​Franklin ​D​. Obama addresses Congress after attack on Pearl Harbor

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live on in our memories with hashtags, awareness ribbons, and candlelight vigils – America was attacked. While we haven’t yet ruled out the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan, we must be careful not to jump to hasty conclusions for what might have been an act of workplace violence.The United States was at peace with Japan and, at the solicitation of its government, we were still in conversation about the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague were negotiating a performance of James Taylor’s You’ve Got a Friend with Secretary of State Kerry. While this may appear suspicious, we must not blame the entire Japanese Empire for the actions of a few.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was likely the result of a few disgruntled employees, maybe even the Emperor’s wife suffering from post-partum depression. Therefore, I urge patience and understanding.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. No doubt these attacks were carried out by lone wolves who have hijacked the noble religion of Shinto which, we must remember, built the very fabric of our nation.

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. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island. However, the fact remains that most Japanese are moderate and peaceful.

Japan has, in the minds of a few intolerant Asiaphobes, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves, they say. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of anyone who dares to engage in anti-Japanese rhetoric that edges toward violence.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for the immediate reduction of our military forces, especially our navy. Like I’ve said since since the invasions of Poland and France, every time something like this happens, these sort of military actions just don’t happen in other countries. I think it’s time to reconsider the Kellogg-Briand Pact which made war illegal, and to rethink the Washington Naval Treaty. If we could take combat vessels off of the high seas, events like these wouldn’t happen. We could make the oceans safer for our children.

Always will we remember that this would never have happened if America hadn’t acted arrogantly during the Spanish-American War by seizing overseas territories. No matter how long it may take us to overcome our own bigotry, the American people will reflect and support common sense arms reductions.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only decommission all of our naval assets, but make sure we never again threaten other countries with a military that air raids villages and kills civilians.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are primarily responsible. In the meantime, I don’t want to hear any nonsense about “America leading” or “America winning”.

With confidence in our policy of tolerance – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will lead from behind – so help us, uh, I’ll come back to that.

Given that the provoked and understandable attack by Japan was caused by a despicable video on YouTube, I ask that the Congress declare that the future must not belong to those who insult the Emperor of Japan and the peace-loving religion of Shinto.

​And another take –

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

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