Pearl Harbor: Lessons in Global Aggression

I am saddened for my children’s sake. Their world lacks the focus of the one I grew up in. The enemies were clear, the dangers real. Safe spaces were those marked with yellow-and-black fallout shelter signs, political correctness not required. Ours was a warrior nation that had rolled from one conflict to the next with a firm sense of what mattered: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I come from the final bloom of the baby boom. Some of those who categorize such things would place me at the very start of Generation X, but I wasn’t lost in the middle. My parents grew up in the Depression, uncles served in World War II and Korea. My older brothers went to Vietnam. Though America was the only nation that had used nuclear weapons in war, the Soviet threat was real. Communism was evil and our loved ones ventured deep into harm’s way to staunch its flow. The U.S. of A., for all her faults, was a force to be reckoned with and her righteous anger was fearsome to behold.

For seven years now I have consoled myself with the thought that things really aren’t that bad; after all, we survived Roosevelt. How much harm could Obama do in only half the time? Sadly, this mantra doesn’t comfort me the way it used to. I am far from being a fan of FDR. But regardless my feelings about the disastrous “progressive” agenda he foisted upon our nation, I must admit that his performance on the world stage on his worst day highlights the incompetence of our current president and the smallness of the front runners of the opposition.

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attached Pearl Harbor even while it was still in diplomatic talks with the United States. Two thousand, three hundred and forty military personnel and forty-eight civilians were killed.[1] The following day, President Roosevelt addressed the Congress. His speech is a classic, an icon of American History. No doubt, you have heard it with Roosevelt’s distinctive denouncement of the date as one “which will live in infamy.”[2] Roosevelt proceeded with a brief summary of the attack and logical proofs of its premeditated nature. He then enumerated the other assaults that Japan had made in the Pacific theater. What followed was clear leadership.

“As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.[3]

Note that as Commander in Chief, he directed that all measures be taken for our defense. FDR is the patron saint of liberalism. But this clear commitment to national defense led him to incarcerate in American concentration camps United States citizens of Japanese descent whose only crime was their ancestors’ nation of origin. It is easy to dismiss this act as shameful in retrospect. But to do so fails to take into account not only the absolute sense it made then, but also the number of people who peacefully complied to relocation in the interest of national unity.[4] Today our leaders pale at the thought of racial profiling. Let me ask you, were you in the least bit surprised that the perpetrators of the San Bernardino massacre were Muslims with Arabic surnames?[5]

Let me ask you, were you in the least bit surprised that the perpetrators of the San Bernardino massacre were Muslims with Arabic surnames?

“I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”[6]

I was tempted to splash some bolding across the text of the quote for emphasis, but thought better of it as I would have bolded the entire thing! I never thought I would see the day when I would say, “Lord, I wish we had a leader like Roosevelt today!” He had no doubt that he was clear on the national heartbeat. He asserted not only vigorous defense but also a total commitment to making sure that Japan would never be threat to the United States again. This promise has held true for the seventy years since their defeat, a defeat that was ensured by the release of the most fearsome weapon of war then known to man and responsible for over two hundred thousand killed. Today we incarcerate military personnel who lose the rules of engagement in the heat of battle!

“Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.”[7]

It is a simple statement, but one which our current leaders seem unable to make. In 1993, a bomb planted by Muslim extremists blew up in the World Trade center, killing five and injuring hundreds. In 1995, a car bomb parked by Muslim extremists in Saudi Arabia killed five Americans and injured thirty others. In 1998, Muslim extremists bombed the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2000, the USS Cole was attacked by Muslim extremists. When Muslim extremists attacked us on September 11, 2001, did President Bush declare that we had been attacked and were at war with Muslim extremists?

“I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.”[8]

Anyone who has read history objectively knows that the teachings of Mohammad are not peaceful and their goodness is highly suspect. The Crusaders who murdered in the name of Christ were traitors to their religion. Muslims who practice jihad are faithful to theirs. “Muslim radical” is truly no different than “Islamic fundamentalist” – a person who believes the Koran and follows the teachings of Mohammad. But 21st Century American political leaders – be they Democrat or Republican – don’t have the courage to say so. And because they won’t say it, they can’t declare war against it.

“Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”[9]

George Bush declared war on terror. We were attacked by people who believe in the edicts of their prophet, by a culture and system of faith that honors force above all else. And after thousands of innocent civilian lives are lost in a single day’s work of ruthless execution, we respond with a diffused call to war against “terror” as if holdouts of the ETA or the IRA held anything in common with Al Qaeda and ISIL besides methods. Let us return to Roosevelt for an example of how it is done.

“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”[10]

Congress’s response to this call for declaration of war was swift and decisive.

“Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.[11]

Our nation has seen much conflict since WWII, but it hasn’t gone to war with such clarity since. I am no fan of George W. Bush. But despite the fact that his speech before Congress after the 9/11 attacks left much to be desired, it stands head-and-shoulders above the drivel we hear from the White House these days. In the face of the reestablishment of an Islamic Caliphate and the wake of multiple attacks by Islamic fundamentalists on Americans both at home and abroad, what does the Obama administration focus on as the enemy? Your carbon footprint.

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled several initiatives and a need for the Defense Department to make climate change a consideration in strategic planning, calling climate change as a “threat multiplier”.[12] Considering the numerous armies that have succumbed to disaster due to unforeseeable weather conditions, the hubris of planning for climate change contentions is laughable.[13]

Secretary of State John Kerry feels that climate change should be addressed with as much immediacy as the Islamic State (which could lead astute observers to believe the administration is going to do next to nothing about climate change).[14]

Addressing college students in Iowa, Vice President Joe Biden said, “Global warming is the greatest threat to your generation of anything at all, across the board.”[15] One would think he could be a bit more realistic with college students and warn them of the real danger to themselves of unemployment if they didn’t get a marketable degree in business administration or one of the hard sciences! People are being brutally beheaded for all the world to see by those who vehemently declare us and our way of life to be their sworn enemy and destined for destruction and global warming is the greatest threat? Oh, Joe, say it isn’t so!

And what of our fearless leader? He gets situation briefs every day. Surely he must be aware of the dangers posed to America by those committed to a fundamentalist practice of Islam? Sadly, when he isn’t pushing nuclear treaties with nations that enshrine us as their enemy in their national constitution, he’s spouting drivel like this:

“As the world’s largest economy and second-largest carbon emitter, as a country with unsurpassed ability to drive innovation and scientific breakthroughs, as the country that people around the world continue to look to in times of crisis, we’ve got a vital role to play. We can’t stand on the sidelines. We’ve got a unique responsibility.”[16]

Allow me to run that through a translator for you: America is the reason for global warming and her economy must be made to pay!

When asked whether he believed that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism, his response included this gem:

“What we know is that as human beings are placed under strain, then bad things happen. Whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people are not able to make a living or take care of their families, that’s when ideologies arise that are dangerous.”[17]

No, Mr. President, dangerous ideologies arise because there is true evil in this world. And the men and women like Syed Farook and Tshfeen Malik go out in a blaze of infamous glory after slaughtering the infidels, they don’t do it as a response to rising temperatures in San Bernardino. They do so in accordance with the ideologies preached and practiced by Abu al-Qasim Muhammad. I understand that in the modern age American leaders have lacked the spine to officially declare war since WWII. In this day, I would settle for leaders who were willing to admit who is at war with us: Islamic fundamentalists.

[1], accessed 12/5/2015.
[2], accessed 12/5/15. The URL will take the reader to the full text of the speech. In my opinion, it stands shoulder to shoulder with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
[3] Ibid., emphasis added.
[4] Go to to read some of the complexity of the situation from the eyes of an American-Japanese leader who lived through the experience.
[5] Ironically enough, Farook means “the one who distinguishes between right and wrong.”, accessed 12/5/15.
[6], accessed 12/5/2015.
[7] Ibid.
[8], accessed 12/5.2015.
[9] Ibid.
[10], accessed 12/5/15.
[11], accessed 12/5/15.
[12], accessed 12/5/15.
[13] Joshua 10:11 is one ancient and extreme example, but there are modern ones as well.
[14], accessed 12/6/15.
[15], accessed 12/6/15.
[16] accessed 12/6/10.
[17], accessed 12/6/15. Emphasis added.