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attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center had similar historical events surrounding each attack. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George W. Bush used similar policies to combat further attacks and unite the nation
The paper highlights the entwined American reactions to the September 11 attacks and the Pearl Harbor attacks. The paper illustrates the similarities in which the over-prevailing backgrounds of each event created reactions to the devastating measures that promptly gave escalation to the Wars that have been fought. The paper also looks at the integration of the memory of Pearl Harbor in American reactions to September 11 attacks. Subsequently, the paper reflects on the similarities in repercussions of the attacks on the Pearl Harbor, as well as, the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11.
It is quite apparent that the global society in which we live has become so much inter-connected that almost all events affect everyone regardless of the geographic location, nationality, culture or ethnicity. However, this consistent flow of capital, culture and merchandise from one corner of the world to another corner of the world has not stopped the meaning the September 11 to be projected in harshly nationalist terms. The reason for such an interpretation can be attributed to the observation of many Americans who see the September 11 attacks on America as a deliberate attempt to undermine the American values, who see Americans being the primary targets of these attacks. One should only take a look at the out-breaking of nationalistic reactions to the attacks of September 11 in the United States, characterized by the patriotic songs, flags, rituals, as well as, patriotic speeches, along with the military measures, pronouncing patriotism commonality and unity. However, the American patriotism evoked after September 11 recurrently makes reference to previous types of patriotism, particularly in reflections of attacks on Pearl Harbor in the Second World War, framed as the "good war."
Where, on one hand, the September 11 and Pearl Harbor attacks produced wide spread hatred and anger amongst the Americans, the September 11 and Pearl Harbor attacks also gave rise to patriotism. It will be obvious to anyone who has viewed American media coverage of 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terror" that these events have given rise to the American patriotism. This level of patriotism had been missing amongst the Americans ever since the attacks on the Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in the Second World War. For instance, states far off from the nerve centers of America have been demonstrating their patriotism in an unparallel manner. For example, the residents of the state of Hawaii consistently put up American flags along their houses; departmental stores have been selling pins, posters and flags; and people have been posting sport bumper labels on their cars declaring national honor, pride and solidarity. Almost all Americans have been concerned and involved after the September 11 attacks, whether picked up in this resurgent patriotism, or bothered by the concurrent growth of racial discrimination and unimpeded military and war policy.
Even though there are apparent differences between the attack on September 11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor in the Second World War, the similarities between the two attacks are quite predictable and unsurprising. This is because both these major events have been instances of a more universal global occurrence, which is the element of "surprise" in the attacks. Notwithstanding the fact that the time lag between these two events is in excess of fifty years, notwithstanding the fact that both these attacks concerned different performers with outstandingly different motivations, a prototype does exist in both of these events, particularly the "surprise" element as well as the consequences of the both these events. The paper initially highlights the similarities between the two attacks and then subsequently reveals the ways in which these similarities have been used by the Bush administration to re-ignite the American patriotism and produce feeling of solidarity and unity amongst the Americans.
Recalling the Attack on Pearl Harbor after the Attacks on September 11
For quite a long time historians, as well as, critics have drawn a certain amount of irregularity in the manner Americans and Japanese remember the Pacific War of the 1940's (2). On one hand, the Americans have consistently given extensive supplies to recalling the event of Pearl Harbor; they seldom give attention and reference to the atomic bombing to the two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the contrary, Japanese celebrate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a greater view on their Japan's national interest, since, Japanese have been in two minds about the war (10). While the formal hub of American remembrance of Pearl Harbor is situated on the public memorial and temple built over the submerged battleship USS Arizona, endeavors to prepare even a momentary display of the atomic bombings at the Smithsonian Institution in the year 1995 caused profound disagreements and termination of the display (35).
Within this particular backdrop, it should not be astonishing that Pearl Harbor swiftly turned out to be an orientation point for American analysis of September 11, and that Nagasaki and Hiroshima have been prominently not spoken about, in spite of the misappropriation of the expression "ground zero" to mention the location of demolition at the World Trade Center. Although the causes for contrasting September 11 to Pearl Harbor might give the impression to be quite understandable to Americans, the lack of indication to the atomic-attacks by America on Nagasaki and Hiroshima has also been prominent particularly when the sight of urban destruction close to the World Trade Center site is mentioned as "ground zero," an expression connected with the initial trial of the newly developed atomic bombs at Los Alamos throughout the Second World War. In addition to that, both these attacks comprised enormous civilian fatalities. These causalities would have been inconceivable before their occurrence (1).
The contrasts between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attacks on September 11 have been challenged on the apparent basis that the attack on Pearl Harbor had been a military assault on a military mark. Critics who have challenged the contrasts assert that the attacks on September 11TH have been much worse than the attacks on Pearl Harbor. To them the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor had been a military assault against a military target (3).
Furthermore, famous critics like Noam Chomsky have also objected to the evaluation by asserting that the removal of American imperialism entailed orientations to the State of Hawaii as a territory of America. In an interview on the September 11, Chomsky asserted that for America, this is the first time in almost 200 years that the American territory has been either threatened or has actually come under foreign attack. To Chomsky, it has been a deceptive attempt by critics to compare the attack on Pearl Harbor with the attacks on September 11. He asserts that in the Second World War, military bases in two American colonies had been under attack and it was not an American terrain. The American territory had never been under threat. Hawaii had not been an American territory at that time; it was an American colony (5).
However, majority of the critics, with a few acceptations have been sketching contrasts that emphasize cultural, as well as, psychosomatic interpretations, along with imagery and sequence-of-events connections of these two proceedings (in preference to any type of all-inclusive historical explanation). America has always been in the fortunate situation of never observing the harsh influences of contemporary combat on its personal territory, However, both Pearl Harbor as well as, September 11 show up as assaults at home-territory that produced unexpected, enormous fatalities and led to a long-drawn-out conflict with the enemy. These resemblances have been more than enough to force contrasts from the first instant subsequent to the attacks on September 11 (4).
The American media started to consistently bring up the attacks on the Pearl Harbor while commenting on the attacks on September 11 immediately after the attacks had taken place (25). However, it had been completely natural for the Americans to contrast the two events on the grounds of the sheer level of casualty and demolition both these events had caused. Furthermore, at that early stage, media analysts, as well as, common American people had been unable to discover new ways to give some meaning to the attacks on September 11 (12).
Majority of the Americans observed that they had been at war, however, they had not been aware as to who the enemy was. Even referring to the attacks on September 11 and the wars fought as a result of the event extends the standard interpretations of "war" in which identified fighters confront each other on battlegrounds. In the aftermath of September 11, almost all the patriotic ceremonials of commemoration turned out to be significant junctures for symbolizing the September 11 attacks in the background of America's account of conflict. In these backgrounds, orientations to the attack on Pearl Harbor had turned out to…[continue]
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