Two recent presidents of the United States, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, have learned the most important lesson of the Comanche tribe: the overriding importance of a strong defense.
Though Comanche were not a religious people, and even known as “agnostics of the plains,” their intuition told them that the power of victory lay in the shield, not the arrow. There was medicine in the shield. It was “sacred,” if such a term can apply to old Comanche ways. There was nothing special about bows, arrows, lances, or even war bonnets.
The shield enabled the warrior to survive. Therefore, it was a very personal item, and the object of his supreme regard.
Well, maybe Reagan was part Comanche, or maybe the younger Bush has a Comanche ancestor. For all their wild and infamous aggression, the Comanche knew success lay with the shield, the thing that defended you against a missile of lead, bone, or rock.
Right now, America has no such shield, and the threat is more dangerous than ever.
“America is in the sights of rogue states,” warned Reagan Secretary of State Jeane Kirkpatrick in 1999. America currently has no defense against a ballistic missile attack. If North Korea launched a nuclear missile on Seattle, it would destroy the city. Most Americans are completely unaware of this. How did America’s ominous insecurity evolve? Why are we now defenseless?
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States both stockpiled nuclear missiles. The only deterrent to annihilation was to have more missiles than the enemy. And whoever fired first would meet immediate retaliation. The two powers trusted their mutual instincts for survival, believing neither would destroy the world.
Oddly enough, this naïve notion was expressed in anti-defense measures. In 1972, the United States and Russia signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (AMB), which disallowed either country from developing any nationwide anti-missile defense system: the policy known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). This is a most bizarre and irrational war concept, that two nations can blow each other up, but each agrees not to defend itself from the other’s attack.
Ronald Reagan saw the madness of MAD. He had no confidence in Russia’s commitment to the ABM, nor in the idea that having “no defense” somehow slowed the nuclear arms race. In his 1983 speech Reagan introduced his Strategic Defense Initiative, an anti-ballistic missile defense system nick-named “Star Wars.” He noted the Soviets were proliferating nuclear missiles around the world, targeting the United States and her allies. What would be the point of retaliation? He said, “Wouldn't it be better to save lives than to avenge them?” Better to knock out a nuclear missile in the air, before it destroys a city.
Professional pacifists, however, would rather risk slaughter, and they campaigned hard against Reagan’s “unnecessary” war mongering. To their mind, there is no difference between aggression and defense. Reagan said America would never be the aggressor, but was therefore the more obligated to have strong defense. The argument has never abated.
Bill Clinton, of course, was anti-defense. He did everything possible to make America vulnerable, strengthen America’s enemies, and make sure China could destroy the United States. In the liberal’s perverted idea of “equality,” this “leveled the playing field.” If we could destroy them, we must make sure they could destroy us; it’s only fair. China then sold the deadly missile technology to Pakistan, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran.
Washington was rudely awakened on September 11, 2001. The attacks on the World Trade Centers showed just how vulnerable America really was. The country had no defense against an ultimate attack.
Bush had already resumed defense concerns when he took office. After 9/11 he revived the Star Wars concept, reasserting that defense outweighed aggression. He has worked to reduce nuclear proliferation, and, more importantly, to create an anti-ballistic missile system. Rumsfeld announced in June, 2001 that America would build such a system. The following year (December 2002) Bush announced that the system would be operable by 2004. We’re not there yet.
“Peace” activists have campaigned against the system. ‘Noble’ (or is that Nobel?) scientists have raged against it; government have authorities debate it; commentators have analyze it. But the nuclear missile business is here to stay. There will be two kinds of missiles: the nuclear warhead, and the anti-nuclear missile. One will destroy cities; the other will destroy missiles. Reagan preferred the latter, because he understood the superiority of defense.
Yes, Reagan and Bush are definitely Comanche warriors. They understand that ultimate strength is in defense. Opponents of the anti-ballistic missile defense system are not brave men. Their misguided ideology threatens the safety and survival of America herself.