Jefferson, however, chose a different course. In 1801, he took the United States into its first war by sending the fledgling US Navy with a contingent of US Marines to Tripoli. The Marines engaged the pirates and defeated them soundly, thus ending their molestation of US merchant ships forever.
A hundred years later, Teddy Roosevelt said, "In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." And Roosevelt not only spoke those words, he lived them. In 1904, when Muslim Berber tribal chief Mulai Ahmed er Risuli kidnapped Greek-American Ion Perdicaris from his villa in Morocco, Roosevelt again sent in the Marines. He dispatched seven battleships from the Atlantic Fleet to the Moroccan coast. This time, the threat of US force alone was enough to secure the release of Perdicaris.
(The fact that this event occurred during the 1904 Republican Convention and was likely instrumental in propelling Roosevelt into his second Presidential term should not be used to detract from the 26th President's persistence and determination.)
Where are the Jeffersons and Roosevelts today? We have Muslims decapitating American Journalists with impunity. We have the spectacle of our own government desperately and deceptively trying to condone Muslim attacks on our embassies and the Muslim murder of an American ambassador. We have Muslims murdering our soldiers, our citizens, and our police officers on our own soil.
And the response to all this carnage? "We must be careful not to offend Muslims."
What?!! What kind of government do we have that is not itself offended by the wanton slaughter of its citizens and the malicious destruction of its interests abroad?
Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu advised the United States of Israeli aerial spy photos showing that Iran has developed intercontinental ballistic missiles. Prime Minister Netanyahu warned us over a year ago that Iran was developing such weapons, telling CBS reporter Charlie Rose, "They are not for us. They can reach us with what they have now. They are building them for you."
Our response? We sent John Kerry to Tehran to mollify the religious fanatics who are intent on obliterating us – and to return with glowing assurances that the religious fanatics intent on obliterating us are not religious fanatics intent on obliterating us.
Where is our determination? Where is the purpose that inspires determination? Have we allowed our very survival instincts to be eroded by political correctness?
Theodore Roosevelt said, "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
Have we become Roosevelt's "poor spirits," living in a "gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat?"