The federal government does many things. It pays farmers to grow?or not grow?crops. It racks up huge bills for pork-barrel items ranging from bike paths to tattoo removal. It even runs programs that hand out condoms to high-school children.
The list goes on and on. Small wonder the federal government spent $20,000 per household last year.
But there?s one important job it?s supposed to be doing: Protecting us from foreign threats. That?s why we should give credit where it is due.
The leadership of President Bush and his foreign policy team has made us safer today than we were last year?and far safer than we were on Sept. 10, 2001.
Consider these accomplishments:
· Osama bin Laden is hiding in a cave, whispering idle threats into a tape recorder.
· Saddam Hussein is out of power and in custody.
· Afghanistan soon will elect a democratic government.
· Libya has agreed to end its nuclear weapons program.
· India and Pakistan say they are committed to a peaceful resolution of their differences.
All these represent important steps toward a more secure world. And they all happened because the United States showed international leadership and projected power.
Our friends on the left take a slightly different view.
They claim we?re not safer with Saddam behind bars. They accuse us of ?forgetting about? Afghanistan. They would have us believe Libya is voluntarily stuffing the nuclear genie back in the bottle. They pretend that our strong actions to crack down on terrorists, wherever they are, had nothing to do with Pakistan?s decision to end guerrilla warfare and open peace talks with India.
They?re wrong. We?re safer now because we?re taking the fight to the terrorists, instead of waiting for them to attack us.
Some ?view terrorism more as a crime, a problem to be solved mainly with law enforcement and indictments,? President Bush said in his State of the Union address. However, ?the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got.? War on their turf, not ours.
We?re safer here at home, too.
The Justice Department is judiciously enforcing the Patriot Act, which took a number of laws already on the books and applied them to terrorism?without violating our civil rights. As former Attorney General Edwin Meese has observed: ?There are now more protections, including the requirement of a judicial authority to get third-party records such as library records. This is not the ability to go into someone?s home and take his private papers.?