The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Seventy years ago tomorrow, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stood before Congress and delivered the following words...

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace."

There was more. And we seldom hear more than the first paragraph. It was the first day of the largest, most widespread, military confrontation the world had ever seen. We fixate on the attack on Pearl Harbor. But there was much more than that in the works that day and the next. More of the speech reveals this:

"Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island."

It's interesting, that last sentence, because we do not read or hear about it. An attack by the Japanese on that day was successfully repulsed. It must have been a faint hearted attack because the tiny atoll of Midway was not heavily defended at the time. But it is interesting all the same. Roosevelt could have stated that the attack was repulsed but he didn't. I think he wanted the public to be outraged and not consoled even a little bit, I believe he wanted to tap into, and foster, the anger of the American public. Japan's final assault on Midway on June 4th, 1942, proved to be the turning point in the war in the Pacific. Japan's Navy was crippled by the loss of 4 carriers and it never recovered.

The war went on for almost 4 years, ending with the devastation of Japan and Germany. It was total war, with demands by the Allied nations of unconditional surrender. Most of Europe was already under German occupation by the time of the attack by Japan. China had been invaded by Japanese forces years before. Now, British forces in China and Malaysia were being attacked as well as American forces in the Philippines and elsewhere in that region. It was a bold move by Japan. in the end, it turned out to be a foolish one.

That was 70 years ago today. I often wonder if we could be that united again.

Here's the full speech by FDR

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