Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

The anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 is a day that has some special meaning to me.

I was stationed at Pearl Harbor for almost four years while I was in The United States Navy.
Hawaii is a peaceful place and many Sunday mornings I would look up into the sky and try to imagine hundreds of hostile Japanese warplanes diving out of the sky to kill the unwitting sailors, marines, airmen, and civilians at Pearl Harbor. I always had a hard time imagining the scenario as it must have played out.

This cowardly sneak attack killed 2,403 American servicemen and 68 civilians.

This attack killed 2403 American servicemen who were voluntarily serving their country and who had no idea they were about to be attacked. This attack roused our nation to arms. This attack 68 innocent civilians who had never commanded a hostile act towards Japan.

This is a history lesson that I hope no one in America forgets. We must always be vigilant and have the means to protect ourselves from foreign aggressors.

I am afraid that a lot of Americans have forgotten this key point.

I am not a war monger nor do I believe that The Pentagon is spending my tax money wisely; I have served in the military, I know how very wasteful they are.

America needs to remember its past and continue to work hard and be ready to defend ourselves from foreign aggressors as needed.

Mike Sylvester


Bartleby said...

Whatever history lesson is available from Pearl Harbor is not only remembered, it is emulated. The so-called "cowardly sneak attack" deserves a non-jingo look. Cowardly? Those Japanese pilots flew in close and delivered old-style, aimed weapons. Contrast U.S. air attacks today: standoff weapons, precision-guided by GPS, laser designator, etc. Who are the "cowards?" Sneak? Oh, that's right, they hadn't declared war. When was the last time the U.S. declared war before launching it -- or declared war at all? Not since 1941, in fact. I would guess the Japanese translation for "shock and awe" would be something like "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

Civilian deaths? Contemplate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Contemplate the incendiary carpet-bombing of Japanese cities (or German ones, for that matter) that were deliberately aimed at civilian populations. Try complaining about Iraqi or Afghan civilian deaths around today's War Party fans. "Collateral damage ... war is hell ... unavoidable ... they made us do it ... blah-blah-blah." And you know as well as I do that a lot of Americans are (quietly) happy to see civilian deaths in the Middle East -- as long as the civilians are wogs and towelheads. (And sometimes even not-so-quietly.)

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Wow Bartleby. You and I are going to 100% disagree on this one. I will try to take your points one by one.

Pearl Harbor WAS a cowardly sneak attack. When you attack a nation without warning, that is COWARDLY. Give me a break.

When the Japenses attacked Pearl Harbor we were not at war, there was nothing honorable about it. Am I calling teh actual specific Japanese pilots cowardly? No. I am calling the Japanese decision to SNEAK attack Pearl Harbor cowardly, and it was a 100% cowardly attack.

As far as your point goes about The United States not declaring war in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, etc. I agree with you 100%. We SHOULD have declared war on those countries or we should have kept our troops home. I do NOT in general believe in peace actions.

Japan attack the United States and dropping the nuclear bombs with the decision of our President at the time. I personally think we should have only dropped ONE bomb; however, our military was predicting MILLIONS of American deaths if we had to invade mainland Japan and that was NOT acceptable.

War is HELL. I do not like war. Every country commits attrocities in war. Those who claim they do not, lie.

Anonymous said...

The Pearl Harbor attack should not be forgotton. As 9/11 should not either.

Interesting thing about 12/7/41 is that the US government new it was coming and let it happen. Why? Because the population at the time was isolationist (like the Gov't) and would not think of interfearing w/ the conflicts going around the world at the time.
By letting us get "Sneaked" attacked, it drummed up public support to go to war with Japan. German declaired war on us shortly after Japan did. Also the Japanese ambassadors were kept waiting out side the President's office until after the attack happened(by design of our Gov't). They had full intention of telling our Gov't that they were declairing war right before the attack.

Now on to 9/11, Our Gov't new it was certain to happen sometime. By letting it happen, they drummed up public support to go to war with the Mulsim extrmemists and Iraq.

Just my opinion and I'm not paraniod either.


Robert Enders said...

There are two grounds for war that are considered justified by the libertarian philosophy: self-defence and upholding a treaty obligation.

I consider the Afghan conflict to be justified on the ground that the Taliban was providing aid and shelter to al Qaeda, the group that is responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Most Libertarians agree with me on this issue.

The US military should and for the most part does make efforts to reduce civilian causualties. Sometimes an innocent person might be too close to the point of impact to a bomb blast. Sometimes a US soldier might behave in a manner contridictory to the values and beliefs of the military as a whole and kill civilians on purpose. The moral responsibilty for the former rests with al Qaeda for starting the conflict, the responsibility for the latter rests with the individual soldier.

Bartleby apparently has condemned the use of standoff weapons. When fighting a justified war, the military has a right and an obligation to put its personnel at as little risk as possible and still get the job done. The best way to shoot at a terrorist is when he cannot shoot back. If he has committed murder or is planning on doing so, then a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone piloted by a man sitting comfortably in the rear is his due fate.

The Iraq war is a stickier issue. Saddam was granted terms at the end of Gulf War I. Those terms included that he not develop WMDs and allow inspectors to verify this. He kept expelling the inspectors.
At the end of WWI, the Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany not form an air force. Had Germany been made to conform to this treaty, WWII would not have taken place.
No, Saddam is not nearly as bad as Hitler. The US had the "right" to go in, the question is, should we have? Are we made safer by removing a power-mad dictator, or have we simply generated more world resentment? I supported the invasion in 2003, but I still do not know whether I was right to do so. If a stable and relatively free Iraq is formed, if we can count on them to be an allie or at least not cause trouble, then the war was a success. If the new republic collapses, and a fanatical regeime that hates us is formed, then the war was a failure. We may not know for another decade whether or not we have succeeded.

Anonymous said...

I had a cousin die at Pearl Harbor. My father was supposed to be there, but his orders put him in the Atlantic Ocean instead. Pearl Harbor means something to us "older" folks. I know my parents and grandparents always remembered December 7, 1941. It changed history, a nation, and private lives.
I remember hearing about Pearl Harbor and all the wars after that. It does not matter if they were declared wars or undeclared wars. War was and is HELL.
Look in the Bible and you will see many just and unjust wars. War seems to be part of the human history.
Let us not remember the wars, but the men, boys, soldiers, and civilians who gave there lives for America. Lets learn from our past and find a better way to solve grievances and difference of opinions without fighting.
I am an early childhood specialist who works with children 3-5 years of age. I have two growns children, Karena-36 and Jeffrey-38 ( who lives in Honolulu). I have two wonderful grandchildren, Kayla-4 and Graydon-2 1/2, and a son-in-law, Mike-38 who was in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor. I would not want any of them to be involved in fighting a war of any kind. However, we do not always get things our way. Maybe we should teach our children that fighting is not always the answer to everything. Maybe we should wish for better things for their future. WAR is not always the best choice to solve problems.

Bartleby said...

I think Mr. Enders has misunderstood me. Cliches like "cowardly sneak attack" flow easily and automatically off our lips and keyboards both, but don't stand up well to a little clear thinking. A quick review of what was written:

Mike S. (referring to 7 December 1941): This cowardly sneak attack ...

me: Cowardly? Those Japanese pilots flew in close and delivered old-style, aimed weapons. Contrast U.S. air attacks today: standoff weapons, precision-guided by GPS, laser designator, etc. Who are the "cowards?"

Robert Enders: Bartleby apparently has condemned the use of standoff weapons ...

My point, of course, was not that PGM are somehow in a different moral category from bullets, "iron bombs," etc. My point is that a charge of "cowardice," directed at men who went into battle in 1940s warplanes, armed with 1940s ordnance, is nonsense. their enterprise may have been (and was, in my opinion) wrong; but to call it "cowardly" is simply nonsense -- and singularly silly, coming from a nation whose "warriors" increasingly operate from a push-button, full-auto, fire-and-forget environment. It's reminiscent of somebody like Dear Leader George Bush, who spent most of 11 September 2001 on the Scared Rabbit Running Tour of inland airbases, referring to the 9/11 hijackers as "cowards" -- as he so often has done over the past few years. Cowards? They were aboard the planes that they crashed into things. Call them criminals, fanatics, evil madmen -- you'll get no argument from me. But the same folks who spent 9/11 hopping frantically from one "secure undisclosed location" to another ought to keep their traps shut about cowardice.

Anonymous said...

maybe the best solution is to have the people who call for the war actually fight it the death ...or until one agrees to the will of the other ... maybe bush and sadam would have killed each other resulting in a victory for both nations!

Cathay said...

Amen Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
maybe the best solution is to have the people who call for the war actually fight it the death ...or until one agrees to the will of the other ... maybe bush and sadam would have killed each other resulting in a victory for both nations!

Bingo, We all win the lotto.


LP Mike Sylvester said...

I have to agree with the sentiment that those who declare the war should be held responsible for it.

I wish The American people help politicians accountable for their actions.

If that were the case FEW incumbents would ever win re-election.

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