The Need For Cops

pill times; font-size: 16px;”>By Gregory J. Wellborn

155960.ME.0129.Grads.IKThe hottest story this week is the upset in Virginia’s 7th congressional district primary election in which House Majority Leader, sick Eric Cantor, mind was defeated by an underfunded, little-known college professor.  All the political wags are wagging and all the talking heads are talking.  But the most important story concerns the need for cops and what we’re willing to pay for them.

Is a cop’s salary worth the cost?  It’s not a silly question.  I mean it in all sincerity.  As taxpayers, we have to put in a certain amount in taxes to pay the cops who patrol our streets.  Do we receive a benefit from the money we fore-go in order for them to walk their beat?  I doubt I could find a serious observer (there is always the fringe) who would say “no”.

The more informed might ask how good is the cop before answering the question, but in doing so, they’ve acknowledged the value of the police;  they’re just debating the quality of the specific police force.  Having a police force to enforce the laws and keep the peace is almost a universally acknowledged public good.  That the cops must be honest and affective is assumed, but nonetheless an important criteria.  If the police were collectively corrupt or ineffective, we might question why they were being employed, but we’d still validate the principle that we need police to maintain order.

The answers to the questions I’ve posed, and the principle I’ve outlined, are easy when viewed in the domestic context.  Whether it’s Los Angles, Atlanta, Chicago or New York, the answers would be the same.  When we apply the question to the international stage, things get muddled.

un.logoDoes the world need a policeman?  Here’s where some people – primarily Liberals – hedge their answer. Even if we take the bluest of blue cities in the bluest of blue states (San Francisco), Liberals who would have affirmed the need for police in San Fran would hesitate, if not outright reject – the need for police in the world at large.  But my question to them would be, what’s different?  Human nature is human nature. If there are likely to be bad guys in the city, necessitating an honest and effective police force, aren’t there also likely to be bad guys (usually worse) in the world, necessitating an honest and effective police force?  Stated this way, it’s hard to believe anyone – Liberal, Conservative or Independent – would answer in the negative.

The key question then becomes, who should serve in this role?  Right now, as it has been for many decades, it’s either the U.S. or Russia.  Some may argue that China should be thrown into the mix, and I won’t quibble with including them in the question, but the answer is still the same.  The one power on the planet that stands for democratic principles, human rights and equality before the law is the United States of America.  The thuggery that is Russia and the Kleptocracy (political systems that  maintain the ruling class) that is China are not reasonable alternatives.  There is absolutely no sense that Russia or China would uphold moral principles.  They will uphold the positions which benefit their respective countries.  As an example, please consider Russia’s position and actions vis a vis Syria and the Ukraine, or consider China’s position and actions vis a vis North Korea and Tibet.

The world needs a cop, and the world needs an honest cop.  The only candidate is the United States of America.  For those who might offer the United Nations – I’m tempted to laugh – I would simply point to Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, Tibet, Angola, etc.  The list is long.  The next key question is how long should the United States stay involved in any area to insure the maintenance of order, democracy, and respect for human rights?  The answer is a long time.

The U.S. was instrumental in the moral victories of WWII and the Korean conflict.  We have maintained a presence in Germany and Japan since 1945, and in Korea since the mid-1950s. Germany, Japan and South Korea are, as a result, steadfast and respected members of the civilized order of nations.  They would not be so were it not for the United States’ long-term commitment of blood and treasure to the cause.

This brings me to Iraq.  The recent fall of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, and the second major city (after Fallujah) to fall to Al Qaeda insurgents, suggest that the country is moving backward toward civil war and domination, if not outright control, by Al Qaeda forces.

Saddam Hussein tortured his own people, used chemical weapons against them and others, invaded his neighbors, and refused to abide by the most basic of human rights.  He was the crook, and President Bush sent in the only police force that mattered – the U.S. – and we liberated a people and a country.

irrelevant_president_obamaPresident Obama, on the other hand, has never liked the concept of policing anything anywhere.  Obama’s benign neglect and continued insistence on full withdrawal by 2016 has resulted in a catastrophe.  Bush left office with Iraq largely at peace and a developing democratic country.  Civilian casualties fell from 31,000 to 5,000 in 3 years.  Five years of the Obama Doctrine – no police needed, everyone loves one another – and the country is on the verge of falling to terrorists with monthly casualties in the 1,000 range.

The simple fact of life is that peace requires sufficient force and presence to maintain it.  Human nature hasn’t changed in thousands of years.  There will always be bad guys, whether at a city level or an international level, and an honest, effective cop needs to stand in the breach.  If nobody does, people die, violence reigns and civilizations wither.  You won’t find that on the front page, because it’s not the “hottest story”, but it is the most important story.

Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic and religious organizations on cultural and moral issues.  He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 3 children and is active in the community.  He can be reached [email protected]


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2 Responses to The Need For Cops

  1. Citizen Reporter June 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Huge mistakes were made in the war, the handling of the insurgency and now while the takeover and massacres proceed largely unchecked.

    Some say that the war was unjustified because no nuclear devices were ever found. Some forget that the war was in response to about a dozen UN resolutions, which had a whole list of Iraq’s infractions, only one of which was nuclear devices. Obviously they had poison gas, as they killed at least 300,000 of their own citizens with it. Some also forget that 75% of the Senate voted for the war, so it wasn’t just W’s war.

    While it’s true that outside intervention is sometimes needed, must it always be the USA which provides the lion’s share of the blood and treasure to do so? What if there was no outside intervention against the Third Reich? The Eurocrats would all be speaking German and locked into a fascist nightmare.

    If a war isn’t fought by a force which is mostly inhabitants or originating from the country to be helped, then it shouldn’t be fought. If they’re not willing to fight for their own country, then the war probably isn’t worth fighting or is unjust.

    The USA is broke- partly because of endless wars and partly because of other causes. We cannot afford to be the world’s uncompensated policeman.

    If Iraq is to be helped, then it should be by Iraqis, the Arab league and nearby countries. It would be OK with me if the US assisted with air power, logistics, intelligence and supplies, since we do have a long-term stake in global power politics. This is what we did in 2001 with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and it reportedly worked pretty well, although the ongoing occupation and handling of the insurgencies did not.

    I question whether our current administration has our best interests at heart and why Congress is doing nothing about that problem.

  2. DavidMStewart June 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I think you have the clearest view of this subject I have seen so far and history backs you up. I was not a big fan of the Iraq war but I think in the end it was the best thing for the people in that country as you suggest. The Obama contrast is clearly an embarrassment for our nation as so much of his administration is. Thank you for these very clear thoughts, it has helped me clarify my own thinking.


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