Twenty-four years later, it's "Star Wars" to the rescue
By Vincent Fiore
To some, 1983 may as well have been the dark ages in the United States..
At that time, America had a conservative president in the White House, who, in addition to being responsible for the worldwide outbreak of AIDS and the nation's homelessness problem, also thought to "intercept nuclear weapons and destroy them as they emerge from their silos."
For on March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan revealed to the American people his vision for the nation's protection by asking 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?"
Hence, SDI, or the Strategic Defense Initiative was born.
Predictably, the liberal chattering class in Washington as well as the mainstream media--already in near hysterics over Reagan's "evil empire" remark made just week's earlier in a speech in Florida--greeted Reagan's policy initiative with derision, scorn, and fear.
From their standpoint, elected Democrats in Washington were part and parcel of a mindset that permeated the 1960's, 70's, and until Reagan came to Washington, were destined to carry over into the eighties and beyond: The concept, or policy, of MAD, or otherwise known as "Mutually Assured Destruction."
Reagan knew that talk of arms control was nothing more than a vehicle for Soviet nuclear arms expansion. For Reagan knew early on--since 1969 when the SALT talks (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began--that:
"There is a myth that arms control agreements automatically produce arms reduction. Well, between 1969, when the SALT talks began, and the mid-eighties, the Soviets increased their number of strategic nuclear weapons by thousands, and under the limits set by the SALT I and SALT II agreements the number could have reached thousands more. That might be arms limitation, but it sure wasn't arms reduction."
The work started by Ronald Reagan in 1983 was carried on by President George H.W. Bush, but essentially shelved by President Bill Clinton until a CIA report initiated by congressional Republicans in 1994 dragged him kicking and screaming back into it in 1998. In 1991, Bush the senior refocused SDI into something more like a land-based national missile defense system (NMD).
For his part, Clinton finally signed the National Missile Defense Act in July, 1999, investing further money into the program but stressing that "no decision on deployment has been made."
In January, 2001, newly elected President George W. Bush entered the White House, and shortly thereafter, announced in May that he would be committing to a national missile defense system, which would in turn "violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the former Soviet Union," much to the consternation of MAD- Democrats and their legion of liberal supporters in the media.
On that day, Bush stated: "This treaty (the ABM) does not recognize the present, or point us to the future. It enshrines the past. No treaty that prevents us from addressing today's threats, that prohibits us from pursuing promising technology to defend ourselves, our friends and our allies is in our interests or in the interests of world peace.
"This is still a dangerous world--a less certain, less predictable one. More nations have nuclear weapons and still more have nuclear aspirations. Many have chemical and biological weapons."
These technologies are being spread to "some of the world's least-responsible states."
Meaning states like Iran, North Korea, China, possibly Syria, and, until this president decided to deal with him, Saddam Hussein's Iraq.. Liberal naysayers can play games regarding Hussein having WMD's or not. Clear-thinking people know he had them, used them, and would have most certainly sold them, given the chance.
America was right in 1983 to support Reagan and his SDI initiative, and until the media and the Democratic Party decided to choose politics over national security, the American people supported this president as well. And that support has paid off.
Though it received little press--far less than it should have-- America now has a working missile defense system. On January 29, Reuters reported the following:
"Within a year, the U.S. missile defense system should be able to guard against enemy attacks, while testing new technologies, said Brig. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, deputy director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The United States activated the ground-based system last summer when North Korea launched one long-range and six short-range missiles."
The latest test results are stunning: "O'Reilly said the missile defense system, which includes sea-based and ground-based interceptors, and powerful X-Band radar systems, achieved success in 14 of 15 flight tests. The United States has 14 interceptors in Alaska and two in California, primarily to counter North Korea.. O'Reilly said the number in Alaska would grow to 21 within eight months."
So where would America be if its Reagans and Bushs listened to the heavily-biased and agenda-driven reporting of such anti-American periodicals as the New York Times?
In a "six-month period commencing in December 1991, the Times ran 17 anti-SDI articles, op-ed pieces and editorials denouncing SDI as, among other things, a ‘"bizarre, costly concoction....science fiction...lunacy...sheer fantasy…'" The Times gave front-page coverage to Teddy Kennedy's Senate speech deriding SDI as "Star Wars," likening the idea to a science fiction movie or a video arcade game, and thus providing SDI foes their slogan-of-choice."
It is 2007, and there are enemies of the United States that have the ability to launch nuclear missiles, and kill millions. Because of the vision of Ronald Reagan, and the belief of future GOP presidents, SDI is a reality, and it will save lives, and cause the North Koreas and Irans to think: Success is far from guaranteed anymore, but U.S. retaliation is a certainty.
So please, call it "Star Wars" if you like, but give thanks to a man who saw the future so much clearer than anyone else in the country, and believed in it enough to take all the slings and arrows that the Democratic Party and the liberal media could hurl at him.
Like the Iraq war of today, in 1983 there was one political party invested in victory, and the other invested in America's defeat for the sake of political power.
In 1983, Reagan gave America the courage to dream big. Because he did, the world may yet avoid the "Nuclear Winter" so many feared. Thanks to Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative, actual, real wars may be avoided--wars where the human cost is unimaginative.
Vincent Fiore is a freelance political writer who lives in New York City.. His work can be seen throughout the Internet, including the American Conservative Union Foundation, GOPUSA, Human Events, ChronWatch, and theconservativevoice. Vincent is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance and a contributing writer for NewsBusters.org. He receives e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.