Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941

The day that America was jolted out of its protectionist (Update: Oops! Meant "isolationist stupor". Thanks, anon. for the correction) stupor by Japanese bombers joining the side of Italy and Germany should be burned into our collective hard drive. It has been 65 years since Pearl Harbor and the last few survivors of the ordeal still remember and share their stories.

This day will come and go with scant press attention is my prediction. Why? It's uncomfortable to think about a reappearing existential crisis. And while 9/11 would have presumably been a warning shot into the bow of America's self-interest, it's been viewed as "that little nothing" like Steve Martin's character said in Father of the Bride II. That "little nothing" created a baby. The "little nothing" of September 11th, like December 7th, put America at war.

Except today, nobody is acting like America is at war. We are acting like a guy who has chronic indigestion. After 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq are the burp that makes him feel better but the problem really isn't solved. Don't tell the guy he has stomach cancer, that might require some tough decisions. Don't tell the guy it's metastatic cancer. Don't tell him it's almost too late.

An interesting little aside from the Fox article above:

Martinez, the USS Arizona historian, likened it to another reunion 68 years ago — the final gathering of Civil War veterans in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, when aging warriors in blue and gray shook hands and shared war stories. In 1938, as in 2006, the nation faced an uncertain future in a world gripped by conflict.
Is that where we are? On the brink of forgetting?

A World War is possible again. We are in an undeclared world wide war. A Civil War is possible again. It happened once. While history shows us the way--that appeasement and ignoring reality never work, our government hastily puts together plans that appease and ignore as standard policy.

America was hit once. Actually, America has been hit twice. And while the circumstances are entirely different--the fight is the same. Will the West survive? No one knows the answer.

Much has been made of the Iraq veterans' frustration at not finishing the job. They aren't the only ones. If civilization goes down the sink-hole of Islamo-fascist history, the Soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will be together with others who fought and died for nothing. Vets from WWII watch, too.

Pearl Harbor must be remembered. Current world events make the day more important than ever.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you say it jolted us out of our "protectionist" stupor? Do you think it was trade-related?

Dr. Melissa said...

Anon,

Point well-taken. I mean to use the word "isolationist". We were economically protectionist at the time, too, but that's not what I meant to say.

Antoinette said...

Well the economic protectionist are also the same people who say we can just ignore the rest of the world and it won't bother us. It is all the same ludicrous mentality.

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