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Pondering Pearl Harbor & Politics


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Pondering Pearl Harbor & Politics

written by Tom Rosenberger, December 7, 2007

 

Let us all never forget wars, their effects and who decided to start them.

 

From what I have been told, on December 7, 1941, World War II started at 7:53 am and by 9:55 am it was all over.

 

• 2,403 people lay dead

• 188 airplanes destroyed

• 8 battleships destroyed or damaged.

• Dozens of ships sunk or damaged

 

3 hours later, Japan attacked American facilities in the Philippines and spent the entire day devastating as many US assets as possible.

 

Two and a half years later, who do you think instrumented the attack on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand? Politicians organized the allied forces, then D-Day was launched in France and in one single day, 10,300 people were killed.

 

If those who make the decision to begin a war, were obligated to physically fight in the war, the world would save many lives and a lot of money.

 

In April of 1945 a small Japanese Island by the name of Okinawa was attacked by American Forces. Japanese forces numbered only 130,000 troops. And yet the USA lost:

 

• 12,613 American lives

• 32,000 wounded

• 763 aircraft

• 36 ships

 

Three years and four months after December 7, 1941, the war was almost over.

World War II cost:

 

• 50 to 150 million human lives

• 1000's more lives ruined as a result

• Hundreds of billions of dollars

 

How many millions or billions of dollars did the USA spend to rebuild following the Japanese attack? In Japan, how many millions or billions must have been spent restoring that country after the American Atomic Bomb exploded?

 

These are humbling numbers. Entire countries wiped out and populations evaporated.

 

I wonder which politicians decided this war made sense?

 

Clearly the results of war are not worth the price.

 

After all the wars, past and present, should we not ask, why and how are politicians able to continue to engage us in wars?

 

Next time you are voting for the lesser of the evils, try to remember which politician is absolutely against war.

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Pondering Pearl Harbor & Politics

written by Tom Rosenberger, December 7, 2007

 

Let us all never forget wars, their effects and who decided to start them.

 

From what I have been told, on December 7, 1941, World War II started at 7:53 am and by 9:55 am it was all over.

 

• 2,403 people lay dead

• 188 airplanes destroyed

• 8 battleships destroyed or damaged.

• Dozens of ships sunk or damaged

 

3 hours later, Japan attacked American facilities in the Philippines and spent the entire day devastating as many US assets as possible.

 

Two and a half years later, who do you think instrumented the attack on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand? Politicians organized the allied forces, then D-Day was launched in France and in one single day, 10,300 people were killed.

 

If those who make the decision to begin a war, were obligated to physically fight in the war, the world would save many lives and a lot of money.

 

In April of 1945 a small Japanese Island by the name of Okinawa was attacked by American Forces. Japanese forces numbered only 130,000 troops. And yet the USA lost:

 

• 12,613 American lives

• 32,000 wounded

• 763 aircraft

• 36 ships

 

Three years and four months after December 7, 1941, the war was almost over.

World War II cost:

 

• 50 to 150 million human lives

• 1000's more lives ruined as a result

• Hundreds of billions of dollars

 

How many millions or billions of dollars did the USA spend to rebuild following the Japanese attack? In Japan, how many millions or billions must have been spent restoring that country after the American Atomic Bomb exploded?

 

These are humbling numbers. Entire countries wiped out and populations evaporated.

 

I wonder which politicians decided this war made sense?

 

Clearly the results of war are not worth the price.

 

After all the wars, past and present, should we not ask, why and how are politicians able to continue to engage us in wars?

 

Next time you are voting for the lesser of the evils, try to remember which politician is absolutely against war.

 

 

Tom, thanks for your thoughtful posts—I read them with interest. Having been raised as a Mennonite pacifist, I do understand the "turn the other cheek" and "war no more" arguments. That said, there is evil in the world. There are bullies on the playground. December 7 is a time to remember. At that time, what American, politician or no, would have stood by and allowed the Japanese to invade and take over the island of Hawaii? And what about the evil that lead Germany at that time? Should we, as a people, continue to simply watch as we did in the beginning? I’ll borrow that wonderful philosophy of Theodore Roosevelt, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

 

Best always, Richard

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I have a few comments for you, Tom, based on what you wrote:

You said:

From what I have been told, on December 7, 1941, World War II started at 7:53 am and by 9:55 am it was all over.

• 2,403 people lay dead

• 188 airplanes destroyed

• 8 battleships destroyed or damaged.

• Dozens of ships sunk or damaged

And, I ask:

What do you mean, “from what [you] have been told?” Are you saying that you disbelieve this data? And, how can you say that “World War II started at 7:53 am and by 9:55 am it was all over?” That war did not end until August of 1945, Tom, and for some, it lasted even longer than that!

 

Then, you said:

3 hours later, Japan attacked American facilities in the Philippines and spent the entire day devastating as many US assets as possible.

Two and a half years later, who do you think instrumented the attack on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand? Politicians organized the allied forces, then D-Day was launched in France and in one single day, 10,300 people were killed.

 

And, I would like to ask:

So, what is your point? Do you really believe that it was politicians, and not soldiers, who orchestrated the major battles of the actual War? And, why do you lump together the two different events of “the attack on Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand” and D-Day, as if they were political acts? I mean, in one sense war might be construed as the ultimate political act, but so what? And, are you trying to say that the people who were originally attacked (i.e., The Allies) should not have made any resistance to those attacks that they suffered? That is not to mention this: how could you consider attacks in four different places, at four different times to be one? I mean, DDay was June 6, and, I don't believe there was ever an orchestrated single attack date for the widely separated (geographically) locations you cited (Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand), nor did such attacks occur on June 6, 1944.

 

And, then you said:

If those who make the decision to begin a war, were obligated to physically fight in the war, the world would save many lives and a lot of money.

And, I would like to say:

I semi-understand what you are saying here, I think. But, I would have to say that this applies more to more recent history, perhaps beginning with Viet Nam, and American leaders, and coming forward to Bush and his cronies messy war. Yes, I’d love to see Cheney’s and Bush’s kids in the military, and in harm’s way, with the real grunts, but it ain’t gonna happen.

 

Then, you said:

In April of 1945 a small Japanese Island by the name of Okinawa was attacked by American Forces. Japanese forces numbered only 130,000 troops. And yet the USA lost:

• 12,613 American lives

• 32,000 wounded

• 763 aircraft

• 36 ships

Three years and four months after December 7, 1941, the war was almost over.

World War II cost:

• 50 to 150 million human lives

• 1000's more lives ruined as a result

• Hundreds of billions of dollars

 

How many millions or billions of dollars did the USA spend to rebuild following the Japanese attack? In Japan, how many millions or billions must have been spent restoring that country after the American Atomic Bomb exploded?

These are humbling numbers. Entire countries wiped out and populations evaporated.

I wonder which politicians decided this war made sense?

 

My thoughts:

How can you wonder? Haven’t you read history? The causes of this war are pretty well documented.

 

And, you ended:

Clearly the results of war are not worth the price.

 

After all the wars, past and present, should we not ask, why and how are politicians able to continue to engage us in wars?

Next time you are voting for the lesser of the evils, try to remember which politician is absolutely against war.

 

And, I would point out to you that what you are proposing is just a bit far removed from reality. Your statements imply that politicians are the ones solely responsible for all of our wars, and then you urge us to “remember which politician is absolutely against war.” Obviously, what you are forgetting is that some wars are and have been justified by either the events that led up to them, or by what was learned in their aftermath. And, those wars (our own Revolutionary War, for example) were not necessarily started by politicians, but by popular consent. As for remembering which politician might be ‘absolutely’ anything, that is simply not possible, because by their very nature, politicians never let the common man (the electorate) know what they truly believe, now do they?

:blink:

Edited by jdocop
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Hello all...

 

Just thinking...

 

At times, I there are some folks who forget just how great is the USA. (This is not directed by anyone here!)

 

Every so often, I like to listen to this.

 

Takes a few seconds to load. Worth it.

 

Anyone of you old timers remember this broadcast.

 

Prolly not PC these days when it is popular to not say good things about the USA... In fact in this PC world, I doubt there is a person under age 25 who ever heard Gordon Sinclair.

 

I don't care.

 

Listen to it.

 

Remember December 7, September 11 and all the others days of infamy.

 

Thoughts welcome.

 

TG

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At times, I there are some folks who forget just how great is the USA.

 

Remember December 7, September 11 and all the others days of infamy.

 

Thoughts welcome.

 

TG

 

Well, I didn't listen, and have decided pacifist leanings. However, it seems to me that if you have two kids, one about to kill the other, and when you tell him to stop but he doesn't, you have a moral obligation to stop him. I love CR's pacifism, but think it's easier for CR than the US. Because of its might the US has a responsbility that CR doesn't have. It's complicated even for WWII. Basically the US blockaded Japan, cut off their oil supply, and forced the attack. (It was about oil even then.) I'm not saying FDR knew or going to any of that, but he kind of did know. On the other hand, darn it all, at some level I do believe that WWII was morally right. There were terrible things going on, and as the soon-to-be big kid the US had a moral obligation to act militarily.

 

I'm however less sure that 9/11 can be equated to 12/7. As my kid says, the problem with 9/11 was that the wrong people got killed. She's right, they didn't deserve it, and it was cruelly wrong to them. But was it really an attack on me? On the US that I lived in? I don't think so. It was an attack on US-based global capitalism--the World Trade Center--and US militarism--the Pentagon. This has never been me, and neither has it been my countymen. It was an attack on powers that have come to control the US, not on us.

 

For us, the invasion of Afghanistan was unfortunately necessary. We can't allow innocent people to be murdered. These were bad guys and still are, even if their complaints aren't wholly unjustified. However, the rest that's been done in the name of 9/11--the Iraq invasion, even the lighters at airports, has been totally off the mark and immoral.

 

In 1945 the US was a heroic country, admired by the world and rightfully so. In 2001 the US had the world's sympathy and we could have maintained it and been heroic again. That didn't happen. Instead, unfortunately, a nitwit with Alexander the Great aspirations backed unfortunately by flag-waiving Arab-haters mounted an evil aggressive military campaign against a dictator that the US had supported until somone somewhere decided not to support him. There were no concentration camps to be liberated, and in fact those awaiting liberation have been held and tortured by the US government.

 

Don't you dare equate December 7th with September 11th. It's always messy in the real world, but the US was right after December 7th. It has been horribly wrong after September 11th. I wish to God they were the same morally, but they simply are not.

Edited by kenn
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Kenn. Very good point about the US blockade of Japans oil supply leading up to their attack on 12-7-1941.

 

It seems that control of petroleum has been a high-stakes, political game for decades.

 

The deaths of innocent civilians and dedicated military personnel that are robbed of life and limb at young ages for the principle of protecting American economic interests will never be honestly justified.

 

The excessive pursuit of power and money and the covetous politicians that misdirect taxpayer's funds for their own desires are the roots of evil.

 

All politicians, given power to act on behalf of the public, need to be kept honest. The press tries with sensationalist publications, but big money interests have a way of disguising their selfish deeds and overestimating the violent intentions of their petroleum-hoarding cohorts.

 

This issue is much more than embracing pacifism or aggression.

 

Even greedy lawyers have adopted mediation rather than battling it out in courtrooms.

 

Civilized people have historically been known to preserve life over death.

 

How can Americans prevent the politicians they elect from engaging their nation in devastating wars?

 

Political and economic compromises are much healthier than deadly war.

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Kenn, for a college prof, your understanding of the reasons behind the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, is unfortunately shallow. The Japanese rationale for starting a war when and where they did, are as old as Japan itself, and as clear as their history and their geography dictate. They are a small island nation (gee, not unlike England, another small and aggressive nation), entirely dependent on outside material for just about everything that they do. Yes, oil had a lot to do with their decision, but it goes much deeper than that, as any student of history can tell you.

 

Your example of a parent whose two kids are at each other is wholly inadequate, and totally out of place in this discussion. Who the hell are we to declare any two other nations to be in a child/parent relationship to us? And, exactly what war did we become involved in that had to do with one aggressor picking on another, and us stepping in to stop the two from killing each other?

 

Our only justification for entering WWII was to respond to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and had nothing to do with any moral obligation that we may have had.

 

If you truly believe that the attack on the Twin Towers was not an attack on YOU, how the hell can you justify our war in Afghanistan? If you had lost a loved one on 09/11, I suspect you would feel differently. I personally do NOT believe we had or have any business in Afghanistan, since we still have not seen hide nor hair of the purported attacker, Osama Bin Laden. What good have we accomplished over there? We made it possible for their opium production to rise dramatically? I sure as hell feel no pride in that accomplisment!

 

Why can people not equate 09/11 with 12/07? If you ask me, it was worse than Pearl Harbor, because this was an attack on the U. S. Mainland, directed at people who were totally innocent, and certainly not part of,....what did you call it? Oh, yeah, the "US-based global capitalism--the World Trade Center--and US militarism--the Pentagon."

 

I agree with you totally when you say (in re, Sept. 11, 2001) that we could have kept the world's sympathy if our country had followed a different course in the wake of those tragic events, but we lost that sympathy with our entrance into Afghanistan, not our aggression into Iraq. Neither of those actions was justified, and now we're in so deep, that nobody has the guts to simply say, "Enough, already. Let's get the hell out!"

 

Ultimately, your concluding statement is simply convoluted, where you said: "Don't you dare equate December 7th with September 11th. It's always messy in the real world, but the US was right after December 7th. It has been horribly wrong after September 11th. I wish to God they were the same morally, but they simply are not".

The actual events on those two separate dates were tragic, and were similar - cowardly attacks on an unsuspecting victim. It was in the aftermath of those events, and in the actions that this country (the entire country was part of this) chose to take, that the similarities diverged. We had good leadership with the first, and poor leadership with the second. And, worse, we still lack decent leadership six years in the future!

 

Hell, think about it! WWII (our active part in it, at least) lasted from December, 1941, to August, 1945. How is this possible?

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Kenn

 

You have no right whatsoever to tell ANYONE on these forums what they dare or dare not think.

 

You do have the right to your opinion.

 

I absolutely DO compare the attacks of 12-7 and 9-11 and all the other unprovoked attacks against our country, and I am not alone in this. Maybe you are one of those who thinks America "deserved" those attacks. I have heard that said of both Pearl Harbor and the twin towers... that somehow we were at fault. THAT is crappola in MY opinion.

 

Either way, state your opinion and leave it at that. If you want to tell people what or how they should think, I would suggest opening your own forum to do so.

 

I will be removing your attack on the other Member who wanted to bring his family here for missionary work. Totally uncalled for.

 

TG

 

Further... it is incredible you would even HAVE an opinion if you did not listen or read that link. It had NOTHING to do with war. Sheesh!

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Kenn. Very good point about the US blockade of Japans oil supply leading up to their attack on 12-7-1941.

 

It seems that control of petroleum has been a high-stakes, political game for decades.

 

The deaths of innocent civilians and dedicated military personnel that are robbed of life and limb at young ages for the principle of protecting American economic interests will never be honestly justified.

 

The excessive pursuit of power and money and the covetous politicians that misdirect taxpayer's funds for their own desires are the roots of evil.

 

All politicians, given power to act on behalf of the public, need to be kept honest. The press tries with sensationalist publications, but big money interests have a way of disguising their selfish deeds and overestimating the violent intentions of their petroleum-hoarding cohorts.

 

This issue is much more than embracing pacifism or aggression.

 

Even greedy lawyers have adopted mediation rather than battling it out in courtrooms.

 

Civilized people have historically been known to preserve life over death.

 

How can Americans prevent the politicians they elect from engaging their nation in devastating wars?

 

Political and economic compromises are much healthier than deadly war.

How can Americans prevent politicians from engaging their nation in devastating wars? Electing former governor's, federal prosecutors, sure isn't the answer!! We need people that have worked in foreign affairs (possibly U.S. Senators who have worked on committee's dedicated to intelligence/foreign affairs). I remember when George Wallace was willing to take a world tour to meet with leaders! I don't recall if that was after, or before being shot. I don't believe he ever did; but the fact that he considered it, and was willing to do it, indicates that type of thinking needed by a chief executive of the U.S.!! Since George Wallace, I have heard absolutely no person running for office even suggesting a similiar approach!! In this day and age, we need another Richard Nixon!!!

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Newman, Newman, Newman....say it isn't so, Newman!.....how could you inflict Tricky Dick on us? How the hell would an even bigger crook than the ones we have now be of any help? I will agree with you that it would be nice to have a leader who would reach out to other world leaders, but not Nixon, please! Wasn't he a politician, too? What we need is a real person, not someone who wants to be there, but some poor sap, who would go in kicking and screaming, "No! Not me! I don't want to go!" and who would then be able to go in, clean things up, and get the hell out as soon as the job is done! (definitely, NOT any sort of politician).....

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Actually, I agree with newman...

 

Tricky (despite his other obvious issue) was truly an excellent statesman and opened up true dialogs with many countries, probably the most important being China. Now his ethics and honesty could certainly be questioned by many.

 

To me it is just incredible that the US cannot produce a decent president who has intelligence AND is also honest, ethical, a statesman, and possesses all the other traits of a true leader. I think this may be because so many people 1. vote the party and not the person, and 2. pick one "cause del dia" be that Iraq, immigration, abortion... whatever... and vote for the person based on only that one thing! The real job entails so much more than just one issue.

 

Sad

 

TG

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Based on what I've been reading lately about War and Politics, I would not feel very comfortable living in any major cities within the USA. The view of many older war veterans that experienced war and lived in the USA following wars is scary. It seems that once the Middle Eastern Fundamentalist Regimes complete their nuclear weapons shopping list, they intend to use them against the USA. Those of you still living in major cities within the USA may want to consider retiring and moving as early as possible in order to live long enough to see your golden years. You may find this thread on another popular CR internet discussion group interesting. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GalloPinto/message/25774

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Based on what I've been reading lately about War and Politics, I would not feel very comfortable living in any major cities within the USA. The view of many older war veterans that experienced war and lived in the USA following wars is scary. It seems that once the Middle Eastern Fundamentalist Regimes complete their nuclear weapons shopping list, they intend to use them against the USA. Those of you still living in major cities within the USA may want to consider retiring and moving as early as possible in order to live long enough to see your golden years. You may find this thread on another popular CR internet discussion group interesting. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GalloPinto/message/25774

The thing that bothers me about our current situation in the world is that absolutely no one discusses DETERRENCE! Does the United States still have a credible deterrent force. Remember everyone, that 150 missile silos have been "imploded" in the midwest to comply with "arms treaties"! With Putin, Iran and the terrorist nations, we need DETERRENCE!! An additional thought; What is interesting is, (and I don't want to put words into any ones mouth), but as I recall, the Watergate burglars to this day still don't know why they were burglarizing the Watergate office of the Democrats! The question has never been answered; what was Watergate all about? And people still consider Nixon a crook without knowing the facts!!!

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RE: the last three posts:

TG, an even bigger problem with our method of choosing a President is that no individual will step forward who possesses “intelligence, is also honest, ethical, a statesman, and possesses all the other traits of a true leader,” because it has become an accepted fact of life that no one can run for National office without money, and how many folks out there possess those attributes [which we agree would be desirable in a President] at the same time that they also have enough money of their own [that they are willing to throw away on a political campaign], along with the desire to actually be President?

 

crhomebuilder, just how do we know, for a fact, that the “Middle Eastern Fundamentalist Regimes” are actually actively engaged in “complet[ing] their nuclear weapons shopping list?” We have no real human intelligence to support such a statement. All we have is Bush’s word, and frankly, I, for one, don’t have much faith in that man’s word. What troubles me about this particular issue is this: Who are we to deny the opportunity to pursue any sort of nuclear power program to anyone in the world? I mean, what give us the right to do this? We got ours! Why can’t they get theirs?

 

newman, I haven’t heard that word for some time: “DETERRENCE!” (your capital letters, there). What is deterrence, and what makes you think it was ever of any real use? How about plain old fashioned common sense? (on the part of other world leaders).

As for Watergate, what do you mean, the burglars didn’t know WHY they were burglarizing? Politics. Republican politics! Hello?

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RE: the last three posts:

TG, an even bigger problem with our method of choosing a President is that no individual will step forward who possesses “intelligence, is also honest, ethical, a statesman, and possesses all the other traits of a true leader,” because it has become an accepted fact of life that no one can run for National office without money, and how many folks out there possess those attributes [which we agree would be desirable in a President] at the same time that they also have enough money of their own [that they are willing to throw away on a political campaign], along with the desire to actually be President?

 

crhomebuilder, just how do we know, for a fact, that the “Middle Eastern Fundamentalist Regimes” are actually actively engaged in “complet[ing] their nuclear weapons shopping list?” We have no real human intelligence to support such a statement. All we have is Bush’s word, and frankly, I, for one, don’t have much faith in that man’s word. What troubles me about this particular issue is this: Who are we to deny the opportunity to pursue any sort of nuclear power program to anyone in the world? I mean, what give us the right to do this? We got ours! Why can’t they get theirs?

 

newman, I haven’t heard that word for some time: “DETERRENCE!” (your capital letters, there). What is deterrence, and what makes you think it was ever of any real use? How about plain old fashioned common sense? (on the part of other world leaders).

As for Watergate, what do you mean, the burglars didn’t know WHY they were burglarizing? Politics. Republican politics! Hello?

Only one or two of the persons invovled in the break in new what they wanted, and they never revealed it - it was kept a secret - I have often speculated that part of it it had to do with Chapaquidic (I know it's spelled wrong), and John Deans wife. Check out the lawsuit John Dean had agains the G-MAN recently!!! As far as deterrence goes, it absolutely does work - I witnessed it in operation during October 1969! Where were you at that time??? When the leader of the free world is up against "monsters" - (remember Hitler/Stalin/Kruschev/Breznev etc?) what is needed to keep the peace is DETERRENCE!!

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