Values Voter Summit: Bill Bennett on Offense

Bill Bennett, former Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan and author of the Book of Virtues, spoke at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Conference on Saturday. If the audience expected him to talk about education or even the culture, they were in for a surprise. Instead, they got military advice, a theme that surfaced frequently throughout the conference.

Bennett’s brief talk bemoaned the “tentativeness” in our foreign policy today. He spoke about the four Americans who were killed in Fallujah and whose bodies were dragged through the street and said, “When four Americans are killed in Fallujah,” and they cheer, you “take out Fallujah…you level the city.” He reminded his audience how the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war with Japan and asked “why are we so hesitant about these matters.”

He regretted the US action, or rather the lack of action, in Lebanon: “We should have offered to help Israel take Hezbollah out.”

And when the Presidents of Venezuela and Iran made anti-American comments at the UN, he recommended that they be denied a visa. When they “seek a visa to come to the US to speak, you deny them the visa… Diplomacy can come later, after you win.”

In case the sword-brandishing rhetoric was too much for his audience, he ended with a sports metaphor: “You’re either on offense or you’re on defense. Now the good guys are on defense.”