National Security Mom: A Review

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I recently read the just-released National Security Mom, thanks to the nice folks at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing who are sponsoring a blog tour of the book.

I was anxious to read it.  As a politically-aware conservative, I enjoy stories about our national security, and reading a book relating that to parenting sounded riveting.

National Security Mom: A Review

Gina Bennett, the author, is a mother of five and a Senior Counterterrorism Analyst for the state department.  She wrote a 1993 report foreshadowing the danger of Osama bin Laden and his movement.

Lest this frighten you off, the book is very easy to read (and quick; you could read it in a sitting).  Bennett basically takes lessons she would like to teach her children, and suggests that the US should use these in combating terrorism.

What lessons are we talking about here?

  • Time-outs do not solve everything
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Life is not a fairy tale
  • Choose your friends wisely
  • Learn from your mistakes

…and so on.

I have to admit that at times, the advice seemed simplistic:  “… if we refuse to give up, people like Osama bin Laden would become as insignificant as the schoolyard bully eventually becomes to our kids.”  I’d like to believe this is so, but I’m skeptical.

Overall, Bennett strikes a non-partisan tone.  But again, the uh-oh-this-sounds-liberal radar in me starts to go off when I read passages like this:  “Americans are jaded by the recent past and less trustful of their government these days.  We question what we were told about the reasons we went to war in Iraq …”

Or, “Like many parents, I would like to see more attention spent on solving core challenges that face our nation:  the economy, health care, education…”  These sound like they could have come right out of Barack Obama’s speeches, so I suppose soon we’ll see the results of doing just that.

I don’t want to sound negative on the book overall.  I enjoyed Mrs. Bennett’s personal story and the parts where she talks about life with her five children.  My favorite chapter was probably “If you make a mess, clean it up” where she talks about the complexities of the current situation in Iraq.

Bennett closes with a call for moms to become more active in public life.  She proposes that the issues facing our nation are similar to those facing states, and in turn cities, and in turn school boards, and … you get the idea.  I was reminded of Sarah Palin beginning her political career by running for city council.  Then I thought of the trashing Palin endured in the press, and wondered if it would be worth my mental health to run for anything (I should mention that I’m currently on our subdivision’s board, and the red tape/long meetings/lack of progress related to that have convinced me that I’m not interested in pursuing anything more in the way of governing.  It’s frustrating because good people do need to be involved in public life, but would they WANT to?).


3 thoughts on “National Security Mom: A Review

  1. Really good thoughts here. I’m quite a political junkie and have the Fox News Channel on just for fun. Some think I’m crazy, but I think we need to be responsible citizens and informed ones at that…knowing why we believe what we believe, etc. Good for you to be involved in a more public way…we need good conservative people like you willing to be involved. It’s not easy, but more power to you! 🙂

  2. I must say that I agree with the lessons to be learned. Time outs do not solve everything, there are REAL reprocutions for breaking rules such as fixing the lamp that got broken.

  3. I’m glad you read these things because I do not. I love your reviews and I feel as if you’ve gleaned the best and most important things from the book.
    I do agree with you on more good people running for office. Unfortunately our political system (all the way down to city/town councils) is fairly corrupt in that they do things “this way only” and it bucks the person who really tries to exact change. Pity.
    As a veteran of the U.S., I always wonder at how much my fellow Americans truly know about war. Wars have been fought ALL throughout history from the Revolutionary War that won us this great country to wars in Biblical times when the Israelites were assured of the victory because of God’s hand upon them. I’m not a fan of war but I sometime pause and think how quickly my countrymen forget we were attacked senselessly. Thousands of beautiful souls perished for no reason on 9/11 and that is an act of war. It’s never pretty and the evil on our planet only responds to a fight. Our problem as Americans is to FIND the way to fight them in a new way because they are not like any other enemy we’ve faced before. If we would unite and STAY united, what a different day it might be in America. How soon we forget…
    Thanks Susan.

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