A foreign policy exercised by a state which eschews other cultures and their religions and which seeks to dominate world affairs and is willing to use war to achieve that purpose. Fanatical, no other religions will be allowed to contradict the belief in the one true deity this state worships and the members of such religions will be killed or enslaved. If a member of this state dies in the ensuing struggle for domination, that is the mark of total allegiance to their God and they will be rewarded for their sacrifice in the after life.
Sound familiar? You may think I’m referring to ISIS but you would be wrong. As I have often said, history is worth studying if for no other reason it confirms the old cliche that “history repeats itself.”
In fact, I am referring to the Empire of Japan as it existed before and during World War II. The emperor of Japan was considered a God. The militarists who controlled the government sought to take over a wide swath of the Pacific, including China. They ruthlessly eliminated their opponents with beheadings and torture. If you surrendered in combat, you were a coward and committing hari kari (suicide) was preferable to surrender.
In December of 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked the United States. During the early months of the war, the Japanese ranged across the western Pacific taking territory and winning every battle. It took the U.S. nearly a year to get in the fight and the war was not won until 1945.
If there is any lesson to be learned from our experience in winning WWII, it revolves around two issues: why were we unprepared for war and what kind of commitment did it take to win the war?
If we look for the lessons that answer those questions, it may suggest the policies we will need to adopt to defeat ISIS.
Today, it is the Democrats who are reluctant to put “boots on the ground” in recognition that most Americans are war weary after over a decade of war in the middle east. Those on the far left, such as Michael Moore and other so-called Hollywood celebrities even go so far as to criticize our soldiers calling their sacrifices for their country cowardice and worse.
In 1941, however, it was the Republicans who largely opposed taking part in international affairs that might lead to open conflict and war. The
America First movement argued that WWI had accomplished nothing (a parallel to those now arguing nothing was gained in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) and that with our isolation between two oceans, we shouldn’t be drawn into foreign conflicts.
Had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor, it might have been a different outcome, since many in our country in 1941 were perfectly happy ignoring the spread of totalitarianism by Nazi Germany and Japan, hoping that diplomacy and a superior attitude about our own invulnerability would carry the day.
Pearl Harbor exploded that myth and a remarkable turnaround occurred unleashing the most powerful industrial machine on earth and giving our President unheard of powers to fight and defeat the enemy. Opposition to the war disappeared overnight and Americans went to war with a vengeance.
People on the west coast watched our ships being sunk by Japanese submarines as they waited for invasion. Our territories in the Pacific were under attack and falling like dominoes to the Japanese. It was a scary time but Americans pulled together.
There was no doubt in American’s minds that we would win the war. It was decided upon early in the war that we and our allies would wage total war until the enemy was defeated. There was no worry about civilian casualties, there was no reluctance to bomb our enemies out of existence. We would fight and die to preserve our nation, our way of life. And we did.
When it was estimated that we would lose between 500,000 and a million American lives to invade Japan, we wiped three of their cities off the map with atomic bombs to end the war. We had guts, determination, know how and the will to win to save our country. We succeeded. But what of today? Do we still have a will to win? Or will it take another 911 to wake us up once again to the realities of who we face in the enemy of ISIS?
Diplomacy does not deter nor win victories against fanatics. Just as it failed before WWII, it is failing now, despite this Administration’s claims to the contrary. ISIS continues to gain converts and territory. They have expanded their terror attacks to Europe and promise to slay our own President and his family.
There is only one way to defeat ISIS: kill them. In order to do that. However, we will have to recognize their threat. We cannot do so, as many in our military argue, by refusing to call them what they are: Islamic Terrorists. We cannot do so by trying to maintain the false “politically correct” narrative that criticizing these terrorists is the same as condemning all of Islam. We cannot do so by telling them what we are not prepared to do to defeat them.
It took us a year to get in the fight in 1942 because we were wholly unprepared, militarily, to fight a war. It is interesting to note that under this Administration, we now have the lowest military force since 1940 and we all know what happened a year later.
We need to tell our enemies that we will continue to be a peaceful nation but that if we are attacked, our allies attacked or threatened, we will stand ready to defend ourselves and other nations with the same kind of commitment we had in winning WWII: a total commitment to wage the level of war necessary to win, period, by what ever means and with whatever force is required and that we have the military might to do so.
We must recognize that just being who we are, as Americans, we will have enemies, both nations and groups who will hate who we are to the point they are willing to kill us. It is an unpleasant fact of life. We all wish it were not so but that is not reality. Nor is it reality to pursue a foreign policy that fails to recognize that fundamental truth.
When congratulated by his minions on the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, its architect, Admiral Yamamoto, famously said, “I am afraid that all we have done is awake a sleeping giant.”
Lets wake up before we lose more American lives. This time.