Article Overview:   On December 7, 1941--just sixty-two years ago--2,388 Americans died in a sneak attack at Pearl Harbor.  It was not unlike the attack on September 11, 2001 when modern-day Terrorists launched their war against America.    Aboard the U.S.S. Arizona, 1177 people died when the great battleship was sunk.   What have we learned between Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center attacks?   Are we unprepared for the next "surprise attack," or, are we more Vigilant than ever in our history?


Sunday--December 7, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 816
Pearl Harbor:  A Reminder To Always Be A Parent Of Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Dec. 7, 2003--Today is the 62nd anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  

Today is the 62nd Anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor

      Ironically, the assault by the Japanese came at about the same time the Terrorists smashed their first plane into the World Trade Center some sixty years later, at 8:10 a.m. on a Sunday morning in 1941 when a 1,760-pound armor piercing bomb dropped from 10,000 feet struck and exploded the U.S.S. Arizona's ammunition magazine, ultimately killing 1177 aboard.

The attack knocked a divided America out of Complacency

      The Japanese attack boasted the successful raid with the code names, "Tora, Tora, Tora," as pilots from a Japanese fleet of 33 ships--including six assault carriers clustered some 230 miles from Pearl Harbor--smashed the 130 ships of the Pacific Fleet with bombs, torpedoes and machine gun fire.
      The attack knocked a divided America over the war in Europe and Asia off the Complacency dime.   Those who wanted to "stay out of it" suddenly were running down to enlist.   America was virtually "bombed" into entering the conflict called World War II.
       Six decades later, the ills of the Middle East passed by America's Complacent Eye as well.   Prior to the attack of Nine Eleven where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed, going to war in the Middle East to rid "evil and oppression" was not on the top of America's "Let's Do" list.

US Marines outside Kuwait City in March, 1991

      In the early 90's we conducted a battle against Saddam Hussein only after he invaded another country and then stopped short of troops exited Kuwait.
       Now, we face a new challenge, unlike any we have in our history as a Nation of Vigilance:  Do we continue to battle the Beast of Terror in Iraq or leave and let him fester and fight for control of the land we banished him from?
       It throws the United States back to the pre-Pearl Harbor days.  Growing numbers of Americans are arguing that our efforts in Iraq to restabilize that nation and bring it under democratic management is outside the scope of our duty as a nation.    Lacking global support from the United Nations, America stands relatively alone as the "Sentinel of Global Vigilance."  Its few major national supporters, such as Great Britain, are being roasted to take their feet off the Iraqi grill.
        Constant Terrorism within the war-ravished nation of Iraq suggests that Americans will be dying by the dozens daily as Saddam Hussein's guerrillas attempt to smear the headlines with constant bloodshed, forcing the American public to one day shout:  "That's it!  We've had it!  Out!  Out!  Out!"

Constant Terrorism suggests Americans will by dying by the dozens daily

     Unlike Pearl Harbor, the number of American battle deaths is still minimal.  Since the war in Iraq began in March of this year, 305 combat deaths have been reported, 192 of those deaths occurred after May 1 when the major combat was considered over and the "peacekeeping" began.
         American combat deaths in Iraq are currently 12 percent of those incurred at Pearl Harbor.
         But as the growing competition for the Presidential election next year grows, more and more dissent is being created as to the role and responsibility of America in Iraq and the Middle East.   Is it a Sentinel of Vigilance who will fight to the last man and woman to defend the rights of freedom of liberty of a people who have suffered the tyranny and oppression of a dictator, or, is America duty-bound to tuck its tail and leave the people to fend for themselves?
         It's not an easy choice.

Terrorism's table is filled with  Complacency

      Terrorism's main table is filled with platters of Complacency for all to feast upon.  Complacency is the abdication of parental rights and duties--it is the stripping of one's concern for the Children's Children's Children and leaving one only focused on the "Children," one's own children.
         That means I put my arms around my own kids and hug them, but ignore what the neighbors are doing to their children, and the people in another state far away are doing to theirs.
         Vigilance is not a political issue.  It is a parental one.   At what point do we stop being parents?  Do we stop with our own children, or do we extend the duty to the parenting of our neighbors?
          If our child comes to us and tells us that the neighbor is abusing his or her children--physically, sexually, emotionally--do we say:  "That's none of our business..." or, do we stand up and fight for the children's rights as though the children were our own?
          I believe it is delusional for anyone to think that the poverty of one child will not one day come to visit the prosperity of another child.  
          Since children are taught by parents the duty and role of being "concerned citizens" geared to protect the welfare of the innocent, it seems incredulous that arguments against fighting to the last man and woman in Iraq would have an audience.      

Iraq is a nation of children

          Iraq is unique in one aspect.   Nearly 40 percent of its population are under the age of 15 years.  It is a nation of children.
          More importantly are our own children.   What lesson do we teach them when we argue against fighting to protect the rights of other children?
          As the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor smashed America's Complacency, and the attack of Nine Eleven awakened America to the threat of Terrorism, the same awakening should explode in people's minds when the issue of removing American troops from Iraq comes to the foreground.
           It means we retreat from the battle between Vigilance and the Beast of Terror.   It means we give up our National Parental Duty not only to our own children, but to the children of the world.
           American history has been to fight for the rights of others.
          Not all nations do this.  Many hide themselves behind their borders and avoid confrontations, just as many neighbors are reticent to approach the abuser of children in another home and help the victims within.
          The attack on Pearl Harbor may be only history to some, but it is far more than that to a Parent of Vigilance.    It is a reminder that if we let Terrorism grow through neglect and Complacency it will sprout again and again on our doorsteps.
          Perhaps a generation from now, if we do nothing, our children's children will be in a World Trade Center, or another despot or fanatical Beast of Terror will unleash some deadly virus or explode a dirty bomb, crippling our children's future.
         I would not want to be one of those people who said:  "We should have finished what we started."

We can learn to be Parents of Vigilance from Pearl Harbor

        We can learn from Pearl Harbor, as we can learn from Nine Eleven.   We can finish what we started.   We can always be Parents of Vigilance, and not relax our grip on the Sword of Vigilance.
        We can take the Pledge of Vigilance daily, reminding ourselves that our children's future depends on the future of the Children's Children's Children.   If we are able to see Iraq through the eyes of a child, and ask ourselves if freeing a child from tyranny and oppression is the right thing any parent can do, we might just possibly avoid the next Pearl Harbor--the one the Beast of Terror is planning to deliver to our Children's Children's Children.

For A Complete History of Pearl Harbor go to this site:  Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941 Losses*    
  United States Japan
Personnel Killed 2388  
Navy 1998 64
Marine Corps 109  
Army and Army Air Corps 233  
Civilian 48  
Personnel Wounded 1178 unknown
Navy 710  
Marine Corps 69  
Army and Army Air Corps 364  
Civilian 35  
Sunk or Beached** 12 5
Damaged* 9  
Destroyed 164 29
Damaged 159 74


Dec. 6--Wal-Mart Battles Beast of Terror Globally & Wins

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