We now call it Veteran’s Day, because to continue to refer to it as "Armistice Day" would seem like a cruel joke, given subsequent events. It was billed as "the war to end wars" and "the war to make the world safe for democracy." Naive idealism ran so high that even 10 years after the war the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed, purporting to end war as a dispute resolution among nations (and although historians tend to smirk at its mention, it was the beginning of our undue reliance upon weak international forums rather than time-tested deterrence).

With the silence of the guns, we returned to our slumbers, indulging in isolationist fantasies and dreaming of some medieval "Fortress America," in an age where the power of the submarine and the airplane had been demonstrated for decades, and at the dawn of an age of aircraft carriers and heavy bombers. Still we slept, as Nazi submarines began sinking American ships, and the Japanese carriers began steaming towards Pearl Harbor.
Did Hitler and Tojo seriously think they could invade and conquer the United States? No, not even Hitler was that deluded (though he was incredulous when told of our production figures once we finally got round to ramping up). They were placing a bet that seemed quite reasonable given the signals we sent – that we were a soft, timorous, pusilanimous people, easily cowed into negotiations favorable to our enemies by quick and bloody strikes; and afraid to use the unparalleled industrial potential at our disposal.
We now face an enemy who views the slightest success on their part and the slightest weakness on ours as a sign from their god to push on with their terror. They constantly seek signs of Bin Laden’s "strong horse."
We should seek every viable opportunity to show them what "horses" we have in our "stables," and stop wasting our young lives on lessons unlearned.
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