Today is the 69th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that led us into the Second World War. As we remember the day, there is much we can reflect on and learn from as it relates to the Global War on Terror.
September 11th was our modern-day Pearl Harbor. Like the Japanese, Osama bin Laden thought the US was a paper tiger that would be easily crippled by a devastating sneak attack on our homeland. Both soon learned that they merely woke up a sleeping giant.
But now almost 10 years later, we seem to have lost our focus in the war with Islamic extremists. The film America at Risk hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich, lays out the dangers still facing our country and brings to the forefront the poor execution of the War on Terror by the Obama Administration.
Newt Gingrich observes in America at Risk, “During World War II, the American people understood the war, understood the enemy, and understood why victory was our goal. ”
Today, the Obama Administration won’t tell the truth about the war we are fighting, they refuse to identify our enemy, and it is not clear that victory is their goal. Homeland Security Chief, Janet Napolitano, likes to categorize terrorist strikes as “man-caused disasters.” President Obama has changed the name of the “War on Terror” to “Overseas Contingency Operations.” Unlike in World War II, the Obama Administration does not understand we are at total war with an enemy that obsesses over finding the best ways to kill Americans twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Obama thinks that apologies and capitulation will disarm our enemies, but this kind of posture only encourages those who see such displays as weakness. It should be of note that since President Obama went on his “blame America first” tour at the start of his Administration, terrorist activity in both the homeland and abroad has gone up.
With Iran on the path to developing nuclear weapons, the United States must show a position of strength. We are dealing with people for whom not even mutually assured destruction is a deterrent, “it’s an inducement because that is what they’re hoping for,” as Bernard Lewis says in America at Risk.
Iran has been thumbing its nose at America for years. Just this past weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to greet the Iranian foreign minister at a Middle East security conference but was snubbed by him. Even more disturbing, Iran also announced its ability to produce yellowcake uranium. This comes as Iran meets with six countries, including the United States, in Geneva to discuss its nuclear program this week.
We have watched this scene play out before. Good intentions are met with false promises, words with secret arms buildups, and appeasement with attempts at annihilation. It happened in the years leading up to World War II and, without the help of the United States, the world could have fallen to totalitarianism. We must be diligent in making sure that President Obama doesn’t repeat the mistakes of the past – before we see yet another Day of Infamy.