(Second in a two part series)
For sheer horror, nothing could compare to the detonation of a nuclear weapon by terrorists. Cities would be uninhabitable. Markets would plunge, leading to a global depression. Martial law would likely be imposed, with civil liberties turned into unaffordable luxuries of the past. Chaos would rule, life in the West would never be the same, and the terrorists, for all practical purposes, would have won.
Achieving a 99 on a test is fantastic, but that same score, applied to stopping nuclear-armed terrorists, would be a catastrophic failure. So the strategy is very straightforward. As Coach Boone said in Remember The Titans, "We will be perfect in every aspect of the game."
Because if we aren’t perfect, it’s game over.
Of course, the problem isn’t al-Queda developing the bomb, since more often than not those ass-clowns accidentally blow themselves up while handling even the simplest explosives.
The clear and present danger is a rogue nation such as Iran developing the bomb. But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, crazy like a fox, is way too smart to launch nukes against Israel, for he innately understands that doing so would make his country the world’s largest piece of glass. Israel and the United States would retaliate with a massive nuclear attack of their own, and Mahmoud loses.
So the issue is Iran funneling nuclear weapons to terrorists, a possibility that grows as Iran’s march towards nuclear statehood continues.
So how do you stop them?
A) Stop making idle threats. Nothing is more counterproductive than a war of rhetoric with no hammer to back up those words. Unfortunately, this is nothing new, as all recent Administrations have made this their de facto policy.
Hollow words are appeasement. They send a message that we are weak, a carte blanche for adversaries to advance their nuclear interests unimpeded. It is only when a strong leader with a clear policy — and the resolve to execute it — comes along that things change.
B) Sanctions are a solid step, but many countries cheat with no repercussions. If nuclear technology and supplies continue to circumvent the sanctions, what’s the point? It’s time to call out the offenders for their unjustifiable actions in front of the global community and cut them off. We have the biggest stick. Time to use it.
C) U.N. weapons inspections sound nice, but are worthless since they have no teeth. Saddam Hussein played the U.N "inspection" game masterfully, stringing out the process and turning it into a laughingstock. We got lucky, since he had no nuclear program. Not the case with Iran.
D) Deal with the Muslim world in the only language they understand: ultimatums backed up by a massive sledge hammer to the testicles for noncompliance.
A look at history shows the inarguable success of decisive leadership:
After Libya masterminded the bombings at the Rome and Vienna airports, and the German discotheque, Ronald Reagan launched comprehensive air strikes, missing Gaddafi by mere minutes. And the Achille Lauro highjackers? Nailed. The message was unmistakable: with Reagan calling the shots, Libya would face increasingly severe consequences for each terrorist act. Keep in mind that Gaddafi, much like Ahmadinejad, was portrayed as a "madman" with whom one could not reason. Reagan proved that incorrect, as Gaddafi virtually disappeared during the remainder of the Gipper’s term.
It is no coincidence that American hostages, after 444 days of captivity in Iran, were freed the very day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. Carter was perceived as weak, while Reagan’s resolve was feared. Mission accomplished.
-By contrast, George H.W. Bush, perceived as an appeasing wimp, presided during a resurgence of Libyan terror activities. After the bombing of Pan Am 103, how did President Bush respond? He didn’t.
But Gaddafi once again played ball when George W. Bush threatened regime change, correctly calculating that keeping his WMD program was far outweighed by a wounded but ferocious American tiger coming at him. Saddam, on the other hand, responded with his middle finger — a decision that didn’t work out too well for him.
Those successes should be built upon, as all are rooted in sound policy backed up by iron-fisted force. But what America cannot do is idly blabber while the enemy becomes stronger, since Iran passing the point-of-no-return is absolutely unacceptable.
How about this for a New American Doctrine:
1) Civis Romanis (I am a citizen of Rome). Rome’s policy was unmistakably effective: If harm should come to even one citizen, Rome’s retribution would be on a scale never before seen. Rome placed such a high value on its citizens that any transgression against them was seen as an act of war. Marauders got the message loud and clear, and Romans traveled the breadth of Empire free of worry, confident in their safety.
This is as applicable today as it was then, since the nuclear weapons of rogue nations threaten every American. But Civis Americanis isn’t our policy, and it shows, as threats are growing: North Korea’s missile tests, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Venezuela’s vehement anti-U.S. policy and the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan. These countries must be forced to understand that American lives and interests are sacred, and nothing comes before them. Nothing.
2) Properly assume the role of the world’s only superpower. Stop appeasing — and apologizing to — those who threaten our physical and economic security, establish clear ground rules, and act with immediate decisiveness when those rules are violated. The world is a global economy, so America needs a proactive (but not an interventionalist, boots-on-the-ground) foreign policy.
And if the U.S. is to remain the preeminent power, quickly achieving total energy independence is imperative.
3) No nuclear weapons for any more countries. This one is simple: institute a global ban on any more nations developing nuclear weapons. Period. Any country pursuing a peaceful nuclear program but not allowing American weapons inspectors total access, at all times, will have all of their nuclear facilities, and their Defense Department, flattened. On this point there can never be negotiation or compromise. If it takes 20,000 pounds of bombs to get the job done, then use 200,000. Pound the facilities by a force magnifier of ten. Then hit them again.
While some will label this a reckless policy that would destabilize the Middle East (isn’t it already?), look to history. When Israel took out Iraq’s nuclear facilities at Osirak in 1981, what happened? The world feigned disapproval, but every nation breathed a huge sigh of relief. Israel is still in existence, Iraq became a nuclear eunuch, and the world is undoubtedly a safer place.
If our resolve does not weaken, and if we are diligent about respecting the sovereignty of other nations (with the exception nuclear weapons), the United States will once again stand proud as the world leader representing peace through strength.
At the risk of using the wrong messenger to convey the right message, heed the words of Al Capone in The Untouchables:
"Somebody messes with me, I’m gonna mess with him. Somebody steals from me, I’m gonna say you stole….You can get further with a kind word and a gun, than you can with just a kind word."
Right now, America has the gun, and Iran the pea-shooter. Since all of humankind hangs in the balance, let’s keep it that way.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at [email protected]