Our Modern Day Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by red states rule, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    December 07, 2006
    Our Pearl Harbor
    By Victor Davis Hanson

    On Dec. 7, 1941 - 65 years ago this week - pilots from a Japanese carrier force bombed Pearl Harbor. They killed 2,403 Americans, most of them service personnel, while destroying much of the American fleet and air forces stationed in Hawaii.

    The next morning, an outraged United States declared war, which ended less than four years later with the destruction of most of the Japanese empire and its military.

    Sixty years after Pearl Harbor came another surprise attack on U.S. soil, one that was, in some ways, even worse than the "Day of Infamy."

    Nearly 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11 attacks - the vast majority of them civilians. Al-Qaida's target was not an American military base far distant from the mainland. Rather, they suicide-bombed the United States' financial and military centers.

    It's been five years since Sept. 11. After such a terrible provocation, why can't we bring the ongoing "global war on terror" - whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere - to a close as our forefathers fighting World War II could?

    Is our generation less competent?

    Not really. The United States routed the Taliban from Afghanistan by early December 2001. America's first clear-cut victory against the Japanese, at Midway, came six months after Pearl Harbor.

    Do we lack the unity of the past?

    Perhaps. But we should at least remember that after Pearl Harbor, a national furor immediately arose over the intelligence failure that had allowed an enormous Japanese fleet to approach the Hawaiian Islands undetected. Extremists went further - clamoring that the Roosevelt administration had deliberately lowered our guard as part of a conspiracy to pave the way for America's entrance into the war.

    Are we in over our heads fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Hardly. Within days after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. found itself in a three-front war against Germany, Italy and Japan - an Axis that had won a series of recent battles against the British, Chinese and Russians.

    But there are significant differences between the "global war on terror" and World War II that do explain why victory is taking so much longer this time.

    The most obvious is that, against Japan and Germany, we faced easily identifiable nation states with conventional militaries. Today's terrorists blend in with civilians, and it's hard to tie them to their patron governments or enablers in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan, who all deny any culpability. We also tread carefully in an age of ubiquitous frightening weapons, when any war at any time might without much warning bring in a nuclear, non-democratic belligerent.

    The limitations on our war-making are just as often self-imposed. Yes, we defeated the Axis powers in less than four years, but it was at a ghastly cost. To defeat both Japan and Germany, we averaged over 8,000 Americans lost every month of the war - compared to around 50 per month since Sept. 11.

    So far the United States has encouraged its citizens to shop rather than sacrifice. The subtext is that we can defeat the terrorists and their autocratic sponsors with just a fraction of our available manpower - ensuring no real disruption in our lifestyles. That certainly wasn't the case with the Depression-era generation who fought World War II.

    And in those days, peace and reconstruction followed rather than preceded victory. In tough-minded fashion, we offered ample aid to, and imposed democracy on, war-torn nations only after the enemy was utterly defeated and humiliated. Today, to avoid such carnage, we try to help and reform countries before our enemies have been vanquished -putting the cart of aid before the horse of victory.

    Our efforts today are further complicated by conflicting Internet fatwas, terrorist militias and shifting tribal alliances; in short, we are not always sure who the enemy cadre really is - or will be.

    So paradoxes follow:

    A stronger, far more affluent United States believes it can use less of its power against the terrorists than a much poorer America did against the formidable Japanese and Germans.

    World War II, which saw more than 400,000 Americans killed, was not nearly as controversial or frustrating as one that has so far taken less than one-hundredth of that terrible toll.

    And after Pearl Harbor, Americans believed they had no margin of error in an elemental war for survival. Today, we are apparently convinced that we can lose ground, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, and still not lose either the war or our civilization.

    Of course, by 1945, Americans no longer feared another Pearl Harbor. Yet, we, in a far stronger and larger United States, are still not sure we won't see another Sept. 11.

    Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.
    (C) 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/12/our_pearl_harbor.html
     
  2. 90K
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    90K BANNED

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    Good post about a sore subject whether for or against the current situation. Until our country gets really mad we'll never achieve anything less than failure. Our military force is well trained and has the skills. It is our leaders in Washington that lack the ability to achieve oneness in our nation and to stand up and stop the elementary school bickering and allow our troops "less the media" to go in and whoop some muzi ass! Until that happens no matter what part of the world a conflict exists we'll fall short of victory.

    And one other point here is that neither Pearl Harbor or what happened on 9-11-01 should ever be forgotten and taken lightly.
     
  3. Working Man
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    Working Man Member

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  4. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    .............

    Do we lack the unity of the past?[/QUOTE]
    Yes, thanks to liberalism.
     
  5. Working Man
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    Working Man Member

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    Yes, thanks to liberalism.[/QUOTE]

    I don't see a reason to be hopeful either. The people of this country are rudderless, clueless, and we have too many that are useless.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I don't see a reason to be hopeful either. The people of this country are rudderless, clueless, and we have too many that are useless. Can't blame liberalism per se, anymore than conservativism. The problem is the citizens and the education of such. Then again, I've seen nothing that leads me to think it'll change.
     
  7. trobinett
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    trobinett Senior Member

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    Working man should reread his posts, HE is the reason for this WOT taking so long.

    Our LEADERS reflect the feelings, and fortitude of the American people as a whole. EVERYTHING is done by poll, the minute something starts to become unpopular, well, screw that!

    Yea, our country may be around for the next turn of the century, but it will sure look A LOT DIFFERENT.
     
  8. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Working man is a good example of folks being the victim of the liberal media

    Here are a couple of examples of the "objective MSM"


    Couric to Blair: 'Do You Regret Your Unwavering Support of this President and this War?'

    Posted by Brent Baker on December 7, 2006 - 20:02.
    CBS News and Katie Couric put repenting before the looking to the future and solutions as producers chose this question, from Couric to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to tease at the top of Thursday's CBS Evening News: “Do you regret what many perceive as your unwavering support of this President and this war?" In the subsequent interview, Couric, who the night before called Iraq a “nightmare,” pressed Blair about himself and President George W. Bush “acknowledging failures.” Referring to their joint press conference, Couric queried: "The President seemed determined as ever to stay on track. Do you think he, or for that matter you, are capable of acknowledging failures in this policy and changing gears when and if necessary?" Couric's follow-up displayed her frustration with Bush: "But he's been very insistent for months now that the U.S. policy is correct and while he's accepted there may have to be a slight change, he's really dug his heels in."

    In contrast, on ABC's World News, George Stephanopoulos avoided such psychological speculation and calls for regret as he stuck to questioning Blair about the Iraq Study Group's recommendations. For instance, Stephanopoulos wondered: “Senator McCain said today that this report is 'a recipe for defeat' because it doesn't include massive increases in troops in Baghdad to secure Baghdad. Do you agree?” (NBC did not get a sit-down with Blair.)

    Couric teased:


    “I'll have a rare one-on-one interview with America's number one ally.”

    Couric to Blair in interview: "Do you regret what many perceive as your unwavering support of this President and this war?"

    Couric's session with Blair, as edited for airing on the December 7 CBS Evening News:

    Katie Couric: “The man who has stood by the President, Prime Minister Tony Blair, spoke with me this afternoon about his unwavering support for a war that's been increasingly criticized.”

    Couric to Blair: “Mr. Prime Minister, do you agree with the Baker commission that the current approach in Iraq is not working and the situation is grave and deteriorating?”

    Tony Blair: “Well, it's certainly very tough, absolutely. And there's no doubt about it at all. We're facing a very, very difficult situation, very challenging situation, but as they say, it's a situation that we cannot afford not to win.”

    Couric: “Do you support the 79 recommendations?”

    Blair: “I basically think the report gives us the right foundation to move forward.”

    Couric: “The President seemed determined as ever to stay on track. Do you think he, or for that matter you, are capable of acknowledging failures in this policy and changing gears when and if necessary?”

    Blair: “Yeah, I mean we've got to evolve strategy because the situation's changed, so if you don't change when the situation changes, then you're not doing the right thing.”

    Couric: “But he's been very insistent for months now that the U.S. policy is correct and while he's accepted there may have to be a slight change, he's really dug his heels in.”

    Blair: “Well, he talked today about a new way forward, and I think the critical distinction is this: His concern, and in a sense my concern as well, is that people use the challenge that we face to drive us from the central mission itself, and that would be very dangerous because it is important that we make sure that we help Iraq to become the democracy its people want to see.”

    Couric: “You've supported the United States engaging with Iran and Syria. Does the President seem receptive because he didn't earlier today?”

    Blair: “Well, it depends what you mean by 'engage with.'"

    Couric: “Part of a regional conference, an Iraq support group recommended in the report.”

    Blair: “I think that provided Iran and Syria come in order to help I think people would want them as part of this group. Yes, of course they would. What is important that they come to the table helping Iraq, supporting its government, not undermining it.”

    Couric: “Your steadfast support, Mr. Prime Minister, of President Bush has cost you at home. In a recent poll, only 27 percent said they were satisfied with your job performance. Do you regret what many perceive as your unwavering support of this President and this war?”

    Blair: “No. Look, sometimes in politics what happens is there are issues that come up that you consider so big and so important that you've got to do what you think is the right thing, and, you know, people can disagree, and they can make you unpopular, but you've got to do it if you think it's right. And even if it is difficult-”

    Couric: “Even if the majority of people disagree with you?”

    Blair: “You sometimes, I'm afraid, have got to govern by what you believe rather than by picking up the opinion poll. Now they may end up rejecting you as a result of it. Well, that's -- that's their prerogative to do it, but it's your duty to do what you think is right, and that's what I've tried to do. And I think that we should be proud of what we stand for in the world.”






    Press Corps Focuses On Getting Bush To Admit Failure In Iraq
    Posted by Terry Trippany on December 7, 2006 - 14:12.

    President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair held a joint press conference today to discuss the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group Report. The main goal of the presser was to show unity between the two leaders and discuss the plan going forward.

    Apparently that goal is not in line with the mainstream media mission that is focused primarily on getting President Bush to admit that the War in Iraq is not going well. The underlying theme is that President Bush is still in denial. The only remaining question is whether or not some lucky reporter can get him to admit it.

    One of the CNN reporters actually pondered if Tony Blair can get President Bush to face up to the difficulties in Iraq and admit that we need a new direction. Sure, President Bush has no clue as to what is going on.

    Bush and Blair continued to discuss strategies at how we can succeed in Iraq and why it is so vitally important. Yet many of the press room reporters acted as if they didn’t even hear the discussion by the two leaders. I imagined them sitting there with ipods on listening to their favorite club music as they prepared to step up to the mic for their carefully prepared attempts to nail President Bush.

    The first question out of the gate delivered on that promise. The reporter essentially asked President Bush if he will finally admit to failure (see video here).

    For his part President Bush handled the question gracefully and attempted to inject some reality into mix. He said that Congress isn’t going to accept every recommendation in the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report and neither will the administration.

    Prime Minister Blair followed the question up more directly. He said that there should be no dispute as to what the situation is in Iraq. He continued to stress that the important elements to focus on should be concerned with how we are going to proceed going forward.

    Mr. Blair pointed out that Iran and Syria must support the democratic government in Iraq, not support sectarian violence, not support terrorism and not fuel the war in Iraq with opposition. The implication is clear – we can not negotiate with nations that are not going to support our efforts.

    Finally Blair went on to point out that Iran has clearly been supporting terrorists as well as undermining our efforts in Iraq.

    None of that seemed to matter to the BBC reporter who followed up by asking President Bush if he was still in denial. No surprise in that question seeing how this has been the coordinated train of thought in the media for as long as I can remember. The difference now is that they can revisit the question using the ISG report as the catalyst.

    It was at this point that President Bush became angry. The President used the Clinton finger as he stated emphatically how much he understands the situation; with all due respect! President Bush seems best at these moments because he is not being overly careful to parse his words.

    The event was remarkable in that it once again demonstrated that some people in the media are so blinded by their agenda that they can’t even concentrate on the reason the press conference is being held in the first place.

    This article is crossposted at Webloggin. Video can be seen here.

    http://newsbusters.org/node/9523
     
  9. T-Bor
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    T-Bor Active Member

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    Ummm..in World War 2 we were at war with specific countries... Now we are at war with a BELIEF system... Islamic extremists...they are everywhere.. and its quite different than back then. They all just dont exist in one or two countries. Plus everyones got nukes which makes it a completely different ballgame. This article draws terrible analogies and makes absolutely no sense. But Im not shocked that Red States fell for it. Hes an idiot anyway.
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    As the example today from Rockford Illinois exemplifies, it's way more than a belief system. :banana2:
     

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