Two Dark Days
Pearl Harbor changed the lives of Americans; decades later 9/11 affected a new generation of Americans. Comparing Pearl Harbor and 9/11, written by Fred L. Borch points out inaccuracies of the comparisons that numerous individuals have made between 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. The author gives a unique perspective that has partial inaccuracies under the topics; whether or not 9/11 was an intelligence failure, was American unprepared, and military responsibilities. The author uses various facts and statics to support his cause, some creditable, some not.
December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001 are two of the darkest days in American History. The attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:55 a.m. when 353 Japanese aircrafts dropped bombs on the U.S pacific fleets (Borch 846). With 2, 403 dead, 1,178 wounded, and eight battle ships sunk or damaged and 165 aircraft destroyed, the Japanese had succeeded on their attack. With their success the Japanese only lost a few ships and aircraft, and only 185 were killed or wounded. On December 16, 1941 the joint congressional committee declared that Admural E. Kimmel and Lieutenant general Walter c. short failed to prepare Americans at Pearl Harbor for the attack of the Japanese. On September 11, 2001 most of us were sitting in class while 19 members of Al Quida boarded four commercial airlines, intending to take over and crash all four planes into traditional American landscapes. The first plane to crash, crashed into the north tower of the world trade center. Shortly after a second plane crashed into the south tower of the world trade center. An hour later a third plane struck the pentagon, destroying a portion of the building (Borch 847). The fourth plane crashed into a ruel area of southeast Pittsburgh (Borch 847). By 12:00 p.m. there were 2,823 killed in Manhattan and 189 in Washington, D.C. Days after the attack the U.s government identified Osama bin laden and his Al Queda as responsible for the attacks. All 19 Al queda high jackers had entered the United States legally. They had student and tourist visas’. They tried to blend into American life; they took flying training at civilian pilot schools (Borch 847). This helped them pilot the planes after they killed commercial pilots. As we continue to blame bin laden for the attacks, he has never claimed responsibility for it, but has released video tapes praising the 9/11 high jackers. He has also threatened more attacks against America.
The author raises the question “was intelligence failure the reason for these attacks. He states that they knew a war with Japan was highly likely. This fact was backed up by a message received saying “this dispatch is to be considered a warning, negotiation with Japan….have ceased and an aggressive move by Japan is expected with the next few days.” Also after taking command Kimmel and Short were informed that if an attack occurred it would most likely be an air bombing attack. Borch states that if the Japanese diplomatic messages would have been decrypted, it would have shown there was going to be an attack occurring on December 7, 1941. He also says there was a lack of strategic intelligence. There was a 75 minute tactical warning, when the sinking of Ward, at the mouth of the harbor. Borch said could have made a difference, if Kimmel and Short would have acted upon that warning. Also at 7:02 a.m. radar detected a large number of aircraft approaching Oahu. Both of these warnings were missed. He says that Kimmel and his staff were still arguing about the significance of the wards attack, when the first bombs were dropped on Oahu. As for 9/11 they could have seen it coming because of the previous attacks of the world trade center in 1993, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, in 2000, and other events. The federal Bureau of investigation and others knew there was going to be an attack on an U.S target. But says no information had been collected that could directly point to the Al Queda...