after Japan’s infamous Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the
reluctant architect of the Imperial Navy’s strike uttered a gloomy
prophesy that became an epitaph for the House of Hirohito.
fear all we have done," said a glum Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto,
"is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible
And so it
is, nearly 60 years later, another sneak attack on U.S. interests has
erupted into seething national anger and soaring patriotism.
retribution for plotters of the New York and Washington kamikaze attacks
is only a matter of time.
mistake, however: severe tests, perhaps dark days, lie ahead for
limitations in the American lifestyle are inevitable. Americans anxious
for retaliation must be patient. Our courage will be tested as casualty
lists from U.S. military operations reach home.
most crucial American strength — one that’ll surely rebuke the
barbarism of Sept. 11— is the determination to get on with the work of
America, our spirit unbowed, chins up and heads high.
count on paralyzing the United States with fear. Their next targets might
well be giant communications towers, Internet systems, exposed petroleum
pipelines, reservoir dams, harbors, hospitals, key highways.
will only strengthen Americans, who never fail to bounce back by forging a
national unity so psychologically impregnable that whomever tested the
country’s national will with violence ultimately was crushed.
symbols of a nation rising from the figurative ashes of a disaster are
everywhere — poetic and patriotic newspaper columns and letters to
editors; families buying and displaying millions of U.S. flags; broadcast
and print media devoting their best resources to round-the-clock news
coverage; spontaneous fund-raisers for relief agencies, and rescue workers
risking their lives for others.
American commander-in-chief, President George W. Bush, and his advisers
are burdened with monumental tasks: they must fine-tune a global strategy
for crippling a cunning, surreptitious and hideous enemy while also
shifting Washington’s agenda and resources from domestic programs to the
military and intelligence.
America’s democratic tradition requires that political discourse and
debate continue, partisans of both major parties in Congress have pledged
to rally around the nation’s unexpected new crisis.
the works is proposed new legislation giving U.S. intelligence and law
enforcement agencies the weapons for choking off financial resources of
terrorist cells and creating faster detention and arrest powers.
ironic unintended consequence of their ghastly attacks on New York and
Washington was the day the terrorists chose — Sept. 11, or 9-11, the
number that stirs emergency action.