Op-Ed: December 7 Raises Question: Is There a War to End All Wars?

Posted Dec 7, 2009 by Carol Forsloff
It was on a December 7, 1941, 68 years ago today that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor As then, the nation faced the challenges of war, and asked itself if indeed there is a war to end them all.
Poster-sized Newspaper Article  Hawaii
This newspaper front page announces the beginning of the Second World War with Japan, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu
Carol Forsloff
World War I began with the assassination of a political leader, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne on June 28, 1914 and eventually involved 30 countries. The war was to bring peace and reconciliation to European countries and remove the causes of conflict. It was to be the war to end all wars. But that was before the Day of Infamy, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in a surprise attack that brought America, whom Japanese leaders were to refer to in their communications as the "sleeping giant," out of its period of isolation to participate in another war that like its predecessor was to pave the way for peace..
Today marks the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The war that had embroiled most of Europe through the Nazis, and the Far East by the Japanese, reached America's remote territories in Hawaii in 1941. It told America that it was no longer protected from aggression on its territories, that it was vulnerable after all. It brought the country out of an isolationist mood and catapulted it to war.
2001 echoed those Pearl Harbor days, with the reminder America could suffer disaster at home, with aggression and provocation of war in its own backyard when airplanes crashed into the World Trade Towers one early September morning. Once more the nation was swept by calamity to war with the promise from its President George Bush the bad guys would be smoked out and dealt with even as citizens looked forward to a short war of shock and awe that would end soon with a victory in Afghanistan thousands of miles away.
As America remembers December 7 and the war dead of Pearl Harbor, some folks wonder as well about the constancy of war where leaders make speeches about love of country and evildoers and promise a war will bring peace. That's especially true following President Barack Obama's recent speech about a war of necessity in Afghanistan even as few signs show the end will bring victory at all. Indeed whatever happened to the notion there could be a war to end all wars?
Some people believe war will always be with us because the nature of man is to war. Other folks maintain peace will eventually come to earth after a clarion call from angels when lions and lambs lie down together and swords will be plowshares instead. But whatever the belief wherever the man, the question must always remain: what is the nature of war, will it always remain, or will there be a war that will indeed end them all.