I originally posted this in 2007. Let’s re-run that, and add to it.
Hat-tip for the video – Jawa Howie. Now, watch and remember (or learn if you’re a recent product of public school education):
Of course, the lessons are rapidly being forgotten, as Ed Morrissey points out:
It took hundreds of thousands of American lives to defeat both Japan and Nazi Germany in the war that followed — a war that had already enslaved China years before on one side of the US, and half of Europe on the other side. We thought we had learned a lesson on December 7, 1941 ,which was that we had to be prepared to fight a war in order to keep from getting surprised like that again. Of course, we shouldn’t have been surprised at all by Japan’s attack in the first place. They didn’t suddenly become warlike and aggressive on December 6th, 1941, as the Chinese, Manchurians, and Koreans could attest. They had been attempting conquest (and succeeding) for several years in the Pacific Rim. We just preferred to keep our eyes closed in order to keep from doing anything about it. When we attempted to cut off oil to Japan, we discovered that negotiations and sanctions don’t keep war-drunk, expansionist powers from increasing their expansionism.
The lesson from that war is that appeasement and complacency doesn’t keep one from having to fight a war. It usually forces one to fight from an extreme disadvantage. That’s a lesson we have not remembered in dealing with expansionist powers in our own time, even after a second shock like 9/11 after years of complacency in dealing with al-Qaeda. We’re falling back to treating radical Islamist terrorism like a Law and Order episode, and allowing one of the main drivers of radical Islamist terror, Iran, to arm itself with nuclear weapons with no consequences whatsoever.
To that, I’ll add that Red China, which has rather open designs on both Taiwan and the entirety of the South China Sea, is still arming itself to the teeth while holding a rapidly-growing lot of US government debt. What do you suppose will happen if the federal government decides to default on some of that debt held by Red China?