Lessons from the Pearl Harbor attacks

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Dear Editor

On this day, 7th of December, exactly eight decades ago, the Imperial Japanese establishment attacked the American Naval and other military facilities at Pearl Harbor.

It appears that US Intelligence failed them and the Japanese for hours on that morning from the air, destroyed US naval vessels and aircraft. In all 2,403 Americans including 68 civilians died in the attack.

This forced President Roosevelt with the support of the American people to declare war on Japan and the axis forces, when he declared it a day of Infamy.


This declaration of war was made at a time when the American people as a whole seemed to have little interest in the European war started two years earlier.

This sudden silly step caused the Japanese to pay a heavy price, when Rosevelt’s successor, Harry S. Truman ordered the first atomic bomb to be dropped on the City of Hiroshima, Japan, on the 6th of August 1945 destroying a massive complex.

Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki causing massive destruction, which forced a reluctant Japan to surrender

Of interest, when I visited the Museum to commemorate this event in Japan, some years ago, my Guide showed us remnants of lunch kits and clothing of children salvaged from the rubble, but never once referred to Pearl Harbor.

Dear Editor and citizens, there are lessons in the above incidents for Guyana and the world at large.

Lessons which point to how much citizens can bear the burden and blood shed; thanks to missteps and share stupidity of their leaders.

As a youngster, my Mother told me of these events, which in a sense catapulted me into a life of public service and politics. Since then to this day, I, like others, remain fascinated, a worrisome type of fascination with the way our present leaders behave, ignoring the lessons of human history.

Leaders who make political decisions that destroy human life and materials fail to recognise the consequences of the ill effects of their silly steps.

In Guyana, we see today, our purported Leaders on both sides of the political divide ignoring and I suspect in some cases oblivious of the lessons. Intelligent men and women should learn from past and recent history.

Dear Editor, My recount of these incidents which took place when I was a primary schoolboy is that I have seen in Guyana, for those eight decades, our pre and post Independent Leaders, with power and leverage in their hands behaving as I once quipped  ‘like immature schoolboys.”

The big question is when will we overcome these harmful actions of shared stupidity?

Why did the Japanese feel that destroying the US Fleet at Pearl Harbour would bring them either short or long term benefits. They underestimated the capacity of the American people to deal with this assault, not only the destruction of materials and men, but also of significance an assault on the pride of a people.

Today, in Guyana we hear Statements from Government functionaries that seem oblivious when they say and do things that constitutes an assault on the pride of the descendants of African slaves.

There must be some flaw in the brain of our leaders, particularly in Guyana, that disallows them from seeing the consequences of their bravado, consequences of their stupidity and consequences of their disrespect and disdain for sections of the society.

Guyana today is a paradigm case of silly steps that can only bring short term benefits.

I listened in amazement to a rather lengthy statement on the 26th November and that same day, unanswered queries put to the Government by the Leader of the Opposition.

Both of these political Titans ignoring the need to find the pathway for civility, genuine consultation -neither mickey mouse nor contride consultations, failing which workers in the public sector, private sector and the ordinary person in the street, being bombarded by slogans and this latest folly about ‘available income,’ in response to the meagre 3.5 x 2 increase in circumstances where oil resources daily swell the Government’s coffers.

For example, the loud voices we heard have become silent on the three issues that can only lead to disaster,

That is the Government and Opposition work together and emerge with a common programme with the three vital issues (1) The Covid-19 Health pandemic, (2) How we deal with oil and gas giants and (3) The Border issue which has now posed an additional problem of a migration that within a few years can alter the demographics of our society and relegate the descendants of slaves and indentured labourers to being minnions in a country where our ancestors amde sacrifices civilized this country with their blood, sweat and tears.

Let me end with these words – “ Whatsoever you do to the least of my people that you do unto me.”

Without being blasphemous,this is what a good Government should aim to be like.

Even as we place our faith and future in the hands of our God, whether you be a Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Rastafarian let us not give up the effort to speak up loudly so that the earthly powers and the heavenly powers will hear us.

Hamilton Green

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