America is the linchpin of the world

If the sun were suddenly to vanish, the planets would darken and be flung into the frigid wilderness of outer space, doomed to lifeless oblivion.

In world society, politically and economically, the United States of America is the powerful, and morally illuminating, force without which the nations of the world would soon descend into barbarism, warfare, and extinction.

This may sound to some like nationalistic boasting, but whether consciously or not, all the nations recognize it as fact.

Even our enemies sense that our strengths are largely the product of our principles of law, justice, and mercy — principles sorely lacking in much of the world.  I was struck by this when at the end of the second war in Iraq, tens of thousands of enemy soldiers surrendered en masse, fully expecting (and receiving) humane treatment — treatment of a sort that they knew their own forces would never have given their own enemies had the outcome been different.

Even the terrorists among them boasted that if captured, they would receive a trial in the U.S., a trial in which they would be acquitted and released.  These are terrorists who themselves tortured and murdered anyone whom they regarded as an enemy — or even an insufficient ally.

While here at home, many of our citizens accuse us of being racist and oppressive, their lie is not believed by the millions of foreigners (of all races and religions) who seek entry, whether legally or not, into our society.  Some of those foreigners are our enemies, and once here, they form enclaves of militancy, hoping to destroy us from within.  But most of the people of the world wish to share not only in our prosperity, but in our freedoms — freedoms for which they yearn, despite (or perhaps because of) never having tasted them.

Domestic criminals often claim a justifiable fear of police officers, yet we see footage of them showing not only no fear, but outright defiance.  There is a reason why criminals fear the police far less than they fear their fellow criminals.

Our two most potent enemies, Russia and China, are like lions in the tall grass, constantly maneuvering for advantage against us, continually poised to strike at the first opportunity, whether economically, militarily, or both.  Yet, at the same time, they must remain ever vigilant, not only of our resurgent resistance to their wiles, but also of their own people.  Hong Kong has provided the most recent example of this.  There, the populace has been waving American flags in protest of the totalitarian government in Beijing, which is gradually tightening its stranglehold.

North Korea, for decades a yipping miniature dog, biting at our ankles, retains power only by terrorizing its own people.  Not only are dissidents terribly punished, but their entire families, indeed sometimes their entire communities, are imprisoned and tortured in large death camps.  The North Korean government was shocked — shocked, mind you — when, at long last, an American president rejected their squeaky threats with the credible promise (yes, promise) of massive retaliation.  That shut them up in a hurry.

While we cannot solve all the world’s problems — far from it — there is nevertheless a global Pax Americana, the likes of which the world has never seen. 

Unless we remain always on guard, and always mindful of our divine blessings, it could all unravel suddenly.  A colossal natural disaster, a successful and massive sneak attack by an enemy, or a political coup from those in the second tier of power could make the sun disappear.

Image: Jeff Turner via Flickr.

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