I believe 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 very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.Hostilities exist, and we must deal wth them. You don't go looking for a fight. But you always stay aware of the conditions that might be leading up to one. If the fight seems imminent, you still stay out of it unless there is absolutely no other choice. But once you're in it, you commit to winning it as quickly and decisively as you possibly can. That is the lesson of Pearl Harbor. We learned it pretty well, but we keep forgetting it so we have to relearn it over and over. 9/11 was at least as big a surprise as Pearl Harbor, in all the nuances of that word, and an even costlier wake-up call, 2,977 lives lost compared with 2,400 at Pearl Harbor. That attack should have told us we were at war. It was a war we should have seen coming but didn't. It was a war we should have committed to winning swiftly and decisively but didn't. How many Americans even still believe we are at war? Yes, yes, I know, the war against radical Islam (not "war on terror," please) is different from the war against the Axis powers. Because it doesn't involve the usual attack and defense of borders, it can be hard to know when the war is over. Still. Here is Morrissey:
This is a point which we have lost in recent times, especially in the rise of non-state enemies such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. We pretended that a string of terrorist attacks in the 1990s were just a criminal issue rather than recognizing that hostilities exist after 9/11, a blindness that was not limited to one party or faction. It took us two years or more to fully realize that hostilities exist when al-Qaeda in Iraq mutated and metastasized into ISIS after our withdrawal from Iraq, and now they have spread to north Africa and even into Afghanistan.
[. . .]
December 7th, therefore, is a moment to remember those who died while valiantly trying to fight off that sneak attack, but also to remember that constant vigilance is the cost of liberty and independence. We should not seek out battles and wars, but we should not shirk from hostilities when they do arise.Don't look for a fight. Be aware of conditions that might develop into a fight. When the fight seems imminent, still avoid it unless it is the only option. Once in the fight, commit to win it as quickly and decisively as possible. Hope Donald Trump sees it that way.