Countless “Days of Infamy”

March 9, 2008 at 2:53 pm (The War on Terror)

waterboarding.gif“President Bush” the Associated Press reported Saturday, “vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.”

The logic, it seems, runs thus: Any method that could possibly prevent a future attack is a legitimate weapon against that hypothetical attack. The rationale behind Cheney’s “One Percent Doctrine,” which states that even a 1% chance that a country may be planning hostile acts toward the U.S. is sufficient evidence to attack them first, is here applied not to a nation but to individuals. If we need to detain (without charges or trial) and torture 100 “suspected terror-ists” (read: Arabs) in order to catch just one, it’s worth it.

Here’s my question: If a preemptive strike against a nation or group of people is justified, then why must December 7, 1941, be “a day which will live on in infamy” for years to come? After all, Japan didn’t firebomb New York or drop the A-Bomb on LA (like we did to Tokyo and Hiroshima), they attacked a military base in a U.S. colony which everyone (especially the Japanese) knew was planning to attack them.

I guess preemptive strikes are OK, but only when we are on the giving, not the receiving, end of them.



  1. Johnny T said,

    You know what Pundit, you are totally wrong. You know how I know you are wrong? Because the evidence and reasoning you present leads your readers to doubt the integrity and inhernet goodness of the U.S. of A. That is proof that you are wrong. Everyone know that the USA stands for goodness, truth, justice and freedom. Any conclusion that casts a shadow on this fact is obviously in error.

    So please stop spreading falsehoods.

  2. The Pundit said,

    Very funny.

    It is scary how many people reason that way, though. It’s like we have this mental block that prevents us from believing anything about this country other than the fairy tale version of America that we hear on the news, or read about in history books.

    Chomsky / Zinn ’08!!

  3. The Dane said,

    Huh, I bet if we killed all Muslims, we wouldn’t have to worry about them attacking us. And Jews. We could kill them because on the off chance they attack us, we’d have to kill them anyway. And Africans, too. Even though they don’t pose an immediate threat, if my mom went over there as a tourist, there’s a chance she’d get attacked, so….

  4. Johnny T said,

    I’ve heard it said, though I’ve never investigaged the truth of the claim, that the subject of history was taught in schools as a means to build patriotism in the population. If that is true, or even partly true, it would help explain the “mental block” you speak of. From our youth we are indoctrinated with this view of America as a world power of pure goodness. Counter-evidence just doesn’t feel right, so deepseated is our patriotism. I think that is why people often become angry when they hear and believe the counter-evidence — it is like they were manipulated into believeing and supporting a harmful, ugly lie.

  5. The Pundit said,

    The Dane,

    If we ever meet, I may have to kill you in order to avoid any nasty future skirmishes. Hope you understand.

    Johnny T,

    I wish you could track down that reference. I’m sure it is and was true elsewhere as well. So when you watch those WWII docs on the History Channel you can at least understand why the German population didn’t rise up to protect the undesireables in their midst. They were just being patriotic.

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