Wednesday, December 07, 2011

70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the Lesson It Teaches

Stay strong. Stay engaged or war will find us no matter how peaceful our intentions!

Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
It's easy to become blase about another anniversary of a vicious crime against humanity. The sting is long removed and emotions have cooled. Yet, failure to recognize the lesson of such events condemns us to relive the horror. We saw that on September 11, 2001 but even now that reminder is losing it's punch.

About Pearl Harbor it's important to remember that it only happened because the Japanese thought they could get away with it. They thought America was weak and unprepared. We were. Our peacetime army before the war was so badly equipped that soldiers trained with broom handles instead of rifles and cardboard tanks.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto feared that the Pearl Harbor attack would "awake a sleeping giant." He was right. But it took a long time for that giant to wake up. Much blood was spilled because we were not prepared to stem the Japanese tide which made it to within bombing distance of Australia and onto the Aleutian Islands in Alaska before we could contain it

Had our military been prepared. Had our alliances with the other nations victimized by Japan been strong war might never have broken out. "Peace through strength" isn't just a phrase invented by Winston Churchill and repeated by President Reagan. It's a attitude that has been proved to save lives and avoid war.

Will today's military and our alliances be gutted?

To win World War II and to maintain the peace that followed America deployed a global military machine. Not for conquest, but for peace. It is one of the most remarkable achievements in modern history that we were successful in deterring a war with the Soviets after World War II.

But now, Obama and the Democrats want to gut the military to pay for more wasteful domestic spending. It would be a further crime against humanity to allow that to happen.

Equally dangerous is the attitude of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and his followers who would abandon our alliances and worldwide military commitments in the false hope that the bad guys would fight with each other and leave us alone. We tried that same path in the 1930's and the world was forever scarred as a result.

If the U.S. giant were to go back to sleep and another great war break out, we may not be able to wake up in time. Peace through Strength works and it saves lives. To believe anything else is to deny the lessons of history!

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