Monday 7 December 2015


74 years ago today was "a date which will live in infamy". The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour.

Britain had been fighting the Nazis since September 1939, and a year had been facing the Nazi war machine alone - joined in June 1941 by the Russians, after the Nazis attacked them. 

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbour without a declaration of war. They achieved total surprise, sank four battleships and damaged four more. 2403 Americans were killed.

And so America joined World War 2, declaring war against Japan. They would most likely have followed up by declaring war on Germany, although that would not have been obvious - there was no clear reason for doing so. Fortunately, Hitler made is easy by declaring war on the USA. So, two years after WW2 started, the USA joined in, making the outcome certain.

We all know the outcome of that. The Russians beat the Germans, the Americans beat the Japanese and the British beat Italy.

On November 13, 2015, Daesh attacked Paris, killing 130 people. As a result, France declared war on Daesh. France is our neighbour and our friend. France is our ally, via Nato, via the EC and via the UN. On 20 November, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for decisive action against the "unprecedented threat" of The Islamic State by "all means" necessary.

The UK has, of course, already been fighting Daesh - the Iraqi government asked for, and got, our help in its fight against them. We were already bombing Daesh, or at least, bombing those parts of Daesh that are in Iraq. A few days ago, the UK parliament voted to also bomb those parts of Daesh that are in Syria.

I think some people are worried that by bombing Daesh, we're going to annoy them, and maybe they'll try to commit terrorism outrages in the UK. It's a valid concern. But we were already bombing them. In Iraq. And you don't deal with murderous savages by offering them tea and cakes.

There is a risk to the home front because we're stepping up out attacks on Daesh. But giving in to a bully is a much bigger risk, because the bully is still there, and will just ask for more.

The Paris attack will be Daesh's "date which will live in infamy".

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