The dangerous world in which we live

Joan Hart

Joan Hart


The year was 1983.  The president was Ronald Reagan and he was addressing the Congress as he said, “When I took office in January 1981, I was appalled by what I found: American planes that couldn’t fly and American ships that couldn’t sail for lack of spare parts and trained personnel and insufficient fuel and ammunition for essential training. The inevitable result of all this was poor morale in our Armed Forces, difficulty in recruiting the brightest young Americans to wear the uniform, and difficulty in convincing our most experienced military personnel to stay on.  There was a real question then about how well we could meet a crisis.  We had to move immediately to improve the basic readiness and staying power of our conventional forces, so they could meet -- and therefore help deter -- a crisis.” (Sound familiar?)

Then he posed this question:  “What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?”

He was referring of course to the prevailing foreign policy doctrine of that time - Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).  The concept in itself was pure madness, defined in the dictionary as foolishness, idiocy, stupidity, insanity and lunacy.  It was predicated on the premise that no foreign power would attack us because they knew we could retaliate with even bigger weapons and they would also be destroyed.

But President Reagan had the prescience to see that the day might come when we would be dealing with a true madman, an immature rogue dictator who is willing to starve his own people so his little country can become a major nuclear power and rule the entire world.  In his childish immaturity, he is willing to sacrifice many of his countrymen and the citizens of neighboring countries to feed his ego.

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


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