National Missile Defense
edited: Saturday, February 23, 2002
By Douglas De Bono
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2002
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NMD - Why are we still waiting?
How is it that the only remaining superpower does not have the means to defend itself against ballistic missile attack? How does the country that liberated Kuwait find itself still facing an intractable enemy in Iraq and Iran? How can a country like North Korea be allowed to develop a credible intercontinental ballistic missile force?
The easy answer is eight perilous years under the dubious leadership offered by Bill Clinton. If it is that simple then we have only ourselves to blame for Chinese missiles targeted on American cities; North Korean missiles capable of mounting chemical, biological and nuclear payloads; Iranian missiles coming on-line to threaten Israel and American forces in the Gulf; the deadly confrontation between Pakistan and India.
Certainly, Clinton’s foreign policy facilitated these developments and a very successful Chinese espionage program added to the treasure trove of knowledge, but Clinton could not and did not do this alone. He had help from a liberally biased media and elected congressional leaders.
National Missile Defense is not only needed, it could be argued that it is constitutionally mandated. Yet, the Clinton Defense Department short changed NMD research and development, they murmured it could not be done, and they played sophist games with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The ABM is an agreement entered into with a non-existent country. The Soviet Union is dead.
National Defense is not good politics unless it brings a major military base or contract to a congressional district. Providing for the country’s defense is considered provocative and could fuel another arms race. Guess what China is building a blue water navy and ICBM force—we are in an arms race. The world could tumble into another Cold War. These are the fear mongers that resonate well on the Sunday news shows.
These are the same people who cautioned us about Ronald Reagan and his itchy trigger finger. They threatened to withhold rations, fuel and ammo from American troops during the Gulf War. They backed away from their Constitutional duties and left Bill Clinton in office.
This all changed on September 11, 2001 when thousands lost their lives as the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were smashed by flying bombs. Islamic terrorists broke the calm over Election Day left a lasting mark on the American psyche. Incredibly there are those who argue this was a low-tech attack and there still is no need to for NMD. The only reason it they needed to hijack planes, murder innocent men, women and children is because they have not yet perfected their ICBM capability.
Like Pearl Harbor sixty years ago, these cowardly enemies have awaken the slumbering American giant to a cold, calculating rage. There are still those in the Congress who will argue in the coming days that it can’t be done or it is not the overarching national priority. They have grown so use to neglecting their primary constitutional duty that they no longer recognize the fallacy of their arguments. The primary duty of the Federal Government is to provide for the nation’s defense. NMD is certainly one piece of this very important concept.
Perhaps, we should have told Jimmy Doolittle that flying army bombers off the deck of the Hornet was too risky. Maybe we could have convinced Chester Nimitz and Bull Halsey that betting the farm on American fighting men at Midway could not be done. These nay Sayers probably would have discouraged Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk.
America is the country that defeated the Axis powers in World War II. We landed men on the moon. We won the Cold War. We will be the people who exterminate the purveyors of terrorism in our time.
America needs leaders with vision and purpose! Consider the differences between Teddy Roosevelt (who forged ahead with the Panama Canal and the national park system), and Jimmy Carter (who wore a sweater and bemoaned the energy crisis). Who would you have lead? The man who charged San Juan Hill, or the man who presided over 444 days of malaise during the Iran/Hostage Crisis?
There is one final thought to consider. In the summer and fall of 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy would never have considered attacking America had they perceived her to be strong. They went for a knock out blow—a killing strike. They woke a sleeping giant. They thought us weak and discovered the opposite. No one attacks a strong America. No one in Beijing, Tehran or Baghdad believes we will fail if we pursue NMD, in fact they fear the exact opposite—that we will succeed in securing our borders once again.
Unfortunately, we have received a bitter wake up call. The 300 million tons of rubble in New York City and the sad smoke pall over the Pentagon are stark beacons that someone thought we were weak, self-centered and fearful. The weeks and months ahead will prove terribly wrong these modern day bandits are. Only despots need fear a strong America