- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 11, 2001


"Both Pearl Harbor and September 11 for all our enemies' cowardly audacity in murdering unsuspecting Americans in a time of peace were military blunders of the first order. The Japanese killed over 2,400 Americans, sank 8 battleships, and destroyed 186 planes, but they also found no aircraft carriers, sent no real modern ships to the bottom, left most of the Pacific fleet's critical oil reserves intact, and made no further attempt to disrupt shipping between Hawaii and the West Coast much less seriously shell and bomb a mostly unprotected and ill-prepared American mainland.

"So too it is with the terrorists. After the initial shock, they have been unable to erode further American assets. While we have suffered a grave defeat thousands dead, $50 billion in property damage, trillions lost in financial capital, and millions out of work the ability of the United States to maintain its role as a world power remains unquestioned.

"In fact, bin Laden's terrorists, like the Japanese militarists, violated the chief tenet of military science of the ages one should never attack a militarily superior enemy in a time of peace without inflicting such damage as to cause ruination and thus prevent retaliation. Admiral Nagumo himself later acknowledged that he had 'awakened a sleeping giant and filled her with a terrible resolve' a confession apparently unknown to the supposedly astute bin Laden."

Victor Davis Hanson, writing on "Dates in Infamy," Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

All together then

"The Beatles are dead. Long live the Beatles!

"Yes, I know the Beatles broke up in 1970, and John Lennon was murdered 21 years ago, but with George Harrison's death last month, the group is really dead. Any hope I had of reunion music sounding remotely like the fabulous four is gone.

"In 1964, John, Paul, George and Ringo arrived in America on the cusp of baby boomers' coming of age. Most of us were 16 years old. Was there a boomer alive who didn't love them?

"After the Mickey Mouse Club, the Beatles were the last unifying factor for my generation. Political upheaval over the Vietnam War and civil-rights movement ultimately caused baby boomers to fracture and shoot off into split trajectories.

"So the memories of first blush Beatlemania when we all sang their songs together stay sweet, despite George Harrison's untimely death from cancer.

Ellen Makkai, writing on "Long Live the Beatles," Saturday on World Net Daily at www. worldnet daily.com

American power

"The theme of the unprecedented dominance of the United States on the world stage has been among the enduring topics of international discourse since the collapse of the Soviet Union. French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine has famously termed the United States the world's 'hyperpower.' But he has hardly been the only one to embrace happily or unhappily the notion of America's untouchable global sway.

"America has looked much more vulnerable since September 11, as have all traditional nation-states. But even before the devastating suicide attacks and the advent of bioterror, a disenthralled observer would have concluded that American power, while impressive, was not as overwhelming and unchallengeable as it had been a half-century earlier.

"Yes, the Soviet Union was gone and no great-power rival had emerged to take its place. But from the perspective of the prior half-century, using many of the traditional measurements of state strength (that is, a nation's relative economic, demographic, and military position), the United States had become less powerful and less dominating between the mid-20th century and the new millennium."

Clark S. Judge, writing on "Hegemony of the Heart," in the December/January issue of Policy Review

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