The following opinion piece appeared in The Atlanta Journal on Sept. 11, 2001.
By Richard Matthews
In the heady days after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, colleagues rushed to congratulate Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the man who had planned and executed the stunning operation. He was far less enthusiastic about his success; Japan, he feared, had only “awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
He was right, of course. America, roused to anger and outrage, mobilized itself with astonishing speed, carried the war all the way to the dragon’s lair, laid waste to its cities, crushed its dreams of perverted “glory” and forced it to accept total and humiliating surrender.
Today we are faced with an important question: Is the America of today as capable of “terrible resolve” as it was in 1941?
The terror attacks in New York, Washington and elsewhere are horrible calamities on a human scale, with thousands killed or injured. They are