"It is my goal to make the London Center, the premier foreign policy institute in the country, one that is shaping
the debate on international affairs and influencing decisions emerging from the Congress."
There is an adage in aviation that runs: “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.” What it means is that, above all things, keep the airplane flying. Second, figure out where you are. Third, talk to the ground or other airplanes only after you have taken care of the other two - in sequence.
It was this very simple kind of thinking - first you need to survive, then you can worry about other things - that was at the heart of Lincoln’s strategy during the Civil War: above all else, the Union needed to survive. If the Union didn’t survive, then all talk of rights and liberties, and all hopes for the abolition of slavery, would mean nothing.
That is the kind of thinking that we, the citizens of the US, need to engage in right now.
There are, or have been, a host of civilizations in the last 6,000 years, from the Egyptians to the Sumerians, the Han, the Chin, the Greeks, the Romans, etc. What separates them are differences in culture, political thought, social structure, philosophical foundations, mythology, religious tenets, etc.
All of them had certain strengths and weaknesses, and none of them were perfect. And some were decidedly worse than others. Only one has consistently championed rights and freedoms: not the Arabic or Persian civilizations, not the various Chinese civilizations, not the civilizations of India or Southern and South East Asia, not the African civilizations or the early American civilizations. Only one has consistently worked to improve individual freedoms and individual rights, and only one has placed the rights of the individual equal to or above that of those of government: Western Civilization.
It hasn’t been smooth or easy, and the progress has been slow in some cases. But the vast bulk of progress that all of mankind has made in expanding freedoms has been either as a direct result of Western Civilization, and through Western Civilization changing those other civilizations through economic or political pressure, or a result of those civilizations adopting various Western standards for one reason or another.
All this seems to be forgotten as we reel through the summer, the main-stream media bent on doing anything they can to undermine Trump and hand power to the far left. The violence keeps slowly growing and we seem to be one “incident run amok” from wide-spread violence.
Across the globe other forces are using our crisis to their advantage. It is quite conceivable that China, and perhaps Iran as well, will strike at US forces in the next several months, taking advantage of the opportunity presented them.
Europe, the cradle of Western Civilization, continues its own struggles, with several countries facing their own internal crises every bit as dangerous as that facing the US; arguably, several European nations are on the brink of true economic and political collapse.
In several US cities the mayors have explicitly stated that they will not send in the police to prevent looting, or prevent vandalism or burning. The government is supposed to protect order, protect the law. And protect people and property. Instead, we have seen the mayors of perhaps a dozen cities surrender their city centers to the mob.
The Mayor of Seattle has called this the “summer of love,” even as rioters burn buildings; the Mayor of Minneapolis pulled the police from the city center, surrendered a police building, and let anarchists burn, loot and eventually kill several citizens. The leadership of the Democratic Party shrug their shoulders, seemingly apathetic about what is happening, but clearly gleeful that their candidate, the senescent doyen of foot-in-mouth disease, stumbles from one incoherent comment to another, but labels rioters as “peaceful.” None of them seem to care particularly about what is happening to the foundations of our society, our civilization, or our country.
Mayors failing to ensure simple physical security are abandoning their responsibility to protect the properties and livelihood of the citizenry, they are ignoring the very real contract they have with the citizenry to enforce the law. By any rational understanding these mayors and in some cases these governors have abdicated power to the mob, and in doing so have undermined our nation and our civilization.
John Adams, who played a key role in founding a nation that sought to embody the very essence of Western Civilization, noted that the essence of Western Civilization could be found in two very common concepts: private property, and the contract. Yet this is exactly what the left - to include the core of the Democratic Party, most of the media, virtually all of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, professional sports, and many of the all-too-ready-to-please board members of corporate America - has sought to undermine.
The choice we face in a bit more than three months is stark: the Democratic Party has lurched far to the left and continues to move further in that direction; the Republicans are struggling at every level, fighting not just a well funded series of candidates at every level, and their own disorganized internal strife, but a media industry hell-bent on establishing one-party rule in this country. And at the center a President who faces not only a media that hates him but an executive branch overwhelmingly staffed by people who are philosophically diametrically opposed to everything he is trying to do.
But in the end, this is not about the individuals involved; after all, Presidents come and Presidents go. This is about what sort of society we are going to have, one that upholds law and order, one that respects the livelihood of the citizenry, one that respects the property and lives of all equally; or one that has special cases, one that applies the law capriciously, one that allows some to commit violence with impunity, while using the tools of the state to punish those that try to protect themselves. That’s the choice we face…
About Pete O'Brien
Peter O’Brien has more than 30 years of successful leadership and planning experience in a wide range of organizations afloat and ashore on three continents. Mr. O’Brien’s Navy career included ten years at sea, more than a dozen years stationed overseas and multiple ...