Outside View: Surrender at home

By LAWRENCE SELLIN, UPI Outside View Commentator  |  June 15, 2010 at 6:02 AM
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HELSINKI, Finland, June 15 (UPI) -- Military personnel sent to fight a war shouldn't have to wonder if the U.S. Constitution they swear an oath to defend is being systematically undermined at home. Neither should they fear that they might be politically abandoned on the field of battle.

In that respect, certain political and cultural elites in the United States, either intentionally or not, may have spawned their own domestic axis of evil.

Far too many in Washington appear to be, not only dangerously out-of-touch with the sentiments and values of the American people but also laughably incompetent in accomplishing anything beyond rhetoric and self-aggrandizement.

Much of our current leadership seem less committed to addressing critical national security issues than pursuing political agendas dedicated solely to the perpetuation of personal power and privilege.

They persist despite the knowledge that their inaction may ultimately weaken the country. It is a degree of selfishness that defies description.

In recent years, we have witnessed the evolution of a biased and partisan national media, which, by selective reporting and "editorializing" the news, they misinform and unnecessarily polarize the electorate.

Tenured radicals dominate our colleges and universities. They have largely eviscerated a balanced educational system in favor of programs promoting political indoctrination, controlled speech and social engineering.

Lawyer and conservative author, Andrew C. McCarthy, has written that Islamic extremists and the radical left "are in essential harmony when it comes to their vision of authoritarian government and their perception of the immediate obstacle to their designs: American constitutional democracy."

McCarthy suggests that this unholy alliance represents, not only a threat from without, but a fifth column, which is using our own democratic institutions to destabilize our republic and destroy our liberties from within.

Whatever one might think of Israel, it remains a democratic outpost, now nearly surrounded by dictatorships and Islamic fanatics. The Holocaust was terrible enough but the destruction of Israel by its foes in the Middle East will be a far greater tragedy than the loss of life alone. It will represent a major milestone in the abandonment of the Western democratic civilization.

Does any thoughtful person seriously believe that the assault on the West will end if Israel disappears? It will not. It will only encourage the enemies of democracy and lead to further aggression.

Advancement of American interests in Southwest Asia and the Middle East cannot be achieved without effectively confronting Iran. This rogue nation continues to support terrorists and radical Islamic insurgents causing numerous deaths among innocent Muslim civilians as well as the governmental forces they target.

In an age of nuclear weaponry, simultaneously placating the current fanatical Iranian regime and punishing Israel is a policy that will promote, rather than avoid, an international catastrophe. Appeasement of the aggressors has failed and time is running out. If nothing else, don't do it for Israel, let us do it for ourselves.

In the absence of Iran changing course, civilized nations must make it their declared policy to assist the Iranian opposition to free themselves from their oppressive and fanatical dictatorship. Regime change in Iran could tip the balance away from terrorism and anti-democratic forces and provide an impetus toward peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Southwest Asia and the Middle East.

Your sons and daughters in the military serve at great risk to defend our Constitution, our freedom and our way of life. The heroes of our current conflict have joined the ranks of countless other Americans throughout our history, who have stood their ground against tyranny.

The enemies of democracy can only win through our own ambivalence and complacency. In fact, they are counting on it.

I think that they are making a fatal mistake.


(Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D., is a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and a veteran of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He will soon deploy again to Afghanistan. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army or government.)


(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

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