Military History Reader Poll – January 2012

Compare the strategic objective of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (to compel the United States to sue for peace) with that of the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorist attacks (to provoke a global religious war).

2 Responses

  1. Mike Wright

    In 1941, the Japanese claimed the United States was preventing them from obtaining the good they needed to move ahead–steel, coal, and oil. So far, at least, I don’t believe al Qaeda terrorists have ot claimed the US has done anything like this, other than just existing.

  2. krb

    Not even close to the same situation. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was sponsored by a national militaristic state. It was a mis-calculation in that they believed, maybe even hoped, the US would sue for peace without fighting and that would open up the Pacific basin to Japanese exploitation.

    Al Qaeda is a terroist organization, although supported by-proxy by several middle eastern states, they have limited resources in which to engage the U.S. or the west in general. Their mis-calculation was believing that by throwing a sucker-punch at their perceived great enemy, that the Islamic world would erupt in support and rise up against the west. It didn’t happen that way.

    Japan’s threat was based more on economics than ideology. Al Qaeda’s threat is based soley on ideology.

    Japan was able to sustain a prolonged total war and faced their perceived enemy one on one, whose soldiers fought bravely and with great courage. Their intent was to secure the future of their empire.
    Their main mistake was how they treated those who they over-powered and how they treated POW’s.

    Al Qaeda are like cowardly cockroaches who scatter into the darkness when the light is turned on…they are basically cowards who hide behind innocents and fool others into doing their dirty work by using false hopes and lies. Their intent is to force the radical form of Islam on the world and secure the power of the islamic state.

    The Japanese/U.S. conflict resulted in the total distruction of militaristic Japan, and in the long run, generated a great and lasting friendship between two former bitter adversaries. The Japanese must be given credit where it is due…they changed their ways in the face of a great defeat…and the U.S. must be given credit in that they embraced their former adversary as a new friend. Mutually, they have benefited tremendously.

    Al Qaeda’s 9/11 has generated a lot of resentment and hate across the globe, from both sides…which doesn’t seem to have much of an end in sight. The final legacy of Al Qaeda may prove to be prophetic in that unless that part of the world progresses toward the 21st century economically, politically, and in human rights, there eventually will be a cataclysmic showdown that will have devastating results on the world.


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