Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Day That Will Live in Infamy

...along with many others, unfortunately. But today we remember the first infamous day, December 7, 1941.

You may read any number of sites today that link to Roosevelt's speech given on December 8, 1941, but I am linking it here. The Four Freedoms Speech showed Roosevelt the idealist, still not fully commited to the idea that war would be the only way. The Infamy speech was simple, straight forward and made the point without a long laundry list of reasons beyond the most obvious: we were attacked; they are attacking around the globe; the security of the people, our land AND OUR INTERESTS were at stake.

Any idea what our "interests" were and what they had to do with WWII?

I'll give you a hint. Part of our conflict with Japan started because of a resource that starts with "O" and ends with "L". Where were the "no blood for..." folks back then? Oh well, the rest of that is for another discussion.

Onward. My favorite lines are not the "infamy" line, but later in the speech:

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

If only we could get such clarity of thought and response these days.

That may actually be the real "infamy".

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