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Over-Politicizing Our National Security

Written by | January 25th, 2009
I have been thinking about this for a while and decided that it is time to try to put these thoughts into words: 
If we were to be asked, “do you want to be liked”? I think that most of us would answer, “of course I do”; it is human nature to want to be liked. Then if I asked, “would you be willing to sell out your values, and/or your core beliefs, in order to be liked”?  I have a feeling that I would get a very different response. 
So, where am I going with this? 
For the most part, I thought that Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was very good, however, there was one line that jumped out at me, and really gave me pause; it was this line…
“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”. 
First of all, we? Did he mean to say; I reject as false the choice between our safety and “my” ideals? 
And this is where the over-politicization can be, and has been a detriment to our country. 
Is war ugly? Dam right it is!
Do most people like war? I would have to say, no.
I for one, hate it. 
Do I believe in diplomacy?
I sure do. 
Have we lacked a bit of diplomacy over the last eight years?
I would answer, likely. 
Were we attacked on 9-11?
Yes we sure as hell were. 
Is there a good chance that others are plotting to hurt, even annihilate us?
I would think that one is a bit naive to think not. 
So, what exactly is our ideals, and when does the safety of “our” country stop becoming a first priority?
Yes, I said it! It is “our” country! Liberals, conservatives, Republicans and Democrats alike; and most of us love our country. 
Again, history can teach us a whole lot…
Franklin Roosevelt is thought of as one of our greatest presidents; he lead us through World War 2, a depression (arguably), and he was a Democrat. 
Does everyone know about the executive order that FDR put into place after the “attack” on Pearl Harbor? 
In 1942, FDR ordered the internment of nearly 110,000 Japanese Nationals and  Japanese”citizens” to so called War Relocation Camps, out in The Western United States. 
Now, was this wrong? That is a subject that is likely still being debated today. 
Was FDR doing that because he was a terrible, prejudice person? I doubt it, since part of what he is known for, is advancing civil rights, during his presidency. 
Was FDR putting our national security first? Well, everyone can decide for themselves, however, I am going to say…Yes, of course he was. 
By the way, another interesting fact is, in the 1960s, years after Roosevelt’s death, there were allocations being made that he was not pre-emptive enough in World War 2; as a result, many innocent people in Europe died. Again, I am not saying that he was right or wrong, but I am saying that history does repeat itself; and if we can not learn from history, then what can we learn from?
 
So, in times of war, and when American lives are on the line, I for one am glad that our president has executive powers to put the safety of the citizens of this country first; despite politics, popular opinion, so-called ideals, and concern that other countries may be upset with us. 
Looking back, it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, and say, “well, may be he should not have done this and that”, however, by the end of World War 2, Hitler, Mussolini, Fascism, Imperialism and The Nazis were all defeated. 
I for one, would “not” want to have to make these decisions, and that is why I never considered running for president; however, if a president is looking out for our safety, over political correctness; at least for a period, until our intelligence tells us that we are a bit safer, then that is a president that I can, and will stand by. 
So, after thinking about it, and saying that I want Barack Obama to do well; I found that what I really want is for America (not one man) to do well. If he makes good, sound decisions, and puts our safety above all, then of course I want him to succeed; on the flip side, if he starts to enact a series of policies that compromises American lives, then leads to further attacks on American soil, then should I still wish him well? I think not.  
Only time will tell; and I say that we need to give “our” new president the necessary time before passing harsh judgements. That being said, one thing that I do know for sure, is we “did not” ask for Pearl Harbor, or 9-11; nor should we turn on any president that is trying to keep us safe from foreign threats. 
In my opinion, as president, that is his most sacred duty to the people of this country. 
Perhaps a time will come to where we can stop over-politicizing; in particular, our national security.
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6 thoughts on “Over-Politicizing Our National Security

  1. KEB

    All I can say is WOW …

    Before now, I had thought of you as more of a reactive thinker. This is perhaps the most insightful thing I have seen in quite some time.

    Reply
  2. markross Post author

    K,

    I like using history to draw modern day parallels; history can be a great barometer for how to handle modern day events. I see the above, as both reactionary (Obama's Inaugural Speech, and some recent executive decisions made) and reflective, as in looking back over the past.

    In any case, I am glad that you enjoyed it. : )

    Mark

    Reply
  3. KEB

    I prefer the insightful introspective analysis that is shown in this article. How you discern the difference between making a decision and doing what is right is quite interesting.

    Many times we find ourselves in the position of making decisions that we don't find appealing. Every time I have to discipline my children, I feel as if I have betrayed them just a bit, but yet even then, I realize that it is the right thing to do, regardless of whether I think it at the time.

    The juxtaposition of FDR and Obama to compare and constrast their attitudes gives me pause to consider the direction our country has taken in the last 60 years. We have become a nation of "feel good" politics. The right thing to do is no longer the "right thing to do".

    I have a creed I have lived with for many years. If I am not making someone angry, then I am not doing what I think is best. A wise man once said, "You can make some of the people happy all the time, and you can make all of the people happy some of the time, but you will NEVER make all of the people happy all of the time." This is as true today as when those words were first uttered. However, the problem we face in the current culture of the country, is that in an effort to cater to the masses, many things that should be done, are not, and many things that should not be done, are.

    Until we have a true statesman take reign of our country and provide the true leadership and dedication this country needs, we will be left to flounder about gasping for air.

    I WANT friends to commiserate with me. I WANT enemies to provide dissonence. I NEED a leader to provide Direction, Dicipline, and Dedication to this country. Without it, we will be a short lived people.

    Reply
  4. markross Post author

    Well said! And, thank you again! That is very nice of you.

    That is the beauty of writing, isn't it?

    One may get touched by something that another will skim right over, and vice verse.

    I write what I feel, when I feel like writing. Often, my intent is just to get people to converse, and to spur on conversation, rather then "just" putting out my "own" feelings about things.

    I actually enjoy giving my commentary on other people's writings, as much, if not more then writing it myself.

    K, In this case, let's keep in mind that I am writing what "we" discern as being right; however, I'm pretty sure, others may not see it as such; so be it!

    Usually, when writing, I try to be as fair and rational "as possible", however, in this post, I felt the need to be more expressive of my own, "true" feelings…

    Reply
  5. markross Post author

    Anyhow, you are correct, doing the right thing, “is not” always doing the politically correct thing.
    There was a long period of time to where I was very upset with George Bush when we wound up (on the ground) in Iraq. I am still not thrilled about it, however, I do believe (unlike Vietnam) that we do need to come out of there with dignity and not out of political expediency. If we were to radically leave Iraq, and a civil war breaks out, then we’d be in much worse position, on the world stage.

    Like a lot of other people, 9-11 changed the way that I think of politics, the world and our country forever.

    Somehow, over the last three years, I started looking at President Bush very differently as well; I’m not sure if it is maturity, or I just realized things that I did not see before.

    That being said, we are/were in desperate need for a change, however, no one can deny that we have not been attacked since 9-11, therefore, the last administration “must” have done something right. Now, if this administration comes in and starts reversing a whole lot of policies, just to be politically favored, and we get attacked again, then I do believe, this administration “will” have hell to pay. Perhaps that is what it will take for a lot of people to open their eyes up again, and realize that we are living in a very dangerous time, in history.

    It is the old saying, “the grass is not always greener, on the other side”.

    My post was really a parallel between what George Bush and FDR did, however, you may have noticed that I did not even need to name George Bush once in the post.

    So, FDR was a democrat, yet he sent The Japanese “citizens” off to camps; Citizens! that had the “same” constitutional rights as any other America citizens; that is almost insane when you think about it; can you imagine if we had rounded up every Middle Eastern descendant, that is legally an American citizen, after 9-11, and sent them off to camps? Bush would have been castrated! The point is that both FDR and Bush took measures (right or wrong) that they felt were keeping The American people safe; yet how many people really appreciate that?

    Still, people are bitching because we have “suspected” terrorist in a Naval Base, in Cuba; they are “not” American citizens and they do “not” have the same constitutional rights as we do.
    In the past, when suspected or known enemy combatants were captured, in the field, we had military tribunals..Do I need to bring up The Nuremberg Trials? Instead, should we have brought those high level Nazis to America and handed them some lemon-aid and a Lazy Boy chair? They were f-ing hung!
    Ten to be exact. They were responsible for the death of millions of innocent people.

    There was a time to where American politicians had fuzz on their kiwis; now, on this issue, they bounce around like parakeets, afraid that they may upset the apple cart; while they “can” take billions of our tax payer dollars and toss it into the wind.

    OK, well, thus far, 62 of these known enemy combatants, in Gitmo, that have been released, have proved to go back to the combat zone and have taken up arms against America.
    Yes, that is only 10% of those that are held, however, it may only take a handful of them to pull another 9-11.

    Do we have an extremely bad economy right now? Dam right we do!
    And if they had their way, on 9-11, we may not even be here to talk about it.

    And how about Jack Murtha? Let’s bring them to Pennsylvania.; excuse me Mr. Murtha, but I’d rather not have enemy combatants in my state, thank you very much!

    It is simply insane! When are we going to start putting America, and The citizens of this country, first again? And when are we going to be able to stand behind our leader’s decisions again?

    I truly do believe that if our politicians continue to dance around like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, we are going to pay a hard price again.

    I am begging them to please…wise up!

    Mark

    Reply

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