“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”
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But taking that one no from the Soviet Union, we then went back into negotiations on their terms. Because Mr. Carter had cancelled the B-1 bomber, delayed the MX, delayed the trident submarine, delayed the cruise missiles, shut down the minute man missile production line. The Soviet Union sat at the table knowing that we had gone forward with unilateral concessions without out any reciprocation from them whatsoever.
I am not talking of scrapping. I am talking of taking the treaty and going back into negotiations. And I would say to the Soviet Union, we will sit and negotiate with you as long as it takes. To not only have legitimate arms negotiation but to have a reduction of these nuclear weapons to the point that neither one of us represents and threat to the other. That is hardly throwing away a treaty and being opposed to arms limitation
I will tell you that I believe with all my heart that our first priority must be world peace. And that use of force is always and only a last resort. When everything else has failed. And then only with regard to our national security.
Meeting this mission for the responsibility of preserving the peace. Which I believe is a irresponsibility peculiar to our country. We cannot shirk our responsibility of leader of the free world because we are the only one who can do it. And therefore the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us. And to maintain that peace requires strength. America has never gotten into a war because we were too strong.
We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
“Now let’s set the record straight. There’s no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there’s only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender.
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We Must Fight
Admittedly, there’s a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then—when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we’re retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he’s heard voices pleading for “peace at any price” or “better Red than dead,” or as one commentator put it, he’d rather “live on his knees than die on his feet.” And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us.
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it’s a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” “There is a point beyond which they must not advance.” Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits—not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.
We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”