I remember Pearl Harbor.
As a young child I was playing with other boys in a friend's back yard when his father came out and told us Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Japanese. We had absolutely no idea where Pearl Harbor was, but we did realize America was at war. The rage that followed was shared by young and old alike. The consensus opinion was, "Kill all of the Japanese! All of them!"
We accepted willingly: food and fuel rationing, scrap iron drives, air raid drills and blackouts, obstacle courses built on school grounds to prepare high school boys for the draft. If you did not serve in the military, you had better be female, too young (and some of both did serve), too old, or have another very valid excuse!
We took used cooking fats into the grocery store to be sent in to make explosives. We bought war bonds, and stamps that when they amounted to $18.75 could be turned in for a bond. Everyone was part of the war effort.
When the attacks of 9/11 happened, I expected the same response. It did not happen! Where was the rage? We sent troops, the very best of young America, all volunteers! We lost all too many!
Oh, but the politicians made a lot of speeches. We heard words like, "coalition, cooperation, diplomacy, sanctions." We heard phrases like "commitment, stay the course, blah, blah, blah!" That from those we elect.
The populace? Some care, some are concerned, some are mad as hell! The majority? They seem more interested in where they will take their next vacation or what kind of car, computer, cell phone, iPad, or television they should buy.
But bring mass pressure on Congress and the president to kill all of al-Qaida and ISIS ... that has not happened. Only once have I heard that proposition on the news. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a military analyst for Fox News, when asked for his opinion on Jan. 9, said, "Kill them all, hunt them down in their sanctuaries, do not worry about collateral damage, vaporize them!" I hope that opinion spreads.
John A. Holcom