Opinion

National security for beginners

Photo of Thaddeus G. McCotter
Thaddeus G. McCotter
Former Member of Congress

Amidst our nation’s rightful focus on our struggling economy, Monday night’s foreign policy debate’s stirring exchanges droned home the point that these internationally challenging times require a re-affirmation of rudimentary strategic concepts that undergird a sound national security policy.

Ominously, too, if these simple strategic concepts continue to be ignored, we could one day wind up speaking the native tongue of our new Canadian masters. This is the 200th commemoration of the War of 1812, and our northern neighbors have long memories, liquor stockpiles and hockey sticks.

Thus, to wit:

10. Shoot straight AND at the enemy.

9. A cruise missile doesn’t have a purser named “Gopher.”

8. Sometimes a submarine ain’t just a sandwich.

7. Best to face the front end of the horse and the back end of the bayonet.

6. Even groupies don’t dig an apology tour.

5. The Muslim Brothers are not “Mid-East Masons.”

4. Be meaner to your enemies than to your allies.

3. The United Nations is the august international institution where America pays through the nose to get kicked in the teeth.

2. The only time to trust a dictator is when he’s promising to kill you.

1. No one can follow you when you’re leading from behind.

Congratulations! Having grasped these elementary concepts faster than the remote control during a PBS telethon, you are no longer a national security neophyte. Now, you’re versed enough in foreign affairs to bore all comers at a cocktail party; and eligible to be reviled by the media as a “gun slinging, saber-rattling warmonger” — or, in the restless Canadians’ parlance, “a hat trick”!

With that, I’m off to be ever vigilant in my lonesome post at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. “Beauty, eh?”

Thaddeus G. McCotter is a Detroit native, guitar player, lawyer and recovering Congressbum.