President Bush dropped flowers into the water Thursday at the sunken battleship USS Arizona, a reminder of the terror that struck America more than a half century ago…White House officials drew parallels between Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 with al-Qaida’s attack against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
I always thought that was a military action, not a terror attack. Does this mean the invasion of Normandy was a terror attack on Fortress Europe? That was as much a surprise attack as Pearl was.
I guess though, it’s ok for President Bush to visit 1,177 dead sailors from 1941, but not the ones that are under his command coming home in body bags now.

War was formerly declared when we attacked at Normandy, we were not at war with Japan when they attacked at Pearl Harbor. and… oh just shut the fuck up.


Well, on the one hand, Japan turned in their declaration of war a bit late. On the other hand, Pearl Harbor was an unquestionably legitimate military (or naval, as it were) target. So unless he’s saying that the WTC was a legitimate target for warfare against the US, he’s a bit wrong, I think.

Did the White House really make that parallel? Wasn’t there some debate about whether or not the administration “allowed” Pearl Harbor to happen as a rationale to enter the war?

  • Alan

[size=2][EDIT] they = the White House[/size]

Peal Harbor and 9/11 both have the “Well, if you take this piece of intelligence and this piece of intelligence out out of a fricking million pieces of evidence, then you can obviously see that it was being planned, and therefore, the government allowed them to happen.”

Sudden surprise events of violence that caused thousands of deaths, yadda yadda.

It’s a slow news day if that’s the best you’ve got for the for the Bush Bash O’ the Day.

That wasn’t bashing. That was pointing out that its stupid to blame Bush for 9/11 and FDR for Pearl Harbor because after-the-fact analysis shows that there were a couple indications.

I didn’t mean it as total Bush bashing.

I do think there is a huge difference between targeting a military target and a civilian target.

Pearl- 6 Carriers,5 subs and 183 planes, so what is that? 8,000 Japanese involved? I assume thier government knew this was happening. Japan knew it was declaring war. It also knew that if they could take out the fleet they could own the whole Pacific rim in 24 months.
9/11- 4 civilian planes, 21 terrorists/soldiers whatever you want to call them. No alliegence to a government, that we know of. No military backing, that we know of.

It is the choice of words that ticks me off. Not every unfortunate act in American history was at the hands of terrorists. Next up, Hitler and the Riech were terrorists. Those Native Americans were terrorists! The British were terrorists!
It is viral PR- keep getting that word out there-every chance you get-insipre fear, keep the public distracted. terror Terror TERROR!

If an unprevoked sneak attack is the definition of terrorism, then is Bush I a Terrorist for attacking Panama? Clinton in Solmalia? JFK in Cuba?

Maybe the definition of terrorism is an unproved sneak attack by evil-doers? In that case only Clinton and JFK would be classified as terrorists.

Peal Harbor and 9/11 both have the “Well, if you take this piece of intelligence and this piece of intelligence out out of a fricking million pieces of evidence, then you can obviously see that it was being planned, and therefore, the government allowed them to happen.”[/quote]

I always thought Pearl Harbor was more the other way around. I had heard that the commanders down there were so sure that Japan couldn’t hit Pealr Harbor that they dismissed warning signs.

awdougherty, get with the times, read some modern history books. We provoked pearl harbor, the jews were asking for it and everything else, and I mean everything else, is America’s fault.

I am all for bashing bush, but some of these replies are in la-la land.


Maybe the definition of terrorism is an unproved sneak attack by evil-doers? In that case only Clinton and JFK would be classified as terrorists.[/quote]

It’s a tough stretch to define Pearl Harbor as a terrorist attack. What’s annoying about it is that Bush is using it for political mileage. I suppose if he wants to really extend the comparison, then it would mean we’re at war with al-qaeda now and any attacks going forward are acts of war and not acts of terrorism. I doubt Bush would want to frame it that way, though.

Most likely, this is just the beginning of the Bush Administration’s attempt to draw parallels between Japan and Iraq. That reconstruction works.

December is just right around the corner.

I think we may be way overanalyzing. When the Towers were hit, there was a lot of analogies drawn - basically, the first time we had really been attacked at that level on our home ground since Pearl Harbor. The word “terrorism” for the attack on Pearl Harbor may be poorly chosen, but I think it’s a little overboard to try to read a lot into it.

Thousands of american casualties that leads to war. That’s a parallel for ya.

The difference being that Pearl Harbor lead to us going to war with the folks responsible, whereas 9/11 lead to us going to war with people who look similar.

As I gaze at the velvet painting of Elvis on my wood paneled den wall, I wonder… when is our Fearless Leader going to drop the H-Bomb on the A-rabs who attacked us on 911? Dammit, we didn’t have a problem nuking those backstabbin’ leetle orientals in WWII! Whuthehell??

Midnight Son thinks it’s time to get the mullet trimmed again. Headin’ out to Walmart Super Illegal Immigrant Career Center…

True. The Italians look nothing like the Japanese.

All polemics aside, you can certainly make a case that Pearl Harbor was somewhat predictable, and that it wasn’t entirely unprovoked. We had in effect declared economic war on Japan as early as 1940; by late 1941 we had for months been conducting a series of diplomatic and economic actions that Washington knew full well would either get the Japanese to lay off China (not likely) or cause a war. We weren’t willing to let Japan dominate Asia (and we were right not to tolerate that) but weren’t able to take military action–weren’t prepared, didn’t have the public support. So FDR did the next best thing–he tried to make it as hard for Japan to sustain its war effort in China as possible. The high degree of probability of war was a calculated risk. If it came, we’d be forced to do what the American leadership felt was probably going to be necessary anyhow.

Once all of this had been going on for a while and Japan’s oil and overall resource situation was in dire straits, as it was in late 1941, it was pretty obvious Japan was going to have to redress that. That also obviously meant a play for Southeast Asia and its oil, rubber, and tin, a play that had already begun with the Japanese occupation of northern Indochina. The only thing really threatening such a move was–surprise!–the US fleet and US bases in the Philippines and Hawaii, and the British in Singapore.

Once Tokyo reached the point of no return–which admittedly was a bit hard for us to be certain about–that meant a move south, which in turn meant something done to protect their flanks. That something would have to involve disabling or diverting the US Navy and US air power in Asia. In turn, that meant some sort of attack on the Philippines (the failure to do anything there, hours after Pearl was hit, is a far bigger scandal then anything that happened in Hawaii IMO) and something agains the fleet.

Putting all this together probably should have pointed to Pearl, and in many ways it did. Exact timing however was a bit fuzzier, and a host of other things–inter service rivalries, racism, over confidence, bad luck, etc.–didn’t help, either.

But to call Pearl Harbor a “terrorist attack” is simply silly. No one since WWII has made a declaration of war, and you’ll probably never see one again from a nuclear armed power short of Armageddon. It was, like the Japanese attack in 1905 against the Russian fleet in the north Pacific, a brilliantly executed first strike in a conflict that was foreseen by all concerned–the broad conflict, that is, not necessarily the details.