Saturday, December 24, 2011

Celebrating the Prince of Peace

Lawrence Korb is a senior fellow for a Washington Think Tank and former assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan. Korb, and his associate Laura Conley, identified ’unproven, over-budget, or strategically unnecessary’ weapons and weapons programs that could be cut or canceled and not missed.

Among those identified was the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. According to the study, this program has been plagued by so many technical problems since its inception in 1991 that Dick Cheney, then Secretary of defense, called it a ‘turkey.’

Rejecting the Navy’s request for twenty-four new Ospreys would save Taxpayers $9.1 billion--pretty good chunk of change. Cutting the procurement of the Navy and Marine F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants would save Americans another BIG BUNDLE.

Since 2002, estimates of the lifetime operational costs of the F-35 have more than doubled to $1 trillion. Alternate fighter jets such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet continues to be effective in the Navy and marines, so cutting their variants while allowing the Air Force to keep its entire buy would control spiraling costs without compromising American air superiority and the savings would be $16.43 billion by 2015.

That raises a question for me on this Christmas Eve - the day celebrated as the birthday of The One announced as the coming “Prince of Peace.” Remember that Bible passage that asks the question, what is it all worth if I gain the WHOLE WORLD and lose my own soul?

I would like to rephrase that question and ask what does it mean (how much is it worth) to be the strongest country on earth … if … our citizens cannot find worthwhile jobs, affordable housing, quality schools, good health care, and a clean environment?

There are those who make a mighty good living spending as much for military related programs as the rest of the entire world. We send our military from one place to another being the neighborhood Cop. Yet, we live in such fear that we strip-search 85-year-old ladies for fear they might have a terrorist explosive hidden in their private places, in their toothpaste, or...

Homeland Security is a $42 million boondoggle for the 200,000 employees. Meanwhile, it costs us an arm and a leg, and leaves us wobbling about like a wounded veteran on a new prosthesis. Our national debt is out of sight. We are at each other’s political throats. Our Congress is engaged in a civil war of deadlock.

To you on my right, the military has no way of resolving the issues--without diplomatic help. To my left, revolution of whatever kind is no solution to the moral re-formation needed by our nation.

Peace, said Dorothy Thompson, has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy, Justice, Imagination, and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism (or by military might; I add).

Christmas Eve is the time to celebrate the music of the stars …
a heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men
with whom he is pleased!”
(Luke 2:14 RSV).; this is Warner’s World


Anonymous said...

Wayne, If this doesn't wake us up...we must be dead. In my opinion this message should be carried in every newspaper, not just in your humble blog! Does anyone read you? We sure don't respond or encourage you as we should...please forgive. Merry Christmas!

Wayne said...

and God's peace to you. Granted my blog is humble and there are others who could say it better than I, but a facet of the Christmas message is that sacredness of the tedious, repetitious, and humble? How much more humble than a slave babe hidden in the reeds off shore. How much more humble than a babe in a manger? But, look what happened when God blessed it.