Thursday, December 07, 2006



Say, kids! What day is it?


It’s Pearl Harbor Day!

Yes, it’s the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Date That Will Live In Infamy, as FDR so eloquently put it, when the Empire of Japan attacked U.S. forces stationed on Oahu in the Territory of Hawai’i.

In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing Japan attacked when they did. The dramatic blow brought the United States into World War II, helping make possible the Allied victory which shaped today’s world. The alternative - an Axis win which would have given the Nazi regime hegemony over Europe - is too horrible to contemplate.

But the attack was devastating, costing over 2,000 American lives. It was a painful blow, one that still resonates today.

To appreciate the sacrifice our fighting men made on that day, there’s no better place to be than Pearl Harbor itself. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have made that pilgrimage twice - most recently in 1992.

When you take the motor launch out to the site of the sunken U.S.S. Arizona, where a memorial pavilion has been erected over its sunken remains, the thing that strikes you is that it feels like a holy place. You speak in a hushed voice, all the time aware that you are standing over a gravesite. Survivors of the attack serve as docents, explaining the events of that terrible day.

Sixty-five years later, oil still seeps from the wreck to form rainbow patterns on the water of the harbor.

It’s a very different world today. The Japanese are our friends now, a major partner in trade and technology. Japanese cars fill our highways and sushi is available in the corner supermarket. Turn on the Cartoon Network and you can watch anime, fresh out of Tokyo.

Sixty-five years after 9/11, what will the world look like? Will we have crushed Islamofascism...or will the nations of Europe be reduced to dhimmitude within a greatly expanded Umma? Who will be our enemies, and who our friends?

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