I awakened the other morning from a dream to a vivid certainty. The certainty is that America is in mortal danger. Our country has reached a pivot point in its national existence, and the American people must now decide whether this country will be victorious or join the long line of historically vanquished nations.
Here is the dream:
A young hawk is let loose in the sky. It is lean and strong and full of life's surging impulse. And it is hungry. It circles the sky in search of food, and then it dives. In a moment, it fastens upon and tightly clutches a healthy pigeon. It forces the pigeon to the ground. There, it bites open the neck of its prey and sucks the life blood from its heart. In the awful ineluctability of that reality, the pigeon's submissive protests simply fade into silence.
If my dream is merely the product of "an undigested bit of beef" (hat tip to Charles Dickens), then I beg forgiveness for what will surely be seen as an alarmist article. But if my dream is tinged with prophecy, what then? If America's light goes out, it will fail in its historic mission to hold up a beacon of freedom in the world, and that will surely be a tragedy for all people of good will. But how many Americans actually understand that it is possible for our nation to fail?
Do we think America cannot die like the hapless pigeon of my dream? If so, we had better think again. Nations have died many times throughout recorded history -- big nations, powerful nations. They die from a multitude of causes and in a myriad of circumstances. But when they die, their death is always accompanied by the draining away of the people's will to survive as a cohesive and powerful nation.
If the American people do not have the will to reclaim their national identity and power from the predators now draining this country into lifelessness, the America we know will surely die. Our country is already gripped tight by foreign and domestic predators, and the sinews of our national power are steadily weakening. If we do not want to be present at America's funeral, we must summon the will to overcome the mortal dangers that confront us.
For decades, we have allowed one kind of predator to package and sell America piece by piece on the international market for the sake of private profit,  while another kind of predator has been busy on the domestic front giving away huge hunks of American prosperity for the sake of political power.  In consequence, we have lost energy independence, heavy industries, financial solvency, cultural cohesion, educational excellence, and something we used to call the American middle class. But those are only a few of the more obvious outward signs of the deadly struggle taking place in America.
There is also a battle going on for America's soul. Intellectual integrity, political principles and moral standards are being deliberately attacked and undermined. The assault on America's universities and public schools by the forces of cultural Marxism has produced two generations of citizens who possess almost no knowledge of American history and very little understanding of the requirements of a civilized society.  Our politicians promote domestic divisiveness while they pursue international policies deliberately designed to weaken our nation.  In their arrogance, the cultural elite inculcate irreverence, glorify nihilistic violence, and demean the Judeo-Christian values on which this country was founded. To survive, our nation cannot allow this behavior to continue unchallenged.
In the epic Indian poem known as the Mahabharata, the Lord Krishna observes that "Destruction never approaches weapon in hand. It comes slyly on tip toe, making you see bad in good and good in bad." In that succinctly stated truth lies the greatest danger that confronts our nation. Krishna did not mean that warriors lack weapons of destruction. He meant that all wars are won in the will, and when a people lose the ability to distinguish between good and evil they will be unable to summon the will to resist when the forces of destruction approach. 
So, the question for Americans is this: Do we have the will to oppose the predators trying to choke the life out of America, or have we lost the moral clarity necessary to confront the forces of destruction? The answer to that question will determine whether America joins the list of nations whose historical greatness is now just a distant memory. If the triumphant cry of the American eagle becomes the submissive whimper of a dying pigeon, it won't just be Americans who suffer. People of good will all over the world will have cause to grieve that loss.
Jed Gladstein is an attorney, author, educator and professional speaker.
 Although they are certainly not alone, the international energy cartels come readily to mind in this context, with their massive assault on American wealth, power and independence.  The "welfare society" in America, for example, is a national disgrace. Predicated on legal compulsion, it impoverishes those who must support it and degrades those it purports to help. Three generations of "Great Society" economic dependency is more than enough to convince any reasonable observer of the truth of the Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  The demonstrable decline in civic literacy in America is appalling. The decline in historical literacy is just as bad. It is no accident that this decline has been accompanied by the ascendancy of cultural Marxism in American education. Although the evidence of that ascendancy is too voluminous to cite here, I have had occasion to refer to it before in an article entitled The Point of the Dagger. For those who want to study the phenomenon in depth, a good place to begin is the excellent website created by David Horowitz's Freedom Center.  I have already written, for example, about the extra-constitutional attempt of the current administration to make America subject to "transnational" law. Quite recently, the Obama administration's policies were implicated in the move to topple the dollar's preeminence among world currencies. Soon, the administration plans to cede American sovereignty over large sectors of American industry to unelected officials at the United Nations. These are only a few of the many instances where the activities of America's political elite and the bureaucrats who report to them serve to weaken rather than strengthen America.  Lack of moral clarity abounds in America. A recent example is a statement by Congresswoman Jane Harmon, Democrat from California. Ms. Harmon is considered by the political left to be "a leading Democrat hawk." But during a recently televised panel discussion about the possibility of American success or failure in Afghanistan, Ms. Harmon quietly confessed, "I don't like winning or losing." For someone who is supposed to be a "hawk" on matters of national defense, that statement betrays a remarkable degree of moral ambivalence.