As the story of 21st-century humanity plays out on an international stage, military prowess now becomes America's mightiest asset. No longer is technological invention our greatest contribution to the world; no more is the broad strength of our wealth and markets the world's growth engine. Those leadership roles are passing, before our eyes, to other players in the game.
Now our place of authority among the nations is our willingness to serve as the chief of police, the fireman at the station, the medic retrieving life in the midst of harm's way, the merciful carrier of humnitarian aid, whose ministrations are protected by awesome firepower. Pax Americana.
Now are we the constable for a precarious world-- the good cop on the beat, and--like it or not-- the bad one too. This has happened before in history, although never before on such a large scale, and never before in the presence of so many nuclear isotopes.
May our love affair with petroleum never corrupt that role.
There is, perhaps, one attribute of our American heritage that is equal to or greater than our willingness to defend democracy, whatever "democracy" is. It is our nurturing of freedom, in all its many forms. May that flame of liberty always burn brightly, and
May God help us.