2006 was a year of indecision. Below is a wrap-up of the year’s most important events and the nine choices they present. The first five relate to foreign policy choices, the last four to domestic policy choices. More and more, the choices we face divide us into two groups: those who are willing to stand up and fight for American values and those who fight for other values. History is rapidly leaving little room for those who wish to be neutral.
1. Forwards or Backwards? About Iraq, last year I wrote: “…Pressure is mounting on Syria and Iran. By historical standards, the cost has been extraordinarily light. The question is: Do Americans have what it takes to continue making these kinds of sacrifices?” A year later and Muslim extremists are on the ascendancy in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. President Bush responded to 9/11 by challenging the status quo in the Middle East and choosing offense over defense. The enemies of Western Civilization and Democracy are pushing back. In the West knees are buckling.
2. Now or Later? Since 1979, Iran has been sponsoring, funding, training and encouraging terrorists. Their agents are directly responsible for the violence in Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and anywhere else you find angry mobs of Shiites. Soon they will have the capability to make dirty (nuclear) bombs. A federal judge recently concluded Iran was responsible for the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 which killed 17 US servicemen and women. Iranian leadership will continue to expand their reach and they will not negotiate while their power grows. The longer we wait to confront them the worse it will be for everyone.
3. Regional Ally or Special Relationship? The balance of power in Asia and the Middle East lies with India. Perhaps President Bush’s longest living legacy will be his decision to develop a close diplomatic and strategic alliance with India. The Indian Democracy has the potential to emerge as an economic and military giant. Affection for America and Americans runs higher in India than almost any place on earth. A U.S.-India alliance (combined with Australia and Japan) has the power to contain Iranian, Russian and Chinese power and limit the spread of the different philosophical cancers these countries would export.
4. Sheep or Wolf? The Russian Federation is now officially a cesspool of blackmail, political assassinations, mafia thuggery, corruption, disease and negative population growth. Russia has no future. This is mostly the result of 70 years of communism. Former Soviet satellites such as Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia are struggling to protect their fledgling democracies from Russian evil. Do we have the courage to form a new NATO to protect them? The old NATO serves no purpose. History is calling.
5. Patton or the ACLU? A plot to bomb passenger planes leaving Britain was foiled this year. It was successfully averted because of the wide-ranging tactics our government is using in the War on Islamic Terrorism. Will we continue to allow our agents on the front line wide latitude or will the lawyers get to run this war? As both Abraham Lincoln and FDR can attest to, it’s better to save your civilization now and apologize latter for manners and methods.
6. Private or Public Property? Americans around the country rejected the Supreme Court’s ruling (Kelo v. City of New London) last year that governments can condemn your property for any good reason by passing anti-Kelo ballot measures in a number of states. But the threat to the concept of private property continues to grow with the rise of Big Green””the environmentalist industry. Their latest spawn, the Global Warming Juggernaut, continues to generate reactionary public policy. Fear is a wonderful motivator for tyrants, but environmental laws and regulations are not exempted from the Takings Clause of the Constitution of the United States.
7. Pro-America or Anti-Bush? For Democrats who won control of Congress in November they must decide whether to use their power to attack and undermine President Bush or to offer positive solutions for the future of America. Bet on more of the former as the 2008 presidential elections get underway over the next few months. Democrats will be expected to offer new solutions to our problems. Simply offering the same old socialist, tax and spend, command and control plans will lead to a very short shift on the bridge of the ship of state.
8. Open Borders or Orderly Process? Americans must decide what to do with the 11-13 million illegal aliens working and living across our country. Simply deporting them all is not realistic. But granting citizenship to everyone would only guarantee tens of millions more pouring into a nation that environmentalists want us to preserve, not to pave over. Amnesty is not the issue. The issue is whether we will decide the rate of immigration into this country or simply leave it up to market forces. There are 300 million people inside and 6.3 billion people outside. There must be some organized mechanism for controlling our borders and most importantly it must work.
9. Morality and Freedom or Narcissism and Slavery? Milton Friedman died this year. What a loss. Friedman clearly articulated the choice between freedom and slavery. The current so-called “Culture War” is about the indispensable handmaiden to Freedom: Responsibility. A sense of responsibility to something or someone other than yourself comes from morality and it must have a source. There is a strong desire by many in this country to push aside Judeo-Christian morality. However, an alternative and equally strong source for morality is not offered in its place. Only a fool would trade something for nothing and nihilism is just what we’re getting in our culture today. In sum: without morality freedom can not long last.