In his op-ed “Punishing the Saudi prince” (Web, Dec. 11), Clifford May places in proper prospective the importance of Saudi Arabia to world stability. He provides valuable insight into the strategic significance of Saudi Arabia in a Middle East torn asunder by various Islamic ideologies. History is an additional critical factor that must be considered. As philosopher Santayana said 100-plus years ago, Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
For the Pearl Harbor attack, the 77th anniversary of which we marked last week, the Japanese forged a strategic weapon of six heavy carriers for a coordinated attack by 360 planes on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. Never before had any country executed and/or planned a raid by more than two carriers on any naval or land target. No inkling existed within allied operational or intelligence communities of a capability beyond the 21-torpedo bombers a British carrier had used to attack the Italian navy at Taranto. Pearl Harbor presented the opportunity for a strategic victory achieving control over much of the Pacific Ocean.