Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

A Day of Infamy

USS Shaw

Sixty seven years ago today, on an early Sunday morning the US Pacific Navel Fleet at Pearl Harbor was attacked by an air assault launched by the Japanese Imperial Navy. It was an audacious attack that caught the US by surprise. The attack killed over 2000 servicemen and women. The bombing also claimed a number of civilian casualties and it destroyed or disabled a good portion of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The attack at Pearl Harbor forced America to enter WWII as it declared war on Japan with a Day of Infamy speech made by FDR.

This day is worthy of remembrance for so many reasons. First and foremost is to recognize those who fell in service to our country and the many civilian innocents who always comprise an awful toll in the casualties of war. This attack should also be remembered as the day when the illusion of American isolation dissipated into the billowing smoke plumes of the burning destroyers inside a presumably safe harbor. Fortress America was under the false impression that its security was guaranteed by the large expanse of two of the worlds great oceans and by borders with friendly nations.

As the United States entered the war it mobilized its significant resources, will, talent and determination. It was the sleeping giant at the time, still licking its wounds from a debilitating recession and political uncertainty. But Pearl Harbor served as a focal point to fuel national sentiment for the US to take the lead in the great global crusade against fascism. Studs Terkel called it the “Good War” fought by America’s “greatest generation”. Americas successful prosecution of the war and its role in it positioned the country to ascend as the preeminent world power.

The world has known other days of infamy since then. But Pearl Harbor set the world in motion to create an intricate weave of connections that accelerated the pace and depth of global transformation. The era witnessed the terrible consequences of modern global warfare and created the necessary conditions for a nuclear fueled modernity to collide with humanity’s delicate mortality.

9/11 and last weeks Mumbia attacks are events that exhibit similar characteristics of a causal event that spawns and accelerates a series of transformative effects on a global scale. Undoubtedly military and political experts will study Pearl Harbor to discern what eventual outcomes will emerge as we pursue different strategies to protect our national interests and security. As they should. But perhaps the real opportunity these terrible events present is how best to discern considered responses that can transform conflict into peace to avoid the possibility of any more days of infamies.

You Tube Music Video: Glenn Miller Orchestra, Moonlight Serenade

Risk: extreme risk events, cause and effect, unintended consequences

December 7, 2008 Posted by | jazz, military, war | , , , , , , | Leave a comment