The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple principle that America enjoys more peace when we are prepared for war. More than 200 years of history – from George Washington to George W. Bush – shows this to be a true principle.
In his first message to the nation in 1790, George Washington stated: “To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” He believe this principle, and he practiced it.
Mark Alexander at The Patriot Post discusses how this principle runs in cycles throughout the years between George Washington and Ronald Reagan. His article is extremely interesting and gives numerous quotes from various Presidents. It also names recent Presidents who did not adhere to this principle and how the peace of Americans was affected.
Alexander quotes President Reagan as saying, “Deterrence means simply this: making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States, or our allies, or our vital interests, concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.”
President Reagan followed the administration of President Jimmy Carter. Carter did not adhere to the “peace through strength” principle, and Iran held 52 Americans as prisoners for 444 days. The prisoners were released at approximately the same time as Ronald Reagan was sworn in as POTUS. Could Iran have been afraid of what President Reagan would do?
President George W. Bush was another leader who adhered to the “peace through strength” principle. After terrorists attacked our nation on September 11, 2011, President Bush took immediate action to destroy al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recently we learned that his actions prevented the terrorist organization from launching another wave of attacks on America.
Barack Obama, like Bill Clinton before him, squandered the gains made by the previous administration. We are now weeks away from the inauguration of another President, even Donald Trump. It seems that he too believes the principle “peace through strength” because he has chosen General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to be his Secretary of Defense.
Alexander states in his article that “Putting the Pentagon under the charge of a man nicknamed `Mad Dog’ puts the world wide enemies of Liberty on notice…. Our allies respect James Mattis for his fearless courage and character, and our adversaries fear him for the same reason.” Senior officers who have served with General Mattis describe him as “a modern-day George Patton, but without all the warm fuzzies.” He is the “most revered Marine in a generation.”
Alexander continues, “James Mattis is known as a student of history. In this respect, he’s similar to his World War II Army predecessor, Gen. George `Old Blood and Guts’ Patton, who was also a prolific reader – particularly of his enemy’s writings. Mattis has a personal library that exceeds 7,000 volumes and is known as the `Warrior Monk’ both for his intellect and for being a lifelong bachelor.
“He has a long history of publishing required reading lists for his Marines, subjecting them to his personal standards of intellectual rigor and aptitude. He believes as he has often preached, `The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.’”
Alexander includes several interesting stories that illustrate the character and leadership of General Mattis. It sounds to me that President-elect Trump made an excellent choice when he selected his Secretary of Defense. Under the leadership of Mattis – and with the support of President Trump – Americans should start enjoying more peace because of its strength.