Skip to comments.Taking steps...
Posted on 04/10/2005 9:39:01 PM PDT by pickrell
The sidearm, the automatic pistol worn in that open holster on the policeman's hip, is there to protect the ones who think to attack him. "But surely," you would argue patiently, "..you've got that a bit backwards."
Once the policeman arrives on scene, his thought is to bring the situation, whatever situation confronts him, under control with no further loss of life or harm to citizens, if at all possible. When the man with the crazed look in his eye, and the knife in his hand, turns on the cop, he is immediately given the best opportunity- the best protection- that any "accused" can have.
He is shown the weapon that the policeman wears.
And he is thereby, in advance, and with no ambiguity, given the certain knowledge that this weapon can and will be used to deal terminal violence to him, if no other choice presents itself.
And it won't be used simply because of the fear of the policeman for his life. It is the DUTY of that policeman not to allow himself or others to be seriously injured or killed by the criminal. And if he is a well-trained policeman, if he can find no other option, he will fall back on that training and use that weapon. That is what duty demands. For that policeman is an instrument of the community, as well as being an individual.
This duty comes as a consequence of living in a society founded by law. Unlike those in many other countries, our policeman don't amuse themselves by killing people, and they don't vent their personal anger with a weapon in their hand. Instead they follow the guidelines carefully crafted after centuries of law have sifted through centuries of conflicts. The unusual cases where "deviations from these guidelines" occur, are the stuff of headlines, and well they should be.
Because we as citizens of this country understand, accept, and believe this, we feel no great alarm and fear when policemen arrive amongst us. To the contrary, excepting the evildoers, the normal feeling is one of relief.
But because we also have our eyes open, we see that often the policeman arrives far too late to stop the carnage, and only serves to document the tragedy. And in more than a few cases, policemen arrive only to find themselves put in the deliberate position of "Officer Kevorkian", who enables the criminal to commit suicide-by-cop, forcing the hand of the unfortunate officer or officers.
That sidearm cannot prevent a madman from seeking oblivion. Under the current state of the art of technology, it can only serve to deter until "The Madness" passes, from those miscreants who would otherwise misjudge the resolve of the community to prevent evil.
As good as our technology is, it is not perfect.
The neighborhood knows about that "odd" guy, the one who lives in the house behind the high fences, and who was just released after serving the sentence for killing a child. They will watch his house. With intensity.
Because they have children. And his history is known. If children later disappear, tensions will reach a level of danger that the madman may not fully have anticipated. Because his thoughts have always wrapped around killing children, whereas his neighbors' thoughts have wrapped around loving them. He has no clue what danger he is in. It doesn't matter if he killed the particular ones now missing. By his actions, he has brought himself to a point where the community will no longer tolerate the threat he poses.
When he decides to build the high fence, and thereby actively conceals whatever threats that might exist or develop therein, he takes a step. When he gathers together the vicious dogs, and hangs out the warning signs, he takes a step. When he refuses to allow the parole officers in to inspect for knives, guns and other forbidden weapons, he takes a step. When he is served notice by the police, and replies that he will use "whatever means necessary" to kill anyone who thinks to remove such weapons, he takes a step.
The police do not advertise to prophesize the future. No sorcery enables them to "know" what threat exists. They will be unable to "know" whether he has now, or will in the future, secure forbidden weapons. They will only be able to observe and weigh the steps that they have seen taken by him. And the very expense borne by the suspect in concealing any attempt at verification, coupled with the escalating risk invited by his actions, will usually tilt the balance towards preemption.
It will not matter, if the previous "Mayor" watched repeated and escalating acts of crime perpetrated against the "neighborhood" by persons unknown, and cynically couldn't find sufficient political gain that might offset his political risk by acting; deciding instead to simply ignore the gathering danger. It will not matter that this previous Mayor's astonishing self-absorption and dereliction of duty may have encouraged miscreants throughout the city up to this point.
What matters now is that a new Mayor is in town.
When President Eisenhower was shown fragmentary "bits" of evidence in the late 1950's, coupled with bellicose statements by Soviet Premier Kruschev, claiming that nuclear missiles were being produced in his country in great quantity, like "little sausages", and coupled with threats to "bury us", Eisenhower, too, was faced with a decision. But, unlike the corrupt Mayor earlier illustrated, dereliction of duty was something that Eisenhower was never accused of.
His CIA and other intelligence services, backed up by many friendly foreign intelligence analysts, knew that collection of human intelligence inside a society purposefully designed to cloak truth, by unlimited and violent actions against the families of any informants even suspected, was hit or miss at best. He knew that the Soviets had declared themselves enemies of the western world in general, and the United States in particular. And, he knew that the risks of inaction might be too terrible to contemplate.
He accepted that he had a duty to act on incomplete information. It comes with the job. What he didn't know, and we wouldn't find out until much later, was that the poorly educated Kruschev was not failing to "hide the huge number of missiles" the Soviets had; but was instead hiding the huge number that they didn't have! The infamous U-2 was shot down, because it couldn't be allowed to "fail" to discover this massive missile evidence.
Kruschev had gambled that the United States would back down under a threat and become pliable enough so that the leftists within the country could slowly corrode our capabilities, until the massive Soviet "arsenal" could actually be constructed! He gambled that an un-ignorable, un-answerable and intolerable threat to our existence and safety would paralyze us. It had worked wonders with the French and so many others.
Sadly, Kruschev hadn't a clue as to what makes up the American character, or else he simply couldn't read well enough to understand those few magic words. "Millions for defense...but not one penny for tribute." He guessed totally wrong.
Solutions didn't include invasion. Every problem is different. The best practical tool, Eisenhower determined, was to gear up the United States to match nuc for nuc, ballistic missile for ballistic for ballistic missile. And since the madness of communism was insufficiently understood to reliably determine whether a few million Soviet casualties would be "acceptable" to the Kremlin, the only remaining option was to create an "overkill" capability that would show the "pistol on the hip."
Missile subs, jet bombers, silos, whatever it took, were examined, refined and then built. The United States awakened to a technological revolution... and never looked back. Mutual assured destruction was an insane gamble. Yet it prevented uncountable millions of deaths in reality. But we'll never know. That, in the mantra of the leftist, is the failing of "peace through strength". You can only count the millions of lives lost, if you first allow the millions of lives to be lost. It is that ruthlessness which defines the left.
The only way to save the lives of untold millions of Soviet citizens, was to unarguably and unmistakeable remove any possible hope that absolutely any of them would survive a nuclear exchange. That we would meet their massed tanks in the Fulda Gap in Germany with tactical nucs if backed into a corner.
For the muddle-headed leftists on both coasts, this necessitated thinking a bit deeper than their customary 1/4th of an inch. In the event, it proved beyond them.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding. The United States geared up to close a missile gap that we didn't know wasn't there. And by doing so arguably bought fifty years of time for the Soviets. Time for "The Madness" to pass; time for the citizens of the Soviet countries to understand how cruelly they have been duped, and had therefore suffered needlessly. Time for them to begin to see the true enemy within.
The gamble worked and hundreds of millions of deaths and unimaginable destruction was averted.
Fast forward a few years.
Another dictator, who had studied the Soviet method extensively, seized control of Iraq, and later also seized control of Kuwait. After being forceably evicted, he feared that the ones he had previously terrorized might turn on him. It was imperative in his mind that he create an unanswerable and unignorable threat to anyone in the neighborhood who may in his mind threaten him. Having studied Kruschev, and greatly admiring him, he tries the same gambit. He just didn't read the last chapter.
He creates "high walls" around his kingdom by perfecting the most ruthlessly efficient secret police system, that is unconstrained by any limits whatsoever. When a single gunshot traces through his motorcade, he instructs his military to raze the nearest city to the ground, and kills every single man, woman and child in it. He's taken a step.
He deals with the Kurdish problem with Dow logic. "Worse living through chemistry." The world eventually sees smuggled films of Kurdish women and children chemically burned to death. Fear develops in the entire region. He's taken a step.
He defies the controlling legal authority of the United Nations by throwing out their inspectors, and working energetically to make it appear that things are being hidden. He's taken a step.
When final notice is served upon him that if he does not cease and desist, he will suffer the consequences...and his response through his mouthpieces is that he will use "any and all weapons" to create a river of blood out of any force that seeks to disarm him, he has in his mind played the trump card.
All throughout the previous administration, the apparent overriding concern was how any American casualties in any conflict might affect the political fortunes of the President. The Iraqi dictator closely observed "the American weakness." Further, the American press has labeled the new American President as a hopeless weakling, crippled by a close election, and simply not articulate enough to pass Hollywood muster. [ Ironically, a few decades before, Ronald Reagan had been labeled as "too articulate" a President- proof that he was but a smooth talking actor...] Confident in the reassurance that the U.S. mainstream media, and the Democratic leftists, had always provided to him, Saddam takes his final step.
Like Kruschev before him, like the crazy guy down the block with the "vicious guard dogs" signs on his high fences meant to conceal, Saddam knew that the power to intimidate meant the power to control.
When the United States then backed down, as he knew they invariably would, just like Clinton had so many times before, and in their impotence merely sent a few missiles into an empty desert, Saddam would then own the Middle East! And then, the time would be ripe to actually begin the building of the devices.
But the bombs wouldn't come with return addresses, as they would have from the Soviet Union. No radar signature would track from their point of origin. This would prevent the United States from retaliating massively. Everyone knew this. And the person who built them, would hand them off to the person who stored them, who, in turn, handed them off to the person who transported them, and eventually to the person who detonated them. These various persons would have no traceable connection to each other, and likely would be of apparently unrelated "groups", since everyone except the American citizen realized what the new game was. Strike by suicide bomber killing thousands, tens of thousands, and finally, when techniques were proven and cut-outs were perfected, then killing millions.
No, the new bombs would be delivered quietly and untraceably, to persons who would personally assure that they went off in U.S. cities. No radar track would illuminate our retaliatory targets. We would be helpless.
This is the crucial advantage of stateless organizations like Al Qaida.
And if any fingerprints were left, they would be found to point to the Taliban or their like; clumsy, parochial bullies who were gladly sacrificed by the real madmen plotting the next world war.
If the financiers of the "bomb" were found to be Saudis, it would bring a smile to the madmen, who counted the Saudis as an evil regime. The beauty was that Saddam could quietly have "explained" to him the advantages of thinking "more than 1/4 inch deep". That "real" players were smart enough to leave others holding the bag when the bombers arrived. And if Saddam simply proved too stupid to understand this, then he deserved whatever the Americans did to him.
The Americans, in their rage at being hit, could be counted on to either:
A: Cower in their homes, impotent, with no one to strike back at, and then to eventually try to buy their way out of their suffering; while the madmen, encouraged by this affirmation of destiny, engineered their enemies' further economic destruction, by orchestrated attacks. All while the media obsessed over why these men hated us, and what we could do to "understand" them. Perhaps a few candlelight vigils would be broadcast also. [Remember?]
B. Explode with rage and physically annihilate those countries that dared to inflict such a grievous and mortal hurt to them. The madmen, leaving the dupes in the Taliban, and that stupid bully in Iraq, holding the bag, could rub their hands in satisfaction as their enemies were annihilated by their bigger enemy! They could then publically shed copious tears about their dead Arab brethren and energise the world's Arabs to retaliate everywhere, thus igniting the "final war".
What they never counted on, and what the American press became enraged over, was the action taken by the new President.
C. Refusing, as Eisenhower and many Presidents before him had, to take refuge behind the uncertainties of intelligence, the terrifying nature of the new threat, and the political risks involved, President Bush set about to feed many Afghanistanis, while bombing others. He sent armed forces, as heavily equipped as possible, and as lightly equipped as necessary to move quickly, to contradict what had been previously "proven" in Afghanistan. He redefined who the instigators of this madness were, and what eventual madness they further had in mind.
The media patiently counter-explained to the "slow" American President that the Afghanistanis had fought the Soviet Union to a standstill over many years, and cost them crushing losses. The media then abruptly "discovered" that the previous administration had gutted our intelligence agencies and bled white our military, and that now... this actually mattered! They were shocked! The consensus was that we were doomed.
You can't arrest the child killer, or incovenience him in any way, until after he has been allowed to enjoy killing the child. The rights of the terrorists have been jealously guarded and advocated by a mainstream media which has been proven wrong about nearly everything they have ever presented as "obvious truth". The outrage of preemptive action against a foreign country has them newly re-mantra'd. They are beside themselves that the "idiot red-staters" cannot understand how wrong the war is.
They have always hated the "pistol America wears on it's hip". They have never understood that by keeping it prominently on the hip of our armed forces, we do the best we can to protect our enemies. That if they cannot be stayed until sanity finally returns to them, and they have the time to pause and face the self-immolation that is all the madmen really have to offer them... they will leave us no choice.
It is our only way to force them to ask themselves, "Is this what I really want for my children? Have I been lied to? Have my children been poisoned by hatred?" And if the answers are yes, then they have a choice to make. Our Marines have died over several years, to buy the Iraqi people the time necessary to understand that they can be free. That the ones who kill fellow Arabs with explosives are the real enemy. That it is only the Americans who have ever offered, and bought with the blood of our precious young best, our soldiers, the chance for any country in the entire Middle East to seize freedom for themselves now, at this time in history. It is a chance that won't come again for ages.
There are several things that the jockeying countries of the Middle East and elsewhere need to understand, before time runs out and the door closes.
When your country builds impenetrable walls to protect your secrets, there is a very real danger that you will protect your secrets... If we cannot discover what threats are real, then we will act on your history, your rhetoric, and what "rumors" abound about you. You may find that the bluff you run may get called. That the response window shrinks to almost nothing when WMD are involved and our homeland is threatened.
When your country stands up to the "meddling intrusion of the civilized world", you run the risk of having the fences broken down and the guard dogs killed in an assault. That the Clintons are no longer in the White House, and that if we are forced to come in the night, we will come heavy and come loud. We would prefer to pay for the fence, and offer regrets for the deaths of the dogs protecting you... rather than ever again digging through the rubble in our cities, to recover the bodies.
That nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons not only aren't your friend, but that Mister Atom may get you atomized pre-emptively, and Mister Microbe will cause you more problems and subject you to more risk than you ever dreamed of. That these weapons have no value to you from this point on. They are a liability that you can't afford. It doesn't matter that you think you know the price, because it will come higher than you can even imagine.
Because when you come to a fist fight with a hand grenade, you simply have one less hand to swing to defend yourself. Don't bring the grenade unless you intend to die, and be assured that you will die, most likely before your finger gets even close to the pin. That if you think the grenade will buy you "respect" in the neighborhood, that you haven't a clue just how hard a nervous father will hit, to protect his family. Then envisions dozens of them, all coming for you. Worse yet, all of them Americans. You don't know what a bad hair day is, slick.
Set the grenade down and step carefully back from it. Like Khaddafy did in Libya. There's a man who's seen the big dogs...and decided to stay home. Go home and earn a living for your family.
The day of the weapons of annihilation are over. The world can no longer afford the risk. Madmen who miscalculate today are a very poor insurance risk. Because they will end up smoking. So will anyone within the kill radius.
Because there are several things that those "idiot red-staters" understand. One is that if the child killer or terrorist gets a free kill before we move in to read him his rights... that many of the angry among us prefer that it be the child of one of those who stood beside the killer on the courthouse steps to protect his right to kill. [ At least until we bow our heads, and the anger passes. The only ones who really wish that on a child are the killers themselves.]
That the killer may eventually find that killing many is probably as easy as killing one. That the killer may begin to dream about school buses and groups of children. And that the killer may even graduate to thinking about entire schools full of children.
That the killer, assisted by those who would protect his right to the next kill, may move to your neighborhood.
The niceties of constitutional guarantees were originally devised to protect American citizens in good standing, and were never envisioned as extending to enemies of the United States. What a perversity that some crusaders have found so many new "protections" and "rights" for the agents of the madmen.
The bag limit for American children, and any other American citizens, should never be extended upwards, no matter how pro-choice the killer, and his advocates, might be.
Whether it be a school full or a city full, ... another child is too many.
Such lists are good in theory... but not in practice.
1. Criminals are notorious for simply skipping out w/o notifying anyone of their new addy.
2. Our sex offender list has prisoners currently in prison on it... meaning that my zip code looks like Perv Central since there is a maximum security prison nearby.
3. Here we have tons of cases where a high school boy, age 18, gets his long-time girlfriend pregnant. The parents press charges, and presto! he's a sex offender, and is on the list. Ditto for those peeing in public at the local NASCAR races.
If they could fix those things then I'm game. However, right now it's another good intention thing that doesn't work.
First, police officers do not call it a sidearm, military officers do.
I live in NYC and cops around here call it as a last resort.
Actually I live in Brooklyn and we have the best cops 68 Pct. and the best firemen, Rescue 2!
I love America, but I feel safe in Brooklyn, New York!!
Good article, well written. But don't count our old Soviet foes out yet. They now have proxies - starting wtih al Qaida, but also including China and North Korea. (Venzuela, Brazil, Spain, etc.) We've got a lot of convincing or a lot of killing to do before it's safe in this world, and we should start by cleaning our own home now.
The American left is the enabling entity for nearly all anti-Americanism in the world. If we crush them here, we crush them everywhere.
... the automatic pistol worn in that open holster on the policeman's hip, ...
And before this starts a new round of folks complaining that this slanders those utilizing concealed carry, that is not the intention. Many tools are available to society.
Thanks for the corrections.
Dittos, and a firm "second" to that motion!
I've never served as a police office, only in the military, so I am biased in my jargon by previous life experiences. I am sure that you are correct as to what terminology the police use. I am guessing that policemen everywhere in America call it a "last resort", and I am delighted that Brooklyn has citizens who will testify to the professionalism of their police forces. We perhaps could use more of that sort of thing. Thanks for the reply.