An ugly job, but it’s a living

Mika, is that a Kool-Aid stain on your lips?

Zbigniew Brzezinski was born as a free Pole who lived to see his homeland invaded by the Nazis and later dragged behind the Iron Curtain when it was “liberated” by the Soviet Army. Never a fan of oppression, during his career in US Government service he was a strong advocate of standing up to governments that denied liberty and other human rights to their subjects.

While Brzesinski was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, he frequently battled with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance on how to best deal with totalitarian regimes. Vance preferred something like a “live and let live” stance that ignored the human rights violations of the oppressors while emphasizing arms reductions. (Hey, go ahead and enslave and kill your own people as long as you don’t threaten us.) Brzesinski believed that sort of thing only made the dictators bolder, and he favored a tougher stance that included military strength against what were truly evil empires.

Armed oppressors prefer their victims to be unarmed – it’s sooo much easier that way.

His daughter, MSNBC talking head journalist Mika Brzezinski, was born a free American. While, like many Americans, she may have differences with government policies and actions, she has never had to fear being imprisoned, tortured or executed for expressing her beliefs. Her father saw that in his childhood and understands that a free people have to defend their rights or risk losing them – even if that means picking up a gun. Mika apparently does not share a similar opinion. Certainly not when it comes to individual citizens standing up to bullies with guns bent on mass murder.

Joe Scarborough: One person with a gun in the right place can make a big difference…for good or for bad.

Mika Brzezinski: You know, that is the most inane statement I have ever heard.

Isn’t that strange? You would think that she would have learned from her father’s experience that kowtowing to an armed oppressor is not the path to freedom. But she was born in a land that has been free for more than two centuries.

Alex Kozinski knows. Like Mika’s father, he knows what happens when evil men pick up their guns and the innocent are unarmed.

He is currently the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. His parents survived the Holocaust and I’m sure he learned something from them about about the need to fight armed bullies. Judge Kozinski was born in Soviet controlled Romania in 1950 and emigrated to the United States in 1962. The lessons learned from his parents’ experiences were no doubt fortified by the experience of living in a country where the rules of the dictators were enforced by T-55 tanks. As many as 80,000 Romanians were murdered in Soviet prison camps set up for thought criminals who believed Romania should be free. During their occupation of Romania during the 1950’s, the Soviets imprisoned untold thousands of political prisoners and stole billions in assets and raw materials.

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Alex Kozinski know what Mika does not. When a bad guy with a gun wants to take away your rights, or even your life, sometimes the only way to deal with them is to go get a gun of your own.

Trust me, there is no giant poster of Zbigniew Brzezinski hanging on any wall in my house, but I was able to cherry pick this gem that I enjoyed:

…the use of violence has to be a last resort, that you have a right to self-defense and therefore even to kill in self-defense.

Zbig was speaking about the concept of national defense, but his authority was based on the principles of Christianity. And while that doesn’t necessarily tell us where he comes down on the right of individual self-defense, I totally dig his feelings about a nation’s moral right to defend itself.

Judge Kozinsky’s opinion on individual self-defense, however, is something we should have on public monuments and in textbooks:

All too many of the other great tragedies of history–Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few–were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece…If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for re-election and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees.
However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake free people get to make only once.

What do you suppose it would take for Mika to appreciate the views on self-defense of men like Alex Kozinski or her father? A few tanks in the street? The secret police hauling away the thought criminals?  A crazed gunman loose in her neighborhood?

Individuals and governments don’t just have a right to defend themselves – it is a moral obligation.

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One response

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