WASHINGTON, January 14, 2018: It wasn’t just another day in paradise. On Saturday morning, Hawaii awoke to the sound of squawking cellphones:
“EMRGENCY ALERT: BALLISTIC MISSLE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
It was a false alarm.
“State Warning Point has issued a Missile Alert in ERROR!” said the Honolulu Police Department. “There is NO threat to the State of Hawaii!”
Hawaii’s Mea Culpa
Hawaiian State Sen. Will Espero issued an email to express his disappointment:
“It appears like a major error occurred with the state of Hawaii Emergency Alert system. The notice of a possible missile heading to Hawaii has caused much anxiety, panic, stress, and fear to Hawaii residents. This enormous mistake is unacceptable.
“Hawaii’s civil defense system failed Hawaii’s residents this morning. The checks and procedures in place to confirm and re-confirm the public notification process failed Hawaii. Governor Ige Must find out what happened and make certain this never occurs again.
“This type of error is a poor reflection of the state Department of Defense and the civil defense system which are expected to protect Hawaii’s residents.”
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since President Jimmy Carter admitted during his 1980 debate with Ronald Reagan that he discussed “with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry and the control of nuclear arms.”
Amy Carter was 13 years old at the time.
The nuclear threat
But America’s foreign policy establishment has followed Amy’s lead, obsessed with nuclear non-proliferation, entering into agreements aimed at reducing U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles, and placing international sanctions on rogue regimes engaged in nuclear research.
But rogue nuclear regimes in Pakistan and North Korea (with Iran close on their heels) have the technology and will likely pass it on to states in conflict with the Western World.
It was foolish to believe economic sanctions or moral suasion would dissuade men from acquiring nuclear know-how. That genie, as they say, is out of the bottle.
The cost of defending America vs. the cost of Obamacare
When President Ronald Reagan came to that conclusion in March of 1983, he asked his fellow Americans in a speech from the Oval Office:
“What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. [nuclear] retaliation… that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?… isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war?”
Our government didn’t think so. Since the 1980s, the United States Congress has appropriated a mere $40 billion toward the Ground-Based Midcourse Ballistic-Missile-Defense System.
But in 2016 alone, Obamacare cost taxpayers $110 billion. This despite the oath taken by members of Congress and the president to defend the nation against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The threat of a nuclear attack
Since the passage of the National Missile Defense Act of 1999, the U.S. has deployed a mere 44 anti-missile interceptors in California and Alaska. And a 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office letter to the Department of Defense calls the anti-missile system, which is supposed to defend the nation against a “limited ballistic missile attack,” has only a “sub-optimized reliability.”
It is telling that as the North Korean nuclear threat to America increased, the Republican majority in Congress could not find the wherewithal to repeal wasteful and expensive Obamacare, diverting its nearly $1 trillion cost over the next decade to build a working missile defense to protect the lives of 310 million Americans.
If a future nuclear alert should turn out to be real, with real nuclear missiles “INBOUND TO HAWAII,” they can thank a president born on their island for wasting billions on an unworkable medical monument to his arrogance and cowards among the majority of Republicans in Congress for preserving it.
It turns out our wasteful U.S. government is the best friend of North Korea’s diminutive and portly “rocket man.”