Being on a ship in the North Sea, asleep, at one o’clock in
the morning, and colliding with another vessel, is not a
pleasant experience.  Dangers surround us at all times, and
wandering around in a Pollyanna stupor can get us killed.
It has been said that maintaining peace is only possible
when you are prepared for war.  Are we?  Or, can we be?

Many events have provoked our country to action over the
past thirty years and we seem to ignore the inevitable: more
to come.  How protected can we be?  Big question!  The
fastest gun will always be a target.  We will always have
enemies – it’s the world we live in.  With all the $billions
we, as a country, and we, as a people, have dispersed
throughout the world to virtually every downtrodden nation,
in the form of food, medicine, medical equipment and
hospitals, foreign aid, agriculture, ad infinitum, we are
still the enemy.  Explain that.  It’s the truth of the old
saying: “give a man a fish for ten days and then withhold it
from him and he will think you are stealing from him.  So,
we give and give and give – and without any participation or
investment on the part of the recipient, and with no sunset
clause in the deal, we are not only hurting ourselves but
enslaving others.  Once an “entitlement” is inserted in the
budget, it never disappears, but only festers like gangrene.

Are we at peace today?  Some would say yes.  Others might
see us as hurtling down the freeway at a hundred miles per
hour.  Suddenly blindsided, as with the Marine barracks
bombing; the Cole bombing; Boston Marathon attack; Fort
Hood; the disabling of the San Jose power substation, and
others, we must realize that what Abraham Lincoln voiced way
back in 1838, is as true today as it was then.  He opined
that all the forces of the world could not combine to take a
drink from the Ohio River without our permission.  At what
point then, are we vulnerable?  It must spring up amongst
us.  “As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time,
or die by suicide.”  With the lackadaisical attitude of our
society today, incremental erosion continues in a downward
spiral: abortion; homosexuality; abominable debt; armed
forces spread around the world, but with nothing
accomplished; more people on welfare than drawing a
paycheck; small businesses closing for lack of people
willing to work when they can get more for sitting on their
rears.  My opinion is that there will be no correction to
this aberration; people have been getting a fish for far too
long.

War is not a game that, when boxed in, we can just hit reset
and move on.  A country that values the protection of its
own citizens and resources, is a “prepared” country.  And it
comes with a cost, of course.  The first element of cost is
the ability of the administration to acknowledge that evil
exists and will visit you if you ignore all the signs and
spend all of your time on the golf course…or vacationing
or fund-raising, rather than staying awake at the switch.
It behooves all of us to demand that we maintain a ready and
capable armed force to protect our shores (and borders)
against all enemies, foreign and domestic, but spend the
money wisely in the process.  The first step might be to
stop arming our enemies and poking sticks at hornets nests.
And, by all means, stay awake at the switch.