Welcome to the third millennium.
In Thursday’s column I wrote about the need for the West to defend itself
as a civilization. I emphasized the importance of armed might in preserving
the engine of progress — Western civilization. In response to this, a
reader wrote to complain that I had over-emphasized armed might. He reminded
me that freedom is the engine of progress. But freedom comes in a Western
package, and the West is a unique territorial space which must be defended.
If this space is overrun, that which wins is unlikely to represent freedom.
To those who think freedom is primary, I would like to say that the armed
man comes first. And the armed man is not free. He is bound by duty. It is
an old and established rule that a soldier who deserts his post in battle
has committed an offense punishable by death. Without the armed man, bound
by duty, there can be no free men at all. This is because freedom does not
come before the fight for freedom. The fight comes first, the freedom comes
after. Before we can have freedom we must have duty.
The West has been successful up to now. But as duty and moral obligation
give way to more licentious definitions of freedom, the legacy of the past
no longer guarantees the future. Karl Marx, over a hundred years ago, noted
that the emerging ruling class of the liberated West was the bourgeoisie. In
his famous work, “The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” Marx correctly
stated that this new ruling class is “unheroic.” Nevertheless, creating and
sustaining a bourgeois society requires “heroism, sacrifice, terror, civil
war and battles of peoples to bring it into being.”
As we enter a new century the need for heroism remains. However important
money may prove to be, the logic of freedom is the logic of duty and
heroism. We must oppose our enemies, not appease them. We must therefore be
strong and well prepared for the challenges ahead.
Regarding these challenges, a special report was recently published by
the Center for Security Policy and the Blanchard Economic Research Unit. The
report is entitled “Clinton’s Legacy: The Dangerous Decade.”
The report begins with a quote from George Will saying that war is hardly
obsolete. The report then offers the observation that President Reagan’s
legacy was not about money or prosperity. It was about national security in
the face of Soviet aggressiveness. Reagan believed that the free market
would take care of itself. The job of government was to defend the country
against dangerous enemies. Therefore, Reagan spent large sums of money to
make America strong.
“By the end of Bush’s term in office,” says the report, “the world was at
an extraordinarily promising point.”
Then came the presidency of Bill Clinton. Wanting to do business with
China and other hostile powers, Clinton gave a green light to businessmen
who wanted to invest billions in places like China.
And now we have a mess on our hands. The money we poured into Russia and
China has been transformed into new weapons of mass destruction. And these
weapons are being spread around the globe.
According to the above quoted report, the three countries most
responsible for spreading mass destruction weapons to other countries are
Russia, China and North Korea. “The international situation is volatile,”
says the report. Yet America’s most powerful interests — political and
financial — continue to play a dangerous game by stuffing our enemies with
“Engagement” is the theory that we make enemies into friends by trading
with them. All too often, however, engagement is a Trojan Horse. The trade
itself opens us up to subversion. America’s trade with China has not
softened the Beijing regime. Instead, it has softened America. This
softening is reflected in a number of dangerous attitudes that have taken
hold. According to the Center for Security Policy, we are failing to
perceive threats that are now emerging against us. We also rely too much on
According to the “Clinton Legacy” report, “the military balance in Asia
has already begun shifting from one favoring the United States to one
placing its interests increasingly at risk.” Rear Adm. Albert H. Konetzni, a
U.S. submarine fleet commander, says: “There are currently 268 non-U.S.
submarines in the Pacific, of which 193 belong to nations that would not be
As hostile nations continue to modernize their military power, the United
States grows weaker. Currently we are spending only three percent of our
Gross Domestic Product on our military forces — the lowest level of
spending since World War II. We have also damaged our defense capability by
bringing political correctness into the military, negatively impacting
morale and performance.
If the incoming Bush administration hopes to deal effectively with the
problems created by the outgoing administration, then a heroic stand must be
taken. Duty must be placed above money and licentiousness. Bush must risk
his popularity and nice guy image by challenging the business community’s
eagerness to deal with communist China and other dictatorships. He must
oppose political correctness by eliminating feminism and homosexual activism
from the military. If Bush is not courageous in these critical areas, if he
does not put duty first, he may not be able to cope with the growing threat
from China, Russia and their smaller allies.