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Mike Hulett, Published September 09 2010

‘Understanding others’ is no substitute for national security

The author of a recent Forum opinion letter describes our national intelligence structure as “huge, uncoordinated, inefficient, possibly ineffective and certainly very expensive,” suggesting this is due to a “panicked reaction” to the thousands of deaths and mass destruction at the hands of Islamic terrorists in New York City.

He stated: “Peace is never the result of war,” apparently forgetting World War II. Were it not for American men and women willing to go to that war, Europe, Japan, the United States and others would not live in peace today.

Few would disagree with the notion that America should first seek peace through “negotiation, humane development, conflict resolution and serious efforts at understanding others.” But, when those efforts fail, and current experience shows they always fail when the “others” are Islamic terrorists, is our recourse to signal the terrorists via weak national security that we will limit our alternatives to negotiation?

Would our communication with Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Palestine be: “Our peace discussions are going nowhere, but we certainly are willing to make another attempt at conflict resolution when you are ready. By the way, seeking peace only through discussions, we will not be getting militarily involved anywhere in the world, and we are cutting back on national intelligence, so we beg you not to attack Israel, and we sure hope you won’t attack America again. Can’t we just talk; can’t we give peace a chance?”

Certainly Jesus taught “the things that make for peace.” Unfortunately, there exists a large group of highly motivated Islamic killers not willing to follow his teachings and not willing to discuss peace unless that means they win and freedom loses. Could it be that Jesus expects us to preserve the life and liberty God gave us by simply trying to get conflict-resolution sessions going while Islamic killers arbitrarily slay innocent men, women and children?

With due respect to the hopes, dreams and good intentions of the opinion writer, that approach would never be a “win-win scenario” in today’s world and, unfortunately, does not stand the tests of common sense and good judgment.

Yes, let’s ask candidates for national office in the coming elections what concrete steps they will take to bring peace to the world. The key will be to vote against any such candidate who suggests “serious efforts at understanding others” is a proper substitute for strong, decisive national security.