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DALLAS—President Bill Clinton took time out in 1995 from eyeing pretty women to sign Presidential Decision Directive 39 authorizing the “taking out” of individuals who threatened the U.S.

Quite rightly, too.

Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan all signed executive orders banning political assassinations.

But Clinton had finally been aroused from his favourite hobby by the rise of Islamic terrorism—though not nearly enough to stop the assault on the battleship USS Cole in 2000—and wasn’t so squeamish about getting “them” before they got “us.”

Three days after 9/11, the U.S. Congress—even the hypocritical members of the fawning Lib-Left—awoke from slumber and authorized President George W. Bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against all involved in the attack.

Right now, it’s a busy time for the troublemakers and cut-throats determined to undermine the western democracies.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-il and the Islamic fundamentalist ruling clique in Iran are as determined as ever to get their hands on nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Communist China’s Hu Jintao—Communist China being high on Canada’s foreign aid list, as is Communist Cuba—are staging joint military exercises in a unified show of strength.

The exercises were meant to show the U.S.—and its allies, although Canada can no longer be strictly called an ally of the U.S.—that a new war machine is on the way.

Meanwhile, democracy was taking another turn for the worse when Israeli Prime Minister capitulated to terrorism and handed Gaza over to the Palestinians.

Yes, it’s a frightening world out there, but what really upset many was not that China, Russia, North Korea, Iran and others are out to take on the western democracies.

What upset many was that smooth-talking TV evangelist Pat Robertson had the audacity to suggest Washington “take out” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before Chavez takes over aging Communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s role of fermenting trouble in Latin America.

The swaggering Chavez—who like Castro, gives ranting eight-hour sermons—is far, far to the left and without soaring oil prices, his nation would now be lying in ruins.

His hero, Castro, has already ruined his own country, turning it into a virtual slave camp, where residents are force-fed propaganda, and where just about everyone except the power elite is destitute.

Castro has been a ruthless maniac, somewhat akin to Kim Jong-il, and back in the 1960s tried to install Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba aimed at the U.S. and Canada.

The best that can be said of Chavez is unlike Castro, he is no threat in the nuclear weapons field. Yet, for a hard look at him read the Aug. 29 edition of National Review magazine.

By “taking out” one couldn’t be sure if Robertson meant putting a bullet into Chavez or financing a coup to oust him.

Washington usually prefers coups to bullets, unlike the British who often use the fabled SAS to quietly swoop into some troubling trouble spot, blast away at those causing trouble, then head back by a circuitous route to London.

The Brits tend to know how to do these things properly.

Reagan, by the way, much like President Dwight Eisenhower, preferred coups. Especially when it came to Latin America.

Now, I can’t say I’ve much interest in Robertson, although if he was suggesting outright assassination, he might have been taking the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers too literally, but why the great fuss? As far as can be known Robertson hasn’t taken over the ailing Billy Graham’s role as chief spiritual adviser to the current occupant of the White House.

Let’s be honest here, if someone had removed Adolf Hitler back in the mid-1930s, millions of men, women and children wouldn’t have died in the Second World War.

Likewise, if Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Josef Stalin had been cut short in their heinous careers, hundreds of millions of people would have been spared living in slave states.

If Castro had “got it” early on, Cuba would be prosperous free nation today.

And, if we tackled Osama bin Laden and his ilk a decade ago the western world wouldn’t be biting its nails right now.

Defending democracy, as Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier has noted, isn’t for the faint of heart.

At least, Americans in general know that.


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