SCENE: December 8, 1941, in the well of the House of Representatives – in an alternate universe. President Barack Delano Obama is addressing a joint emergency session of Congress.
OBAMA: Yesterday, December Seventh, 1941, is a day which will live in infamy.
Now, let me be clear: this attack did not represent the Real Japan. Japan is an ancient, honorable culture, dating back over 2,000 years; Shinto is a religion of peace, famous for its pastoral scenes and transcendental poetry.
And this attack does not represent the real Japanese people; a people who invented sushi, and baseball, and the number zero, named after their fighter plane.
We know the attackers were the junior varsity; who even knew the Japanese had aircraft carriers?
The lesson of yesterday? We must not give in to fear, or bigotry, in framing our response to this attack. We must not let fear drive us to launching an air raid on Tokyo, or a two-pronged offensive through the Solomon Islands, or an island-jumping campaign through the Central Pacific, because that is exactly what the attackers want. If they force us to attack them, we are playing their game, their way.
We must respond to the parts we control – to the National Rifle Association, which has, through the intransigence of Congressional Republicans, made it easier for criminals like the attackers to buy bombs than books in Tokyo.
I urge Congress also to accelerate passage of the Affordable Defense Act.
Thank you, and let’s not waste this crisis.