Seventy-four years ago the Japanese attacked Perl Harbor. Less than a week ago two Islamic terrorist attacked, killing 14 and injuring many others. This attack followed closely on the heels of the massacre carried out by Islamist in Paris. Let me be perfectly clear; I am not saying that these events are in any way equal in scope or scale. On December 8, 1941 President Roosevelt gave the following speech to Congress and the American people:
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation 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 that 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 it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Compare that with President Obama’s speech last night.
Though Obama said there was no evidence that the shooters were directed by a terror network overseas or that the attack was part of a broader plot, he noted the couple “had gone down the dark path of radicalization.”
He also acknowledged in his 13-minute address that the global terror threat has entered a “new phase.”
The president offered no new or specific changes to the military campaign in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks and several other smaller-scale attacks in recent weeks.
However, Obama called on Congress to tighten America’s visa waiver program and to pass a new authorization for military actions already underway against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The effort so far has been a U.S.-led bombing campaign, non-combat U.S. support troops in Iraq and roughly 50 Special Forces members in Syria.
Obama also reiterated his call for tightening U.S. gun laws, saying no matter how effective law enforcement and intelligence are, they can’t identify every would-be shooter. He said such a move is a matter of national security to prevent potential killers from getting guns.
To me, Obama’s response sounds like the break-up cliche, “it’s not you, it’s us.” The difference being that no one who has ever used that excuse has really meant it, Obama, I believe, does.
Finally, this quote near the end of the speech stood out to me, “Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear;” This from the President who has done more to erode our freedoms than any other before him.
The contrast over these 74 years is stark; not so much in the words as in the fact that Roosevelt made the American people believe what he said and acted. I, and I believe most Americans, don’t get the same feeling from our apologetic President.