Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Remember Pearl Harbor

The Claremont Institute today issued a warning to Americans about what we don't know or don't remember. Forgetting Pearl Harbor by Ken Masugi questions our remembrance of the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Following are excerpts from this excellent article.

Was it part of a plot by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who knew an attack was imminent and allowed it to happen, knowing that only such a shock would bring the nation into war? The best cure for such delusional thinking is Roberta Wohlstetter's Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. American disdain for Japanese military and technological capabilities and their bold strategic thinking was the major factor in the American failure to anticipate a strike on the island so distant from Imperial Japan.

We are afraid to accept arguments such as Wohlstetter's for they would force us to confront our own current strategic problems. Are we prepared for surprise attacks of all kinds--involving not just domestic terrorism but sea-launched missiles as well? Such meditation is too painful to endure for long, so our political leaders return to passing highway bills full of local pork barrel projects. That's all within their control, and it makes everyone feel good.

Are we doomed to act only after something terrible has occurred? Americans know how to react and defend themselves, if they know the facts. Unfortunately, they are woefully ignorant of their history.

We honor the sacrifices made at Pearl Harbor best by realizing that what we don't remember can hurt us most of all. We must begin asking questions about who we are as a people. That is a duty of self-government.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I AGREE. LETS THINK ABOUT HOW WE GOT INVOLVED IN IRAQ.
PREZ (Vic)

4:37 PM  
Blogger Yolo Cowboy said...

First of all, let me welcome you to the Western Alliance.

Warning and Decision is on my reading list for the New Year.

I would love to have a historian write a book on tipping points towards wars that no acted on.

February 26, 1935 is a date that few people know. It was the date Hitler gave Goring the order to re-establish the Luftwaffe, in clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles. We will never know how many lives may have been spared if Brittan or France would have smashed Hitler then and there. Instead we got - Peace in our Time.

I am sure the cry of ‘war monger’ would have been heard from the elites and intellectuals, but it beats the heck out of V2 rockets raining down on your house and tens of millions dead.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill,

What I found interesting and disheartening was the fact that local news made a point of reminding everyone that today was the 40th anniversary of the death of that druggy ass, John Lennon, but no mention yesterday of Pearl Harbor.

Jim

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're obviously a man of rare perspective, Jim.

John Lennon and the music he wrote are remembered with great love and affection by a couple of billion people on the planet (a few of them may even be extreme right conservatives). He was a creative genius.

It'd be good for you hard-core guys to take a break from the war-mongering and celebrate some of the good things in life. John Lennon was one of them.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd watch that "druggy" stuff if I was you redneck! Your idol & President George "The Party Boy" Bush has ingested more cocaine, marijuana & hard-alcohol then most all other humane beings...dead or alive. Shoot! I bet Bush's out-of-control daughters have taken more drugs then Lennon ever did! And one other striking difference,while we're at it, Lennon was a genius...Bush is an idiot!

E.J.

6:52 AM  

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