Monday, January 09, 2006

Guns or Butter?

This column from Canada Free Press cries out for us to defend ourselves from terrorists at sea:

While Congress dithers with the Patriot Act, as Democrats accuse President Bush of treading on our rights one minute and not doing enough to protect us the next, while liberals now routinely call for his impeachment for protecting us, it is time to turn our weary eyes to the open ocean, where the protection of the sea lanes remains an absolute necessity, and with it a strong and resolute navy.
And by this I don’t mean a John Kerry, smoke and mirrors, I was for it before I was against it, navy. The US Navy has been in a slow decline for a considerable period of time, most notably in the Clinton years. Budgets have declined as our social entitlements grow. Carrier air groups have shrunk from 80 planes to some 58. There is talk of limiting the number of aircraft carriers. There is a lack of mine sweepers, needed to eliminate those cheap but deadly ship killers, so effective in the narrow choke points. The cost of fuel has curtailed flight training. Economy rules the waves.

With a historical analogy:

In 1798, when confronted by another batch of tyrannical pirates ravaging our shipping interests and looting our ships, Representative Robert Goodloe Harper rose in Congress to denounce their activities, crying, "Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute."