The headline in my local weekly paper was strikingly idiotic:
“Ending War through Diplomacy.”
The article spoke only of the current war against terrorism. I think we need to remind ourselves exactly who it is we’re at war with: terrorist thugs who, well, terrorize. Such evil-minded individuals aren’t prone to sit down for a polite discussion.
People forget that we’re not at war with Iraq -- we’re at war in Iraq. We’re not fighting a nation or a government with a designated leader. We’re fighting terrorists who scurry among Middle Eastern countries and hide out in caves.
Yes, they get cover and support from rogue dictators and are led by individuals we can identify. But you don’t negotiate with mass murderers like Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri. These are fanatics who strap bombs on children, target civilians in neighborhood markets, and burst into universities and seminaries and blow people away. You don’t hunt them down to have a chat. You hunt them down so you can rid the world of them and their evil.
Of course, protecting our nation and freedom isn’t easy or cheap. As Congress prepares to work on its annual budget blueprint, we need to make sure they include the funds required to train and equip our military to do the job. Our brave men and women deserve better than to be put at risk because we didn’t budget enough money.
Polls suggest that many Americans think we already spend too much on defense -- never mind adding more. Others think it makes up the largest part of the federal budget. Quick: How much of gross domestic product do you think we spend on defense?
25 percent of GDP? 50 percent?
The actual number is less than 4 percent. Bet you’ve never heard that from the establishment media or liberal leaders.
To put the amount in perspective: It’s less than the 4.6 percent we spent during the Gulf War, significantly lower than the 11.7 percent we invested during the Korean War, and a fraction of the 34 percent we spent during World War II.
Former Sen. James Talent of Missouri, a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation who served on both the Senate and House armed services committees, recently offered this sobering assessment in a major article for National Review: