Thursday, December 07, 2006

From Infamy to Arrogance

The War to End All Wars was over. The United States had lost many men and had settled down into another era of isolationism. Along with that, the nation was still under the thumb of the Great Depression. A war had begun in Europe and the US was involved in weapons and money trading only. But all of that was about to change. It came like a bolt from the blue. An attack like no other ever in history. The cost was great, with 2,403 lives lost. Sunday morning on December 7th, 1941 is now 65 years behind us. But its long term affects are still seen in our military operations and how we react to tragedy.
Pearl Harbor changed the course of US history like no event since 9-11. In fact, constant comparison to Pearl Harbor was almost immediate after 9-11. The reason is simple. Since Pearl Harbor, no single event had done more damage to the United States. So it was only natural for the thought to cross peoples' minds that this was the new Pearl Harbor. A Pearl Harbor for a new generation. And just like that generation of men 65 years ago, 9-11 set off a change of events that we are still feeling the effects of today. An unending war that is costing troops their lives.
Yes, the similarities are many. But what really sets Pearl Harbor apart from 9-11 is the reaction. After Pearl Harbor, the American people rallied together with the President in a new war effort. The economy of the entire country switched over-night from depression to war. Pearl Harbor was a "day of infamy" and is still. It was not used as a political slogan. It was not used to push the radical foreign policy of a backward President. It was not used as anything. It was "infamy." And with that thought it mind, the United States set out to fight a war that really did protect the safety of all Americans.
So how has this changed. Great tragedy, like Pearl Harbor, would have never been used in the way 9-11 has. Pearl Harbor was not a great idea for use in an ad campaign. But our government has grown to use tragedy as such. And for that reason, "infamy" has become "arrogance." September 11th should have been a new day for infamy. Instead, 9-11 was seen as some arrogant politician's new toy. An instrument of war. A reason to kill. And that is a sad state of affairs. The memory of Pearl Harbor is not done justice as the world stands today.
Pearl Harbor should always be remembered as it was. It should not be polarized, glorified, or politicized to push an agenda. It should be something all nations look back on and realize that we don't need to go there ever again. We don't need that sort of loss of life. But it is not seen as such. US troops are dying everyday in a war sparked by just such a tragedy. But instead of focusing on an end, our arrogant leaders want more and more. They are demanding that more blood be spilled in their cause. This was not the cause the soldiers of Pearl Harbor died for. And our nation needs to respect their spirits and end this administration. It has gotten to that point. If Pearl Harbor could rally us one more time, maybe this nation would change for the better. And end this senseless conflict.

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