Cicero wrote, “To Freemen, threats are impotent.”
In the 1970’s during the Nixon administration, we were faced with the might of the Soviet military forces at every corner. Our administration was determined to exit Vietnam and make concessions to the Soviets that would through repercussions allow the expansion of their domination of free peoples. These very concessions were made in private and were made to insure the continuance of the Nixon administration and ultimately that of the then Secretary of State, Henry Kissenger. These concessions would in effect guarantee that the soviets could export their ideology reinforced by military might by exporting not only equipment but also soldiers that they termed as “internationalists” to actively participate as they did in Angola. Our government betrayed the very ideals of democracy; treaties of our allies, and the oaths of our soldiers to be sacrificed for short term gain… which in the end considering Nixon’s demise….. to be short lived.
Even under the Carter administration, the surrender of initiative and of those who would want to be free continued. He fell into the communist’s traps of continued efforts to bring a co-existence through the use of treaties, failing to ensure fair and equitable terms while also failing to lock in securities for verification. This disparity became evident later proven by the sheer number of missiles and improved uranium that was discovered to be 45,000 missiles instead of the forecasted 30,000 and 1,200 tons of improved uranium versus the predicted 600 tons. Carter’s sellout didn’t stop with equipment. A family attempting to escape the Soviet Union was made to live in a small room that the marines guarding the American Embassy called the “dungeon”; while the Ambassador ordered them to not be allowed any embassy food. The American personnel acting against his wishes would instead go out and wait in Soviet food lines to buy these poor souls food. The Administration’s intent was to ensure that they did not offend the Soviets.
Ronald Reagan changed that approach. Rather than continue the strategy of appeasement and passivity, he raised the stakes. He had always believed that communism could not keep up with the desire of their people for freedom nor our free market even recorded in the Soviet’s own secret files. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian dissident in 1975 posed a thought that Reagan helped bring to fruition when he stated, “Yes, Yes, Of course we all know you cannot poke a stick through the walls of a concrete tower, but here’s something to think about; ..what if the walls are only a painted backdrop.” He demonstrated that despite threats, military maneuvering we would fight this on our terms and helped crush the Soviet Empire by not being swayed by fear, swayed by the threats of force by the Soviets.
Today, nations around the world face oppression again…staring into the face of the totalitarianism of extreme Islamic fundamentalism. They rule with fear and brutality. Brutalizing their own people with murders of honor killing and oppression of their women with denial of their ability to be educated or to vote. Brutalizing those that would bring their people out of the dirt by beheadings and killings of innocent people. Worse is the glorification and commission of the murder of thousands in the attack on the towers in New York City on 9/11 and the bombings in Spain.
Lessons throughout history to include dealings with Hitler, Stalin, and the Soviet Union, has demonstrated that dealing with such tyranny with anything less than strength and refusal to capitulate reduces nations of people to tyranny. This is reinforced by Lawrence’s writings from his experience with the Arab forces in WWII.
The right approach to this tyranny is the multilevel approach we are now engaged. We have exceeded all accomplishments in history by defeating religious zealots in Afghanistan bringing them democracy. We have freed a second nation that potentially poses more democratic pressure against the other non-democratic governments of the region. It also delivers from the terrorists the ability to hide, organize and eliminates free support in one more nation. We are seeing today evidence of other nations attempting appeasement while profiteering, nations surrendering the national will while still not receiving the peace they were proffered. Now, we have a video from Osama offering peace to the “States” that will vote as he wishes shall be free of his anger.
The choice is ultimately do we live as freemen…. facing and doing the things that we must to win this war...to defeat this tyranny…or do we surrender our freedoms to threats enslaving ourselves to the whims of fickle and ruthless masters. Spain has acquiesced yet the empty promise of the enemy has not stopped them from planning a new attack that was narrowly averted. Their claim of their “nation” is really a borderless state that can include a single person in another nation. Rules designed to standardize headwear in France is received as an attack on “their” nation of Islam.
We have seen tyranny before; to proactively attack it is a prudent resolution. As Cicero said, “To stumble twice against the same rock is a proverbial disgrace”. We cannot afford to always wait on the terrorist to strike but instead must carry the fight into his home and destroy his network. These are the times that when we strike that we must strike so that it rings clear that this type of activity isn’t rewarded and that there is no hope in it; while raising the newly freed with charity and support to stand on their own so they can have the true chance to fulfill their dreams. We cannot afford to stumble when the costs are related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and the freedoms of the world’s peoples. The nations we have freed are showing that the tyranny we face is a backdrop from which the oppressed hoped someone would penetrate, that is what we and our allies are doing. We are tearing that shroud of slavery and allowing the light of a new day to be seen. Let’s rise up as Freemen rather than cower as slaves against these terrorist's threats.