On December 7th, a few thoughts on war..
On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese fleet’s planes bombed all the US military air bases on the island (the biggest was the US Army air base at Hickam Field), and the ships anchored at Pearl, including “Battleship Row”. Nearly every plane on the ground was destroyed; only a few fighters got airborne and opposed the attacking planes. Twelve battleships and other ships either were sunk or damaged, 188 aircraft were destroyed, and 2,403 Americans lost their lives. The battleship USS Arizona exploded and sank with a loss of over 1,100 men, nearly half of the American dead.
The next day, President Roosevelt addressed Congress. “Yesterday, December 7, 1941- a date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” After recounting the event and numerous other acts, the President asked, “that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan,… a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”
In his December 9th radio address to the Nation (one of many of what were known as “Fireside Chats”) President Roosevelt said, “The sudden criminal attacks perpetrated by the Japanese in the Pacific provide the climax of a decade of international immorality. Powerful and resourceful gangsters have banded together to make war upon the whole human race.” “Together with other free peoples, we are fighting to maintain our right to live among our world neighbors in freedom and in common decency without fear of assault…. We are now in this war. We are all in it- all the way. Every single man, woman, and child is a partner in the most tremendous undertaking of our American history. WE MUST SHARE TOGETHER THE BAD NEWS AND THE GOOD NEWS, THE DEFEATS AND THE VICTORIES- THE CHANGING FORTUNES OF WAR.”
On September 11, 2001, America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by powerful and resourceful gangsters in an act that is the climax of several decades of international immorality. After hijacking multiple airplanes, radical Islamic warriors of the Al-Qaeda network used them in kamikaze-like fashion, striking targets with the intention of nothing less than the collapse of the United States’ economy, government, and military. The tally of the day: 265 died on the planes; at least 2,602 people, including 343 firefighters, died at the World Trade Center; and 125 were killed at The Pentagon.
“Those youths know that their rewards in fighting you, the USA, is double than their rewards in fighting some one else not from the people of the book. They have no intention except to enter paradise by killing you. An infidel, and enemy of God like you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner. … Those youths will not ask you for explanations, they will tell you singing there is nothing between us need to be explained, there is only killing and kneck smiting.” These are the words from Osama bin Laden’s August 1996 fatwah, “DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE AMERICANS OCCUPYING THE LAND OF THE TWO HOLY PLACES”.
“The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit – similar to a prisoner’s uniform – who identified himself as Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor whose body was found on a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday. ‘My name is Nick Berg, my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s name is Susan,’ the man said on the video. ‘I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in … Philadelphia.’ After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ – ‘God is great.’ They then held the head out before the camera. ‘So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins … slaughtered in this way.’” This act has been described as a traditional “ritual” killing.
General William Tecumseh Sherman on war: “Its glory is all moonshine; even success most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the lamentations of distant families. You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and THOSE WHO BROUGHT WAR INTO OUR COUNTRY DESERVE ALL THE CURSES AND MALEDICTONS A PEOPLE CAN POUR OUT…. If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity-seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war.”
War is hell. War sucks. We must always remember those who died fighting war, or victimized by it.