Get help from the best in academic writing.

September 11 and Pearl Harbor

September 11 and Pearl Harbor

³I don¹t think it is an understatement to say that this is the second Pearl Harbor,² Senator Charles Hagel from Nebraska told the Los Angeles Times on September 11, 2001. Pearl Harbor, the sequel, erupted on September 11, 2001 when hijacked planes destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and parts of the west wing of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Borders into the United States were closed and the FAA shut down all airports across the nation. People all over the county woke up to what at first glance appeared to be video from a blockbuster Hollywood movie like ³Armageddon,² or ³Independence Day.² In reality, what we were watching was the horrendously real aftermath of the complete destruction of the World Trade Center towers. In recounting the events of 9/11 no one had any idea how bad it really was. Rather, people stayed glued to their television sets in hopes of a light at the end of the tunnel. What they received from the newscasters inside their televisions was confusion and disbelief. More than a month later we are still holding our breaths for some sort of a beam, even a small one. ³A huge fireball eruptedŠseconds later it became the attack heard Œround the world,² a New York city fire fighter told Christine Frey for her article in the New York Times on September 13, 2001. Since 9/11 the media has constructed its own Hollywood, its own Broadway, and built its own arena for the biggest show of ideology under one roof.

On September 11th, senator John McCain called…

… middle of paper …

…lenting now with new developments of Anthrax in our mail system, Americans are even more confused on how to obtain justice for the events of 9/11. We are living in a passive-aggressive time in that we want to punish those responsible yet we drop food along with the bombs. The government (through the media) transcodes to us that we want to get our hands dirty with the blood of those who took so many lives on 9/11 but, in reality, we are the ones who initially fueled the fire of Osama bin Laden by giving his organization weapons and training them to fight. How can we justify a war in Afghanistan when the culprits are not only in our own country but are Americans? When the smoke clears will we be able to tell if the administration was victorious in defeating the evildoers or will there be a price out on their heads as well?

September 11 Was Mass Murder, Not an Act of War

As we reflect upon the terrifying events of 11 September 2001, we are haunted by analogies from our past. But historical analogies require careful examination, for choosing among them influences the way we will think, speak, and act. Commentators have compared the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to Pearl Harbor, because both attacks came without warning. With Pearl Harbor as the primary analog, the attacks on New York and Washington were quickly termed “acts of war.” That is understandable, but dangerously imprecise. It cloaks massive illegality under the guise of rules of engagement — the very thing that terrorists deny by their outrageous transformation of civil aircraft into weapons of destruction. The attacks on New York and Washington were also unlike Pearl Harbor in that the destruction wrought by Japanese forces had an obvious and official governmental return address. As President Bush acknowledged in his address to Congress last week, the perpetrators of the recent attacks are a “collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations” and “there are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries.” This is not the language of war, but of crime. The analogy with Pearl Harbor limps badly and leads to policy judgments of dubious value. The recent atrocities have a much closer precedent in the events leading up to World War I. On June 28, 1914, Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated in Sarajevo. The Austrian investigation into the terrorist attack could not establish a firm connection with Serbia, the likeliest suspect in harboring, if not organizing the assassination. In the meantime, revulsion against the deed abated. When the Austrians decided to act against Serbia (without clear evidence or clear aims–just to “punish” Serbia), they did not have the kind of support that would have prevented the grievance from erupting into global conflict with devastating consequences for decades. This is not the time to launch smart or dumb bombs in a war that cannot be won from the skies. The objective of locating a suspect is a just one. The killing of innocent men, women and children who live in their neighborhoods is not. It will not avenge our painful loss. It will recruit new members for the terrorists. This is not even the time to launch an invasion of infantry divisions in a war that the Russians can assure us will not go well for us, and will only rally impoverished Afghanis around leaders under whom they chafe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.