So I listened to this morning's press conference between the President and Prime Minister Blair, and there was one particular moment that had me again rushing to find a bedpan or some such bucket to remove what was left of my breakfast from my person. The irony of this statement was somehow lost on this guy.
And one of the things that has changed for American foreign policy is a threat overseas can now come home to hurt us, and September the 11th should be a wake-up call for the American people to understand what happens if there is violence and safe havens in a part of the world. And what happens is people can die here at home.
Today's the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, you idiot.
The attack on 9-11 was only a wake-up call to YOU. It wasn't a wake-up call to those Americans who were alive on December 7, 1941.
At approximately 2:30pm in the East on that day, reporters interrupted the Sunday broadcasts for a special news bulletin. It prompted this nation to declare war on Japan and Germany and prompted my grandfather to serve in the Pacific Theater.
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.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.
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 attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. 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.
We remember that day every year since. We didn't forget that there were outside threats willing and able to harm this nation, you did. The American people didn't get a PDB on August 6, 2001, stating Bin Laden Determined To Attack In The US. The American people didn't respond to that PDB and additional briefings about the Al Qaeda threat in the summer of 2001 by saying "All right, you've covered your ass, now." The American people didn't neglect to hold a Principals Meeting on terrorism until the week before 9-11.
You want to talk about being asleep at the wheel? You want to talk about wake-up calls? You want to talk about how people can die here at home? We have the benefit of history as a guide. And we always had it. As Al Gore said yesterday, this is not about you. Just because you thought America was an island unto itself, all-powerful and impenetrable, doesn't mean the whole country did. The problem is that you didn't learn from 9-11. You still think we cannot be challenged in the world, that we only need project massive military power across the globe and everyone will bend to our will. That narrow worldview has brought us to where we are today in Iraq and everywhere else.
There's only one person who needed to learn the lesson of 9-11, and only one person who hasn't: you. And to bring up that same boilerplate statement about oceans not being able to protect us on Pearl Harbor Day is sickening. The world is a dangerous place. Stop making it more so, and open your eyes.
UPDATE: It's actually worse that I initially thought, considering he did reference Pearl Harbor day in the speechwritten part of today's presser, the opening statement:
It's a tough time. And it's a difficult moment for America and Great Britain. And the task before us is daunting. Yet our nations have stood before in difficult moments. Sixty-five years ago this day, America was jolted out of our isolationism and plunged into a global war that Britain had been fighting for two years. In that war, our nation stood firm. And there were difficult moments during that war, yet the leaders of our two nations never lost faith in the capacity to prevail.
So he knew it was Pearl Harbor Day, at least for a moment, and then said what he said. What an ass. Spitting on the memory of the brave men and women we lost 65 years ago today.