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If America's security is not our number one priority this November, issues such as health care and education won't matter.

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Campaign ’08: The Issue Is Survival

If America’s security is not our number one priority this November, issues such as health care and education won’t matter.

As we mark the seventh year after the 9-11 attacks, it is most appropriate to realize that in just two months from now America will elect a new president.

This election may well be the most important for the future of our American Republic. We say that in every presidential election year, and it may be seen as boring and nothing more than an attempt to whip up support for the candidate of one’s choice. But the fact is that the world has become an increasingly small and hostile place with new potential and actual weapons of mass destruction being manufactured at an alarming pace, deployed and placed in the hands of many nations — some of which have truly despicable people at their helm who would like nothing better than to bring war upon us.

Seven years ago, terror hit the streets of New York, the skies over Pennsylvania and the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. Close to three thousand people lost their lives, some quickly, some in excruciating slow agony, and some with no choice but to jump thousands of feet to their death. There is nothing ho-hum about that. It should, and will, remain in our collective conscious forever.

Whatever one chooses to think about President Bush, and apparently at least 70 plus percent of polled Americans don’t like him, the fact is that no other attacks have occurred on American soil, while Al Qaeda in Iraq have been considerably weakened, the surge apparently has worked, and our nation is strong enough to shortly increase the fight within Afghanistan against the Taliban and other truly murderous groups.

So, what of our next Presidential team? Issues such as health care reform, education, immigration, welfare reform, social security and the economy are zeroed in on by many as being of the utmost importance, but , given the threats we now face, they are not.

These issues are important only if the American Republic survives the most major issue of the day which is the potential of an actual deadly attack against it.

It is really that plain and simple. Years ago, in my college days, I was part of a group that started up the first computer matching-making service in the country. For us, "Operation Match," as it was called, was a fun new dating game, utilizing an innovative questionnaire and a novel tool called a computer. Actually, it was nothing more than an IBM card sorter matching up a potential pool of people who filled out the 100-question survey. As I
recall it, the first question was where you lived, the second what college you were attending (because it was then just for college people) and the third asked what sex you were, because in those days that actually mattered a lot, as dating then was almost all heterosexual, and transportation not being what it is today, a college student in Vermont was unlikely to want a date with someone in, say, California. The next 97 questions included queries about what you liked to read, what you ate, what music you listened to, what sports and activities you wanted a mate to enjoy, etc.

The only trouble was, after the first three or so crucial questions had been answered, the ability to match many more answers from one questionnaire to another diminished rapidly because the pool of responders was not so large as to allow much subtlety beyond the questions of where you lived, went to college and what sex you were. In short, it didn’t
matter whether you liked Chaucer while she preferred Norman Mailer. After it was determined that you were of different sexes, about the same age and both went to college in Cambridge, that was about it: you were a match!

In a similar fashion, in this election, once the question of who best to keep us from being destroyed has been answered, there is really nothing left on which to base a decision because that first question has to be the most crucial. After all, if there is no America, then issues of health care, economic reform, social security overhaul, helping the poor, taxing
the rich, or the other way around, and a myriad of other important sounding
needs really aren’t going to matter at all.

So, the decision of who best to lead America to her continued survival is the key question, and it is almost impossible for any thinking individual to reach a conclusion that a President Obama would be a sounder choice thana President McCain.

Barrack Obama has stated on videotape, "I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space.I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To
seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile materials. And I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBM’s off hair-trigger alert to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."

That sounds so peaceful, and, in a peaceful world, it would be music to the soul, but in an non-peaceful environment where "negotiating" with Russia means using strength and not weakness, the Obama proposed anti-military policies of no nukes, less military, and peace at any cost are absolutely ridiculous.

Just a month or so ago, the "new" Russia paid no attention to any nation, but simply marched into Georgia and they have not really left despite our best attempts at "negotiating." In the 1980’s, Ronald Reagan and his team caused the Soviet Union to disappear, albeit apparently temporarily, utilizing a policy of peace through strength, not by going around the world to our enemies with a "please let us all play nice" policy. Americans have seen through this nonsense with George McGovern’s disastrous candidacy of 1972.

John McCain, on the other hand, is a real military man who has repeatedly put his own
life in danger to protect and serve his men and this country. Yes, he was captured by the enemy and served more than his time in their jails, but at least he was in the battles.

Where was Obama? McCain has had time to reflect on what it means to protect and serve America. He spoke out in favor and voted for the Iraqi surge. Obama opposed it. McCain understands that one does not just take 130,000 troops immediately off of one battlefield and throw them at the next. He states correctly that Obama wants to declare defeat in one theater, leaving the Iraqis totally on their own in his big push to get out, while now saying that all the American troops should be rushed into Afghanistan.

Russia, China and Iran, among other nations, have shown that they do not want a peaceful co-existence on the Earth; they favor domination and control. America remains mankind’s best hope for a brighter tomorrow, and we sure as hell cannot have a Commander-in-Chief who advocates turning the other cheek, laying down our arms in the audacious hope that
our adversaries will love us so much that they too will see the light and
act accordingly peaceful. It doesn’t work on the South side of Chicago, and it doesn’t work in the world.

After all the talk about social issues and the like, we had best remember 9-11-2001 and the lessons that are obvious: America is a target of many, and promising to unilaterally dismantle our defense in pursuit of a utopian notion to reach a "higher" level will leave us all in some kind of other world, if any, while this one goes completely to the devil, if not to dust.

No matter what the other issues, they are questions 4-100 on the dating game survey: nice, but irrelevant. No country equals no need for education, welfare and economic reforms. Important though those issues might be — and they should not be forgotten — this election is all about the nation’s defense and its survival. One candidate is dedicated to antiwar policies Americans have long had the good sense to reject, not because they love war, but because they know the answer to peace is to be strong enough to demand it, not weak enough to be run off the stage. Thus the choice between the two men now running (as the standard bearers of the two major political parties) for this nation’s CEO is overwhelming clear: John McCain must be America’s next President.

Written By

Mr. Weinberger is the son of the late U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. A 1968 graduate of Harvard College, Weinberger is a writer and lecturer on world events. A former television writer, producer and director for NBC affiliate KRON-TV in San Francisco, he served in both California Gov. and President Ronald Reagan's administrations. He now resides in Maine.

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