls: How Ridiculous It Is To Think The Left Has Left-Wing Goals