• 61°

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
— George Santayana

History teaches us many things. One thing it teaches is that dictators see the world through a different set of glasses than democracies do. Democracies see conflicts being resolved through negotiation and compromise. Dictators see force as the solution. For examples I offer Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein and, most recently, Bashar al-Assad. All of them relied on their willingness to use force to get what they wanted. All of them saw efforts by others to negotiate as a sign of weakness they could exploit.
In one sense they were all merely international gangsters — not much different from the thug who goes into the convenience store with a gun, demanding money, relying on force to get his way. He sees his world through a different set of glasses than we do, and only the prospect of meeting an equal or greater force will deter him. That’s the police.
People ask why America is expected to be the world’s policeman. Two reasons: first, because we have the ability to react to international thugs; and second, because international thugs cause international conflicts which we inevitably get drawn into. In the last half of the 20th century, our agreement to defend Western Europe stopped the thugs of the Soviet Union from acting. Our similar commitment in Asia deterred China. Now we see Assad testing the world with poison gas, against his own people.
If Assad gets away with this what does it say to other tyrants in the Middle East? What if Iran closes the Straits of Hormuz, shutting down the world’s oil supply? Or completes nuclear weapons? Or Assad chooses to solve the Israeli problem with gas attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? We may believe America would react with force, but do the dictators in Syria and Iran believe we would? There are many other scenarios, none of which end well if America lacks the will to respond until too late.
Like it or not, America is the world’s policeman. I only hope we have the courage to act like one.
— Jack Burke

Salisbury

There is so much needless confusion in the public about the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
The program is only for those who do not have other health insurance. It will have very little effect on Medicare, and those effects are beneficial. It will have no effect on Social Security.
Your readers can find more information at the following phone numbers or websites: 1-800-318-2596 or www.healthcare.gov, and also at 1-800-633-4227 or www.medicare.gov.
— Susan Davis

Susan Davis oversees the Information & Assistance Program at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center.

Comments

Comments closed.

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame

Nation/World

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

13 deaths reported in Rowan, county stresses need to receive second dose

Coronavirus

10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week