Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor and 9/11 ... have we forgotten?

Today is December 7 ... Pearl Harbor Day.

December 7, 1941 ... 65 years ago America suffered the worst attack ever on our soil at the hands of the Japanese who conducted a sneak attack on our Naval base in Hawaii.

It was, in the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "a date which will live in infamy."

Or so we thought.

Sixty years later, on September 11, 2001, America came under an even larger attack on our soil ... and it wasn't on an island in the South Pacific.

It was right here on the mainland.

It was in New York City ... and Pennsylvania ... and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. More people died that day than died in 1941.

And the big difference was ... they were civilians.

Have Americans forgotten Pearl Harbor? Most who are alive to remember are now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Many of the survivors have passed away ... the rest are becoming increasingly in frail health.

How on God's green earth do we expect people to remember Pearl Harbor, an event that happened 65 years ago ...

... when many have already forgotten the terror from 9/11 that occurred just a short five years ago?

Have Americans lost their resolve? Their will? Their courage? Their honor? Their willingness to stand up for the home front?

Have we forgotten how to pull together in the face of adversity ... in the face of the rest of the world? Have we allowed the worldview, politically correct elitists to so tie our hands that we aren't even willing to stand up for what we believe in anymore?

In the 12/6/06 issue of the Richmond Times Dispatch on the Op-Ed page were two articles that made me contemplate the connection between the two events.

Roy Martin, President of the Navy League/Richmond Chapter, wrote "Pearl Harbor Remembered: Attack Pulled the U.S. Into WW II".

Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of the British internal security agency M15, wrote Threat Is Serious, Growing, & Will Be With Us for a Generation."

Mr. Martin provides an historical background to the Pearl Harbor attack and comments:

"Sadly, too many Americans today don't recognize, much less remember, what happened, nor how it changed our lives, our country, and the world forever."

I believe that statement can also be applied to 9/11.

Ms. Manningham-Buller stressed the continuous increase of the terrorist threat worldwide, warning that it began well before 9/11/01 and continues today. She stated:

"We now know that the first al-Qaida-related plot against the U.K. was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb...."

She said M15 knows of 200 terrorist networks consisting of over 1,600 identified individuals who are actively engaged in terrorism worldwide.

She continues:

"In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul, and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the U.K., but were disrupted. This run of domestic success was interrupted tragically in London in July 2005. Since then, the combined efforts of [British intelligence agencies] have thwarted a further five major conspiracies in the U.K., saving many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of lives...."

But in the U.S. we continue to hear the cynics and doubters who beat the constant negative drum against the war in Iraq, against President George W. Bush, against surveillance of suspected terrorists, against our military, and against America.

There are core Americans who do support the President, the war, our military ... but they are the Silent Majority ... the ones without a public voice.

They do not have the mainstream media shouting their message of support from the front pages of newspapers and evening newscasts. They don't have that particular megaphone that is available to the anti-everything crowd who count on the MSM to amplify their message loudly ... and often.

My parents are the World War II generation. They have told me stories of how America pulled together at that time to work as a united front against our enemies. I have studied history from that time period ... heard about the sacrifices, the connection to neighbors, the willingness to sacrifice, the humanity of sharing with others.

The mainstream media at that time was pro-America ... and printed stories of hope, of success during the war, and human stories that made Americans feel proud of their country.

Movie stars in Hollywood signed up for the military. Entertainers supported the war by entertaining the troops, and by making public service announcements encouraging the public to buy government bonds, join the service, and make the best of using rations.

America ... worked as a team.

America ... was united as one.

How wonderful it would be if we heard that same message today.

How wonderful if all Americans joined together to make us feel good about our country, good about being Americans, good about being the most generous country in the world.

Pearl Harbor and 9/11 ... have we forgotten?

10 comments:

SWAC Girl said...

[I accidentally deleted the entire post with comments by Observer. Couldn't find a way to contact Observer to ask that comment be resent; am posting here under SWAC Girl.]

Observer said:

You might add to your list of "cynics and doubters who beat the drum against the war in Iraq" the Iraq Study Group, whose bipartisan report is a stinging indictment of the conduct of the war since Saddam fell, a stinging indictment of the administration's characterization of the war, and a set of recommendations which put the lie to everything the Administration had advocated in Iraq.

In World War II we had a President we could trust and an Administration which understood what it would take to defeat the enemy. We won that war.

We are not winning the battle in Iraq. You doubt this? Ask the new Secretary of Defense.

The mindless supporters of this Administration bear a measure of responsibility for their refusal to see the truth. Under the mistaken notion that you are supporting the troops, you have in fact betrayed them by unquestioning support of failed and failing policies.

For shame.

SWAC Girl said...

Observer, not surprisingly, I disagree with your assessment.

First, there is such a thing as a "mob mentality." When the mainstream media is hounding on the President on a daily basis, hounding on Don Rumsfeld, parroting the dems who are also hounding on everything that is trying to be done for this war ... a "mob mentality" sets in. "Hear it enough; start to parrot it yourself."

It takes a very strong person to go upstream against the media and dems in this country. Most people want to belong; they don't want to stand out against the crowd.

Second, I'm still studying the "Iraq Study Group" assessment of the war but I will say this: I think they probably got bogged down in the minutia of "studying" so long -- 79 points to consider?? How about coming up with five definite ways to WIN THIS WAR?

Third, in World War II "we had a president we could trust," you said. That would be true of this war, too, if the climate in the country was what it was during that time: patriotic media, positive stories about America, Americans feeling good about themselves, stories in MSM about the good our soldiers are doing in Iraq.

How the hell are we EVER going to win a war when all we hear is negative, negative, negative? No weapons of mass destruction? Yes, there were! Why won't the MSM report on that? We had ample reasons to go into Iraq and, if it had been accurately reported, the "climate" in this country would be entirely different.

Instead, the media feeds the dems/libs by amplifying their message far and wide and often.

During the Clinton years everyone felt wonderful about themselves financially because the media constantly ballyhooed the great economy ... unlike the Bush years when there has been deafening silence about the new high records set on Wall Street, the excellent economic reports, the record low unemployment rates.

In your constant questioning of the President and the troops, you have betrayed them in a way you will never know.

Our military men and women need to see a unified America. They need to know they will finish the mission in victory ... not sulk out in defeat. Morale in Iraq is now reported to be very low after the recent elections.

This "bipartisan" report is suggesting we do as we did in Vietnam - withdraw. That will show the world that, yet again, America can be beaten from within -- defeat us on the home front and you've done us in as far as fighting against the world.

And so the "mob mentality" has set in for America ... and you are on board along with libs and anti-war people nationwide.

You, Observer, are a guilty party in that.

For shame.

Observer said...

I can't believe you are still saying things like "How the hell are we EVER going to win a war when all we hear is negative, negative, negative? No weapons of mass destruction? Yes, there were! Why won't the MSM report on that? We had ample reasons to go into Iraq and, if it had been accurately reported, the "climate" in this country would be entirely different."

The reason we are hearing negative reporting from and about Iraq is that the situation is so bad there that anything "positive" is irrelevant. You will note when you finish studying the ISG report that the administration has not been owning up to all the bad news on the ground, much less being a victim of negative reporting.

You need to get off the delusion that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11.

And you need to get off the illusion that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or viable programs or stockpiles or any jot or tittle worth worrying about. I happen to know more than a bit about such things, and have looked very carefully at everything that has been reported in whatever media. There is no there, there. Sorry about that.

And even Bush has given up on Iraq as a transformational regime in the Middle East and is hoping for a regime that will at least survive.

My main criticism of the ISG report is that it is full of recommendations that might have worked two or three years ago, but which I doubt will work now. But I hope they will.

Before we invaded Iraq it was clear to me and to anyone else who knew anything about the subject that our chances of creating an Iraq that looks like Idaho were very small -- and that was if we did everything right.

We didn't, and now we are mired in a conflict where none of the other participants share our objectives. Let me say that again: None of the other participants share our objectives.

Not the Shia. Not the Sunni. Not the Kurds. Not the militias. Not the Iraqi politicians. And certainly not the Syrians or the Iranians. And not the common Iraqi, 72 percent of whom want us to leave now or very soon.

I'm really distressed that Iraq is such a mess. But you can't blame that on liberals or the Democrats or the newspapers. Once the war was set in motion, the downward spiral began. And it cannot have a good ending, no matter what.

That's not a partisan statement. That's not bashing the American soldiers. That's just a fact some of us have been living with for years -- and the rest of us will have to face.

I wish it were different but it isn't. And wishing and pretending won't ever make it so.

SWAC Girl said...

Many of the men serving in Iraq tell those of us back home not to watch the news because it's not accurate ... or they say to watch only Fox News because the other MSM refused to share good news from Iraq with the American public.

Some facts for you, Observer.

1) Over 3 1/2 million Iraqi children have been immunized since U.S. overthrew Hussein.

2) As few as 35% of students in Iraq attended school before the war. Now 95% + students attend school.

3) Thousands of schools have been renovated.

4) All hospitals are working and up to speed.

5) Sewer and water lines have been improved/repaired/replaced throughout much of Iraq.

6) Iraqi police being trained to take over law enforcement. Herb Harman of Augusta County, VA, is an MP currently in Baghdad working on that task.

7) U.S. soldiers are teaching students sanitation techniques to prevent the spread of germs.

8) For the first time in 30 years, textbooks don't mention Saddam Hussein.

9) Iraqis are working with U.S. soldiers by offering tips about terrorist insurgents and other things they need to know about.

10) As of March 2006 Iraq was listed as # 4 on an index of political freedom for countries in the Middle East behind Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco.

11) As of April 2006 crude oil production reached 2.14 million barrels a day. In May 2003 it had dropped to 0.3 million barrels a day.

12) Oil revenues have increased from $0.2 billion pre-war to $0.62 billion in April 2006.

13) Iraqi unemployment rate in June 2003 was 50-60%. In April 2006 it had dropped to 25-40%.

14) As of December 2005 other countries had pledged almost $14 billion in reconstruction aid to Iraq.

15) May 2003 - Iraq had no trained judges. October 2005 - 351 judges.

16) As of January 2006 - 64% of Iraqis said country was heading in right direction.

17) As of January 2006 - 77% of Iraqis said removing Hussein was the right thing to do.

18) May 2003 - 7,000-9,000 Iraqi Security Forces. As of March 2006 - 250,500 Iraqi Security Forces.

19) January 2004 - 300-500 foreign terrorists in Iraq. By April 2006 it had increased to between 700-2,000 foreign terrorists.

20) Hussein repeatedly refused to allow inspectors free reign of Iraq and finally closed the doors of the country to all UN inspectors.

21) Hussein tortured and murdered Iraqi citizens. Women were raped, family members disappeared, finger nails were pulled, acid dripped on victims, victims hung from ceiling fans and tortured, denied food and water, limbs broken, decapitation in frontof family members, and much more.

22) Hussein poisoned (murdered) thousands and thousands of Kurds -- citizens of Iraq.

23) Iraqi citizens who criticized Hussein had their tongues cut out.

24) Weapons of mass destruction were trucked into Syria in the months leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom as shown by satellite photos.

25) Over 500 chemical weapons have been found in Iraq since 2003.

26) Mustard and serin gas have been discovered.

27) Iraqi military jets were uncovered in July 2003 in the desert buried beneath 10 feet of sand and covered with camouflage netting. There were 30-40 planes including MIG-25 and Su-25 ground attack jets.
(http://rightsideva.blogspot.com/2006/01/weapons-of-mass-destruction.html / http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/sandplanes.asp)

28) A member of Saddam's cabinet visited Staunton, VA (Mary Baldwin College), and said Hussein paid terrorists to perform terrorist acts. Direct link to 9/11.

Need I go on? Do your homework. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other sources:
http://allthingsconservative.typepad.com/all_things_conservative/2006/05/iraq_index_show.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/decade/sect4.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html Fox News

Observer said...

Dear SWAC Girl:

Not that I think it will change your mind, but I’ll give it one more shot.

“Many of the men serving in Iraq tell those of us back home not to watch the news because it's not accurate ... or they say to watch only Fox News”

The PIPA Study showed that people who primarily watched Fox News were four times as likely to have one or more major misperceptions about Iraq than those who primarily watched NPR /PBS.

”Some facts for you, Observer.”

Your facts are a mishmash of the important (oil production) and the relatively trivial (washing your hands). Not all facts are created equal. Some of your facts are out of date, which says to me you are recycling old stuff instead of staying au courant.

I don’t deny that the US and others have made improvements in some areas of Iraqi life in some areas of Iraq. The problem is that the security situation is worsening, the civil war is growing ever more violent, and the US is becoming the focus of the problem, not the solution.

Your long list of accomplishments is a riff on the old Ray Reynolds e-mail from 2004, some of which was true and some of which was not. Right now, some of those things are true and some are – not.

For example, you say, “ All hospitals are working and up to speed.”

CBS News reported on 4 October 2006 that “The U.S. military has documented how Sadr's Mahdi Army has turned morgues and hospitals into places where death squads operate freely.
“ The chilling details are spelled out in an intelligence report seen by CBS News. Among some of the details of the report are:
· Hospitals have become command and control centers for the Mahdi Army militia.
· Sunni patients are being murdered; some are dragged from their beds.
· The militia is keeping hostages inside some hospitals, where they are tortured and executed.
· They're using ambulances to transport hostages and illegal weapons, and even to help their fighters escape from U.S. forces.”

Or, “A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.” (Washington Post, 4/3/2006)

You forgot the chart in one of your sources that showed there were 34,000 doctors in Iraq before the invasion – an estimated 12,000 of them have fled the country and 2,000 have been killed.

Some of the data points are puzzling. For example, “For the first time in 30 years, textbooks don't mention Saddam Hussein.” I don’t understand this – has Saddam become a non-person? I hope these aren't history textbooks.

Or, “As of March 2006 Iraq was listed as # 4 on an index of political freedom for countries in the Middle East behind Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco.” You forgot to mention Iraq is tied with number 5, the Palestinian Territories. Worldwide, Iraq is 112 out of 167 countries.

Or, “As of April 2006 crude oil production reached 2.14 million barrels a day. In May 2003 it had dropped to 0.3 million barrels a day.” May 2003 was right after the invasion. Pre-war, it was 2.67 mbpd. Neither production nor exports has reached pre-war levels – and Paul Wolfowitz told us Iraq’s oil money would pay for the reconstruction effort.

Other countries have pledged $14 billion dollars, but you forgot to mention the e total need has been estimated at $55 billion dollars.

“As of January 2006 - 64% of Iraqis said country was heading in right direction.”

As of September 2006, that had slipped to 47 percent. Why do I get the feeling you are tossing an old compilation at me? That is not doing your homework. BTW, back in June, 61 percent said things would be the same or worse or much worse in six months. They were right.

On the bright side, there are 10 times as many telephone subscribers. They have a lot to talk about.

We could go on, but dueling factoids gets boring after a while.
For the record, however, I will stipulate that Saddam was a brutal dictator whose regime committed many heinous crimes. I will also say that the US is not the world’s policeman. If it were, Darfur would not be burning.

I suggested you be careful what you said about WMD, but you were undaunted.

“Weapons of mass destruction were trucked into Syria in the months leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom as shown by satellite photos.”

Actually, the Iraq Survey Group specifically looked at that fable. It concluded that “Based on the evidence available at present, ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place. However, ISG was unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials”

”Over 500 chemical weapons have been found in Iraq since 2003.”

The ISG stated that: “While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible Indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter”

“ Mustard and serin [sic] gas have been discovered.”

Same comment applies. This is the stuff Santorum and Hoekstra were peddling until they got laughed out of town (except for Fox). As the DoD spokesman said, “This is not the WMD we went to war for.”

”Iraqi military jets were uncovered in July 2003 in the desert buried beneath 10 feet of sand and covered with camouflage netting. There were 30-40 planes including MIG-25 and Su-25 ground attack jets.
(http://rightsideva.blogspot.com/2006/01/weapons-of-mass-destruction.html / http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/sandplanes.asp)”

You are supposed to say that if Saddam hid airplanes, he must have hidden WMD, too. Not a logical argument, but folks try it all the time. In any case, airplanes aren’t WMD.

”Need I go on?”

No, mostly you are recycling discredited rumors and shaky stories that fit your ideological framework. I do do my homework, with reliable and credible sources and try to stay up to date. In fact, I have been doing this kind of work for over 40 years.

An (long-time) Observer

SWAC Girl said...

OK, Observer, I'm giving you one more forum on this. You've been at it over 40 years? I haven't done this professionally ... but research is part of my life, a hobby, and part of my teaching background.

FACT: All information I presented is proven and backed by research and facts.

FACT: Don't discount the information from the email ... I used the proven parts of it because it was good information. You would discount it simply because it circulated the internet. Bad move.

FACT: You and I will never agree on this.

We could argue and talk until the cows come home ... I could present my facts and then you could counter with your facts.

The sky is blue ... but exactly what color blue? I say baby blue, you say UNC blue ... and we'd both be correct.

Thanks for the debate.

Observer said...

OK. Let's wrap it up.

You said: "FACT: All information I presented is proven and backed by research and facts."

I showed that some of your "research and facts" are either plain wrong or out of date. Example: Iraqis who think Iraq is headed in the right direction.

You also said: "FACT: Don't discount the information from the email ... I used the proven parts of it because it was good information. You would discount it simply because it circulated the internet. Bad move."

I did not discount the data which appeared in the e-mail, because some of what was in there was in fact true. Like the rest of your stuff, some was out of date or was plain wrong.

What you won't face are the facts on the ground in Iraq right now. You are reading the Iraq Study Group report -- take heed.

Let's leave it there, unless you have a sudden revelation. Readers can judge for themselves, if they want to.

JohnMaxfield said...

SWAC Girl 1, Observer 0

Anonymous said...

what are we doing good in iraq, mr. au courant?

SWAC Girl said...

Observer -- didn't even see your comments in the avalanche of email from this morning. Just found it and I still disagree with you. I'm slowly reading the Iraq Study Group report and I wonder why a pompous group like that was asked to "study" the situation ... instead of asking the military men and women who are right there on the ground?

Anyway, all that's being ballyhooed is what the MSM wants us to hear which is, of course, everything negative. I'm pulling out some things that are not being widely reported ... but don't have time to analyze right now. It is the Christmas season and it's busy at SWAC Girl's house!

And, Observer ... you remind me of someone I've wrangled with in emails throughout the years.... New name, same persona? :)