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Missile defense too costly?
Posted By Joseph Farah On 09/08/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Last week, the Air Force general in charge of the Pentagon’s missile
defense program said plans to protect American civilians from nuclear
attacks might just be too costly.
Lt. Gen. Lester L. Lyles said defense officials were considering cuts
in more than a half-dozen anti-missile programs currently in
“When we started all of these missile defense programs, they were
done from a valid sense of urgency, but one thing that was not really
factored into them was how to try to control costs up front,” Lyles
explained. “Now we’re beginning to see that we’re going to have a huge,
huge bill in the future for missile defense, and they may not be all
The truth is, the Pentagon hasn’t spent all that much on developing
an anti-missile defense to protect its citizens. Much more has actually
been spent on defending foreign soil and, to some extent, U.S. troops
I have a question for Lt. Gen. Lyles and the Clinton administration
priorities his political assessment actually represents: What price is
too high to defend America from an all-but-certain nuclear attack some
time in the future?
I mean, here we are listening to this drivel the very same week the
North Koreans are firing missiles over Japan? North Korea! Is there any
doubt that the regime in Pyong-yang would, if it could, launch a nuclear
attack on the United States? But it’s not a question of “if.” It’s a
question of “when.” In the kind of hostile world in which we live, it is
inevitable that someone, some day, is going to launch — by design or by
accident — a nuclear attack on the United States.
Some time in the next decade, renegade regimes in Iran, Iraq,
Pakistan and maybe elsewhere could have that technological capability.
Right now, the totalitarians in China have that capability, as does the
very unstable, criminal regime in Russia. How long can we rely on a
policy of mutual assured destruction to save us? How long can we expect
our string of good luck to run?
Is there really a higher priority for the U.S. government than
defending American citizens from an unprovoked nuclear, chemical or
biological attack? This is, after all, the principal responsibility of
the federal government — not redistributing our wealth, not managing
our property, not numbering us, monitoring our e-mail and our phone
calls, not disarming law-abiding citizens, not even protecting us from
discrimination. The Constitution charges the federal government, first
and foremost, with the defense of our lives from foreign threat.
When that nuclear attack comes — and it will come, someday — the
executive branch of government Lt. Gen. Lyles represents will be safely
ensconced in bunkers outside Washington, D.C. The rest of us will be on
Let’s characterize Lyles’ assessment for what it is — selfishness.
In every conceivable way, the federal government has for the last 30
years borrowed from our children and grandchildren to foster a greater
sense of dependency among the people. It has insinuated itself into
every aspect of our private lives. No cost is too high when the
government wants to indoctrinate your children, regulate your business,
reward slothfulness and score political points with the most
unproductive sectors of the country.
But when it comes to defending Americans’ lives, suddenly, the
politicians grow cost-conscious. Isn’t it amazing? It’s worse than that.
It’s treasonous. It’s unconstitutional. It’s immoral.
Most Americans, unfortunately, have no idea they are completely
defenseless when it comes to a nuclear attack. They have become fat,
lazy and comfortable. They evidently believe their government is
actually working in their best interests. They believe anti-missile
treaties will protect them. And, since they are already taxed at
confiscatory rates, they eagerly accept the word of politically
motivated generals who tell them it’s just too expensive to protect
Let me tell you, America, there is more urgency to building a
strategic defense against incoming missiles than ever before. The world
is not getting safer. We won’t have time or money to construct an
adequate defense when the threat becomes more obvious. The time is now.
Washington needs to reassess its priorities. No more foreign aid. No
more welfare. No more pencil pushers. No more intrusion into our lives.
No more regulations. No more bureaucracies. No more federal cops. It’s
time to focus on the one clear-cut job the federal government has under
the Constitution — defending the lives of Americans.
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