Dec 7, 1941.
At 06:05 on December 7, six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 183 planes The Japanese hit American ships and military installations at 07:51. The first wave attacked military airfields of Ford Island. At 08:30, a second wave of 170 Japanese planes, mostly torpedo bombers, attacked the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. The battleship Arizona was hit with an armor piercing bomb which penetrated the forward ammunition compartment, blowing the ship apart and sinking it within seconds. Overall, nine ships of the U.S. fleet were sunk and 21 ships were severely damaged. Three of the 21 would be irreparable. The overall death toll reached 2,350, including 68 civilians, and 1,178 injured.
Remember… 68 years ago today.
We didn’t read any of the enemy their rights or try any of them in civil court over the next 4 years until we obtained a surrender. Back then we knew that war was sick and awful, and only to be engaged in if you really had the will to DO, or DO worse, to the enemy than he was willing to do to you to keep him from wanting to impose his will upon you. Now, we are clearly insane.
Differences between Dec 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001?
At Pearl Harbor we were attacked by a Government. On 9/11 we were attacked by a quasi political entity, or to put it differently, a bunch of raghead terrorists.
At Pearl Harbor the targets were military, and most of those lost had given an oath and at some level know the risk. On 9/11 the targets were civilian, and nearly all who died were civilians.
In a real act of war, declared by a recognized government, there are agreed upon rules for the capture of prisoners. Un-uniformed combatants would have been shot on sight in WWII. Prisoners taken in uniform would have been (theoretically) treated according to the Geneva convention.
What we have with the terrorists is Unlawful Combatants, they committed an act of war against the united states, but do not have the legal standing to formally do so since they do not officially represent a Government. That means they are not covered under the Geneva conventions, and also that they are not eligible for civil trials. Technically in my understanding, they have no legal standing.
-but clearly we are living in insane times.