December 7, 2012
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Today we think back on the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. That event changed the course of history, and with it, the lives of a generation of young Americans — men who soon found themselves at war around the world.
But as we remember those who died at Pearl Harbor, and hundreds of thousands more who sacrificed over the next four years, we are reminded by current events that America is still vulnerable to attack.
In Syria, the military is readying the government’s stock of sarin gas, potentially to use against the people. If the regime falls, there is a real threat that these chemical weapons could end up in the hands of Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations.
The potential for a catastrophic terrorist attack on the United States should alarm every American, but the threat should not be a surprise. Of such an attack, unlike the one at Pearl Harbor, we will have had abundant warning from our enemies.
The federal response to Hurricane Sandy proved that the Department of Homeland Security is disturbingly ill-equipped to deal with a crisis of that scale. It must be seen as a wake up call to overhaul the agency before we are faced with an even worse disaster.
Only with a serious effort to overcome the crippling bureaucracy can we be better prepared to face another disaster, whether it be a hurricane or a terrorist attack.
Syrian Sarin Gas and Sandy
- on December 7, 2012