Sunday, June 7, 2009

Defending America

"Did you know that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the known world free of the fear of molestation. He could walk across the earth unharmed, cloaked only in the words 'Civis Romanis', I am a Roman citizen. So great was the retribution of Rome, universally understood as certain, should any harm befall even one of its citizens." 

-President Bartlett from "The West Wing" 

I am a West Wing addict. I do 3 things (other than essentials like eat, sleep, etc.) just about every day when possible: 1) Read my Bible 2) Workout and 3) Watch the West Wing. If you aren't an avid watcher now, I advise you to go buy Season 1 as soon as possible, as it's blend of drama, comedy and politics is unmatched by any show I have ever watch. The only thing that could possibly make it better was if it was a Republican White House. Of course, President Bartlett's administration is very liberal, which is why I disagree with much of the policy on the show. However I also disagree with the writings of Dan Brown, but it's still exceptional writing, which I appreciate. 

I bring this up because many times, the West Wing sometimes shapes how I think. The writers are very informed and knowledgeable. One such not-so-liberal instance was in the Episode from Season 1, a Proportional Response. A new President Bartlett and his staff are just settling in the White House. The President befriends Maurice Toliver (who's just recently become a father of a little boy and a like-able character) , an army doctor who gives the President regular medical checkups. Toliver's plane, while traveling to the Middle East for a routine mission, is shot down unprovoked. The President's staff advises him to use a "Proportional Response" by hitting a smaller target like an army building, which is usually deserted anyway, prepared for the attack. The President is furious, and demands a larger attack that won't look like they're "docking someone's allowance." 

It's funny how, despite having a Military that is unmatched by any ever to walk the earth, we still seem to be the target of bullying. Terrorists attacks or threats, whatever it is, it seems to be never ending. On September 11th, 2001, we were attacked by these criminals for hopefully the last time. Standing amongst the rubble of the World Trade Centers, President Bush stood with a Microphone and, after an on looker shouted "We Can't hear you!", he bellowed these words: "I can hear you. I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." The crowd burst out in applause and chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" George W. Bush didn't come back with a Proportional Response. The came back with the wrath of God, crippling the ones who did this horrible deed. 

I would consider myself a "Bush Fan". He made his mistakes and there are certainly things about his Presidency I would change. There are few President's who can say different. I do not believe he will go down in history as one of the greatest President's ever or one of the worst ever. His decision to invade Iraq will continue to be one of the most controversial ever made. Only time will tell if it was the right decision or not. If Iraq does continue improvement and does and becomes a democracy, then a job well done. If not, it will be a tragedy. However, few can deny that Bush restored lost dignity and respect to the White House and the Office of the President. He took out a dangerous tyrant despite overwhelmingly high public disapproval. He showed it was acceptable for his faith and policies to mix. He also did something which is rare in Washington: he did what he thought was right, not what he thought would be popular. 

War is never an easy thing. Putting the lives of young men and women in the middle of combat must be a taxing decision for any President. Yet, at times, we need it. Terrorism was one of the fastest growing trends around in 2001 and 2002, and American's were frightened at the thought of being attacked at any moment. This should never happen. America is the greatest country in the history of the world. Our military should strike a fear so great that not a soul would dare step on this soil with intent to harm. A "Proportional Response" is no good. In times like these, we should use the full force of the American military to wipe the floor with our enemies. 

Now let's be very clear. I'm not saying America should go to war every time a plane gets shot down. I'm saying that when we feel threatened or feel like our citizens are in danger, we should attack with all we got. It works much like a prison system should. As of now, prisons aren't nearly as tough as they should be. What do criminals have to be afraid of? A life without financial struggle? A life where they can relax, play basketball, lift weights and get an education? Prison isn't scary like it should be. Prison should be an awful place that frightens people outside it's walls so much, they wouldn't dare do anything that could lead there. It's the same idea for our military. If you show you strength and power and more importantly, show you aren't afraid to use it, attacking America won't be thought of lightly, if thought of at all. 

Americans, as President Bartlett said about the Romans in the West Wing, should be able to walk the earth "unmolested" with just one defense, "I am an American." 

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