Many have suggested that 9/11 was like Pearl Harbor for America, at least psychologically. If so, it might be instructive to compare anniversaries. Where was the West 10 years after Pearl Harbor, compared to where it is 10 years after 9/11? Was being attacked by the Far Eastern militarism of the Empire of the Rising Sun as harmful to America as the suicide assault of Near Eastern fanatics? Did one do more damage than the other?
I’m posing the question, because I consider both acts of belligerency expressions of larger conflicts than just Japan’s or al-Qaeda’s with America. I take Pearl Harbor to have been Oriental despotism’s fascist-tinged declaration of war on Occidental democracy, and regard 9/11 as theocratic Islam’s challenge to secular post-Christendom.
If this sounds needlessly apocalyptic, put it aside. We don’t need to describe 9/11 as the Middle Ages throwing down the gauntlet to modernity, or the 12th century ambushing the 21st, to compare the world 10 years after Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941 attack against the naval base at Pearl Harbor with the world 10 years after al-Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Just putting the two side by side will do.