Robertson County Times November 28, 2001
One of Robertson County's own making a differenceMarian M. Bibb
Since we are just days away from the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the recollections that plunged our country into World War II come to mind in vivid detail.
As a fourth grade student, it was frightening to hear the news on the radio.
When we went to the movies, we could see news of the war on the big screen and would have recurring visions of what it must be like in Europe.
The events of Sept. 11 cause us to realize our sense of peace and tranquility has been drastically disturbed.
Now I have two granddaughters in the fourth grade, and they deal with the news of our present war with some of the same questions and fears I experienced as a child.
As I write this to meet a deadline before the Thanksgiving holiday, it is hard to keep my thankful heart from expressing some very reassuring thoughts.
First of all, I am glad John Pike, one of Springfield's own native sons, is realizing the dream he had as a 5-year-old and is now one of the world's leading experts on defense, space, and intelligence policy.
John serves as director of an organization he founded a year ago to focus on some innovative approaches to the emerging security challenges of the new millennium.
The very name of this nonprofit, nonpartisan organization should reassure us, Global Security. John, the son of Marjorie and the late John Pike, graduated from Springfield High School in 1971.
He worked for nearly 20 years with the Federation of American Scientists where he directed the Space Policy, Cyberstrategy, Military Analysis, Nuclear Resource and Intelligence Resource projects.
John developed the Federation's award winning website, and he was personally responsible for creating most of the site's online content.
He is known as one of the country's most credible space industry observers.
He is equally conversant with both the technological and political aspects of strategic defense and arms control.
John has authored more than 200 studies and articles on national security and space.
In 1986, the National Journal named him as one of 150 "People Who Make a Difference'' in Washington. He has been at the forefront of utilizing satellite imagery to monitor worldwide weapons facilities. Recently he reminded the readers of the New York Post that the Taliban are preparing to wage the kind of guerrilla warfare it is most comfortable fighting.
"Remember, for nine years in the 1980s, the Soviets had control of Afghanistan's cities, but they were unable to defeat the Afghan rebels in the mountains,'' John said.
By Nov. 15, John reassuringly said, "Certainly, the hope is that it's going to be much more difficult for bin Laden to move around. It's much more likely that local civilians, if they saw him moving around, will report it and make it easier to catch him.''
Those of us who fear that caves make perfect hide-outs brought the following response from John, "When properly targeted, laser-guided bombs are accurate enough to enter the mouths of the tunnels.'' John has frequently been seen on the major networks and especially so since the war on terrorism began. The only information I could get from Marjorie was that John's organization was a think-tank, and it was not connected to the government.
He has frequently been called upon to testify before Congress. In 1983, he was instrumental in establishing the Space Policy Working Group, comprised of congressional staff and advocacy organizations concerned with missile defense issues.
If my son had achieved what John has, I would probably be standing on the rooftops shouting, "That's my boy!''
I know Marjorie is proud of her son as any mother would be. She has far too much class to brag about his accomplishments. I had to search the web for information, and personally, I feel better knowing John's brilliant mind is working on our behalf.
I have come to the conclusion that one of the most important weapons the terrorists are using is their ability to cause widespread fear among their enemies.
I don't think we should allow them to have that kind of power over us.
In fact, we might do well to read Peterson's paraphrase of the last part of the 6th chapter of Matthew.
If Jesus were speaking to us today, His words couldn't be more appropriate.
"What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know both God and the way He works fuss over these things......Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find your everyday human concerns will be met.
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.''
Marian M. Bibb is a retired Robertson County school teacher. Contact her at email@example.com.
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