Friday, October 20, 2006

A little bit of wisdom from Aesop

The Wild Boar and the Fox

A wild boar was sharpening his tusks busily against the stump of a tree, when a Fox happened by. Now the Fox was always looking for a chance to make fun of his neighbors. So he made a great show of looking anxiously about, as if in fear of some hidden enemy. But the Boar kept right on with his work.

"Why are you doing that?" asked the Fox at last with a grin. "There isn't any danger that I can see."

"True enough" replied the Boar, "but when danger does come there will not be time for such work as this. My weapons will have to be ready for use then, or I shall suffer for it."

The moral of the story?

"Preparedness for war is the best guarantee of peace."

You might wonder how I came upon this story. As a teacher-in-training, I have been slowly building a library of children’s books to place in a classroom library once I have an elementary school class of my own. My most recent acquisition was a book of Aesop’s fables. I haven’t read them all, but I did flip through the book to read the moral for each story. This story’s moral popped out at me.

Aesop was right. This story made me think of all those people who think we spend too much money on the military and/or expensive weapons systems or what have you. We will always need a standing military, properly armed and armored, to be prepared for the threats against our country, both current and future.

What specifically comes to mind is the “Star Wars” missile defense system, officially known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). I was not even a teenager when Ronald Reagan first proposed it. Too young to remember, I’ve heard the “Star Wars” moniker was really intended to make fun of the program. Although SDI fell by the wayside after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first President Bush continued missile defense on a smaller scale, but development went more slowly under the subsequent Clinton administration. Thankfully, missile defense was considered to be important to the second President Bush, and the program was given new life.

Now, with Iran pursuing nuclear weapons and North Korea having just tested a nuclear device, the need for missile defense is all too clear. If critics of missile defense had had their way, we would have nothing to protect American cities from missile attacks from rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran. Missile defense is far from perfect at this point, but we are better off with what we do have than if it had been completely abandoned. Just like the Boar sharpening his tusks, our weapons need to be ready for when we really need them, or else we will suffer for it.


Questions mark missile defense
Missile Defense Program Moves Forward

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