The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple principle that a nation must be strong in order to have peace and prosperity. The Founders of our nation and the Framers of our Constitution understood this principle and enabled the United States of America to become the first truly free people in modern times. By working together during the Revolutionary War and afterwards, Americans gained not only freedom but strength, peace and prosperity. The young nation soon became the most powerful nation in the world.
According to W. Cleon Skousen, the goal of the Founders and Framers was peace and the means to peace was strength. He quoted Benjamin Franklin as writing: “the very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for `tis a wise and true saying, that `One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.’ The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent.” (Ibid. as quoted in The Five Thousand Year Leap – 28 Great Ideas that Changed the World, p. 184.)
Skousen quoted Franklin as writing at a later time: “Our security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth, that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared; thence it will soon be thought proper to treat us not with justice only, but with kindness, and thence we may expect in a few years a total change of measures with regard to us; unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become as tame as those in the eastern dominions of Britain [India], when we may expect the same oppressions; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, `Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.’ (Ibid., 6:3-4 as quoted in Leap, p. 184.)
President George Washington was described as being “First in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” He held the respect of his countrymen and still deserves our respect. His “position on national defense was in terms of grim realities experienced on the field of battle. No man wanted peace more than he. And no man was willing to risk more in life and property to achieve it. In nearly the same words as Franklin he declared: `To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.’ (Fitzpatrick, Writings of George Washington, 30:491).” (Skousen, Leap, p. 185)
“Peace through strength” implies that strength through military preparedness is a necessary component of peace. This is phrase was first used in the first century A.D.; it was used much later by Ronald Reagan in his political challenge against Jimmy Carter in 1980. He accused Carter of being so weak in his leadership that he invited attacks against the United States and its allies. As President, Ronald Reagan used the phrase “Peace through strength” as part of his foreign policy and explained his purpose in 1983: “We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist on its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington’s words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. `To be prepared for war,’ he said, `is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.’ Well, to those who think strength provokes conflict, Will Rogers had his own answer. He said of the world heavyweight champion of his day: `I’ve never seen anyone insult Jack Dempsey.’”
“The approach was credited by many for forcing the Soviet Union to lose the arms race and end the Cold Ward. `Peace Through Strength’ is the official motto of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).
“Peace Through Strength” appeared in the Republican Party platforms of 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012.”
Compare President Reagan’s motto of “Peace Through Strength” to that of the current occupant of the White House of appeasing, apologizing, and bowing to our enemies. During the six years that Barack Obama has been Commander-in-Chief he has done much to weaken our nation by his policies and particularly by cutting our military strength.
A blogger wrote recently: “An American Hero… and Obama. I walked out of the movie American Sniper with a heavy heart. The senseless murder of Chris Kyle at the hands of a fellow veteran is a tragedy. But it is also appalling that the Obama administration chose to snatch defeat form the jaws of victory in a war that Kyle helped to win. Obama’s disdain for our veterans who have given life and limb and heart and soul to protect their country and its freedoms has been apparent for years. His assault on the military would be horrible at any time, but in the midst of war, it is criminal.”
In October 2014 Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal spoke about numerous Obama policies that have weakened our nation: “`[Obama] leaves for the next president tools of hard power that have fallen into disrepair. Military strength should not be the primary means by which the United States executes its foreign policy. But it is the indispensable element that underpins the other tools….’
“Jindal seeks to claim the legacy of former President Ronald Reagan, borrowing a line when he argues that, `Peace through strength costs infinitely less in American blood and treasure than does war precipitated by weakness.’
“He argued that more money will allow the United to `rebuild the tools of military power’ to create a force, `not to nation-build overseas, not as a police force or a Keynesian jobs program, but as a deterrent to our adversaries, and as a tool to eradicate threats to American lives and interests.”
The Conservative Tribune published the following in August 2014: “The United States of America is the sole remaining superpower in the world, for now. It was able to rise to such a position by a general policy of `peace through strength’, having a strong and robust military that prevented rivals from making moves against the US.
“But things have changed now, and after more than a decade of the War on Terror, and especially after the implementation of several policy changes by the Obama administration, morale has declined significantly, and our military is transforming into a hollow force, a paper tiger.”
This publication noted that some of the ways Obama is transforming our military are: (1) “an ongoing purge of the US military’s leadership by the Obama administration, (2) “the repeal of `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, which allows openly gay people into the military.”
(3) “allowing women into combat infantry units.” It also notes that some of the generals, etc. who were “retired” or forced to resign are now speaking out against the administration, something unheard of during previous administrations.
David L. Goetsch suggested in April 2014 that Barack Obama is weakening America on purpose, not because he is an inept Commander-in-Chief: “Anyone who knowingly ignores clear and present danger is courting disaster, a fact that makes it difficult to understand why Congress continues to sheepishly acquiesce as President Obama takes a meat cleaver to the defense budget. Elected officials in Washington, D.C. – people who are privy to accurate, up-to-date information that has not been filtered through biased media outlets – continue to ignore the clear and present danger represented by President Obama’s on-going cuts to the defense budget. Barack Obama is weakening America’s military and, in turn, America. Worse yet the evidence suggests he is doing this on purpose.
“Congress and presidents have always responded to the end of major hostilities by cutting back on military expenditures – think of World War II, Viet Nam, and the Cold War. But President Obama has broken all precedent by cutting the military’s budget at a time of increased hostility toward America. President Obama’s only interest in the military seems to be in scoring cheap political points by: 1) moving military dollars into social programs, 2) coercing the service branches into accepting open homosexuality in the ranks, and 3) advocating for women in combat. To President Obama the military is just a convenient organization he can coerce into advancing his leftwing social agenda….
“I used to think that President Obama was just inept when it comes to military and foreign relations matters, and he is. In his book Duty former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates makes clear that President Obama and his closest advisers are uncomfortable with the military and distrustful of military leaders (and vice-versa). However, the evidence now suggests that President Obama’s ineptitude in defense and foreign policy matters conveniently disguises an agenda aimed at weakening the United States by weakening the military. In other words, when President Obama continues to undermine the military in spite of the on-going terrorist threats, nuclear advances in Korea and Iran, the re-emergence of Russia and its expansion minded president, and increasing terrorist violence on American soil, any objective observer would have to conclude that the president’s unstated goal is to purposefully weaken the United States. No other explanation makes sense.”
The writer then asked his readers to consider America’s situation and ask themselves the following questions: “1) Is America’s economy stronger since Barack Obama took office? 2) Is America’s military stronger since Obama took office? 3) Are there fewer threats to America’s security since Obama took office?” Most Americans would answer “no” to all three questions.
I think that you can probably see the point I am trying to make. America has peace when it is strong, but when America is weak or acts weak, peace is far from us. I believe that Barack Obama has put America in a much worse condition than Jimmy Carter did. I think that Mr. Carter was simply an inept president, but I believe Mr. Obama is an evil president or at least acting under orders from evil people.
I believe that we are living in the times prophesied by ancient American prophets. They warned us that secret combinations would be in every nation in the latter days. I believe that our government is now under the control of evil and secret combinations of men and women, both Democrat and Republican, who seek the overthrow of the United States of America. I believe that this is the reason why our military is being weakened. I believe that very difficult times are coming to Americans and all nations. Please pray for America and for the power to discern and eradicate the secret combinations in our midst. May God bless America because the peace for the entire world lies in the strength of America.