Who will stand up to clear and present evil in our times?

I am quite sure y’all remember the opening scene from the movie “Gladiator.” It was one of the most brilliantly filmed depictions of ancient close combat warfare with the Romans going against the Germanic tribes. But what was pertinent to our discussion for this particular missive was the vignette that set the stage for that battle scene. Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus, stood with his subordinate military leaders awaiting the return of the emissary he’d sent froth. One of his generals asked if he thought they would accept peace. At that time, the headless body of his emissary was on the back of a horse, heading to the Roman positions, just as the Germanic leader emerged from the tree line and tossed the severed head into the mud. Maximus replied, “they say no.” One of his other generals stated, “people should know when they have been defeated” to which Maximus replied, “would you?”

And so when word came about yet another ballistic missile test by North Korea this weekend, I immediately thought of that opening exchange from Gladiator. After all, this is just after Trump said he’d be wiling to meet with Kim.

As reported by Fox News, “The White House responded to the latest North Korean ballistic missile launch late Saturday, saying that the rogue regime has been a “flagrant menace for far too long.”

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The statement added that President Trump “cannot imagine that Russia is pleased” with North Korea’s latest test because the missile landed close to Russian soil. The statement pointed out that the missile landed closer to Russia than to Japan.

The White House said the U.S. maintains its “ironclad commitment” to stand with its allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea, and added that the latest “provocation” should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North.

The Pentagon confirmed that North Korea launched some type of ballistic missile at around 10:30 a.m. Hawaii time. It was launched near Kusung and landed in the Sea of Japan. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported the missile traveled about 435 miles. The launch is the first in two weeks since the last attempt to fire a missile ended in a failure just minutes into flight. The isolated regime attempted but failed to test-launch ballistic missiles four consecutive times in the past two months but has conducted a variety of missile testing since the beginning of last year at fast pace.”

Just within the last week the presidential elections in South Korea took place, with Moon Jae-in winning. And CNN gave a good summary of what his focus on North Korea will be. Moon Jae-in is a liberal who favors a more open policy toward North Korea. Moon, the Democratic Party’s candidate to replace ousted President Park Geun-hye, was declared the winner by the country’s National Election Commission. The election of Moon, a 64-year-old former human rights lawyer, is likely to mean an overhaul for Seoul’s policy on North Korea. Unlike his hard-line conservative predecessor, he favors engagement with Pyongyang and has challenged the deployment of a controversial US missile defense system. “This is the great victory for the great people who have been with me to build a just country, united country and a country where principle and common sense works, Moon said.”

Hmm, Democratic Party, human rights lawyer…community organizer, seems some interesting parallels here, not to mention the desire to talk with anyone without preconditions.

And before we go any further, I do not agree with President Trump wanting to sit with the psychopathic little pudgy kid with the very bad haircut from North Korea. And on a side note, ever notice how rotund that fella is while all the North Korean generals and soldiers are skinny like toothpicks?

Well it appears Kim Jung Un’s response to President Trump saying it would be an honor to sit with him and the new South Korea president is a reverberating “no” — or “nyet” in Russian, since that seems to be dominating everything in America.

I’m trying to ascertain what makes anyone believe a madman dictator, despot, or autocrat is concerned with having a conversation? And just like Russia said in Syria about removing all chemicals weapons, why do we believe China is doing anything to rein in this whack job Kim Jung Un? Didn’t we learn anything from the 20th century, namely in the 1930s when Adolf Hitler ascended to power in Germany?

We sat back and watched his antics and shenanigans in full display and the world leaders believed that appeasement and negotiation were the best route. Sure, I believe you give a diplomatic solution a chance, but when Hitler made his advances, unopposed, such as taking the Rhineland, Sudetenland, and Austria…not a word was spoken.

That didn’t just embolden him, it validated Hitler’s goals with his subordinate generals who believed him mad…but then saw reticence, recalcitrance, and cowardice. That led to the blitzkrieg and the overrunning of Poland, to be followed by France. I suggest y’all go see the movie “Dunkirk” this summer as a reminder of what happened then, and can potentially happen now. As we know, there’s something about not paying attention to and learning from history which tends to repeat itself.

So here we have yet another documented protestation regarding North Korea castigating them as a “rogue regime” who has been a “flagrant menace for far too long>” Yes, they have, and what’s been the response…more empty rhetorical protestations.

This is what we call Pavlovian, in that if bad behavior is continually dismissed, or in past cases rewarded, you’ll only get more bad behavior. It was the same with Hitler. It’s the same today with militant Islamic jihadism. And it’s the same with these adversarial nations forming an alliance such as Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea.

And if anyone is so foolish to not see the REAL COLLUSION with those four nations, then you’re as blind as can be. These adversaries see us, western liberal democracies, as being defeated. We don’t want to engage them, and those who take tough stances are demeaned, denigrated, and disparaged. It’s a funny thing — the British did that to Churchill preferring Chamberlain early on. Then when it came time to fight, guess who the Brits chose to lead them? Needless to say, Chamberlain, the architect of the Munich Accords with Hitler, was certainly not the right person to lead the island nation of England through the Battle of Britain. As Churchill implored his countrymen to fight, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” I tend to believe Chamberlain would have sought a negotiated “peace” with Hitler.

So here we are today, world. We have Moon Jae-in, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Malcolm Turnbull, Justin Trudeau – at least Barack Obama is gone — and now Donald Trump. On the other side we have Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, Recep Erdogan, Nicolas Maduro, and Hasan Rouhani, along with the mad clerics of Iran…oops, forgot Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the litany of Islamic jihadist leaders.

Who is our modern day Churchill who will inspire us to fight? The closest I believe to having that resolve and intestinal fortitude is Benjamin Netanyahu. However, he’s not only fighting against definable enemies, but also against those one would think should be allies – instead he faces the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

So who will step up and be a Maximus in these times to restore our liberties and freedoms, crushing tyranny by way of total defeat, foreign and domestic? Therein lies the real dilemma. It comes down to the eternal question of leadership, someone the liberty-loving world can rally behind and push back the onslaught of a darkness seeking to engulf the brilliant beacon of freedom.

We must say “no” – and not on paper, but by actions.

[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]

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