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The Right and Responsibility for America to Declare War on Other Countries

Jacob Flemett January 3, 2014 Period 1

America has had many wars in its history and, the country should be able to defend itself with any means necessary, one of these attacks on the U.S. showed how America can and should be able to defend the country. December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, A Navy base in Hawaii. How did America react to this attack? America, just like any other country should have the right to defend the country and its people. Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution says The Congress shall have the power to declare war. This is saying that the Congress does have the power to declare war. The Congress has the most power available to declare a war on another country. However, Congress cannot just declare war on any country. To declare war the U.S. has to either be attacked, threatened, or in immediate danger to an attack from other countries. In the case of Pearl Harbor America was attacked and Congress did not hesitate in declaring war against the countries that attacked the U.S. If Congress did not have the power to declare war on other countries, than America would be in a lot more danger and susceptible to more attacks. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. There were simultaneous Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. From the standpoint of the defenders, the attack

commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Two of these were later raised, and with the remaining four repaired, six battleships returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured. Pearl Harbor was not the only attack on America their was another and more recent attack in 2001. On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters. On September 18, 2001 declare war and President George W. Bush signed what was one of the broadest declarations of war in U.S. history. Whereas on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States. George W. Bush signing the declaration of war.

Both of these attacks showed how America does have the power to declare war. Also America should have the right to declare war if attacked. Declaring war on other countries if attacked is not just a right but also a responsibility. As American citizens we depend on the congress to react in the case of an attack. Most American citizens would not be happy and just sit back and relax if we were to be attacked. They would want the Congress to react with just as much force as we were attacked with. The responsibility comes upon the Congress because they are responsible for protecting this country and its people. In most newspapers after the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor they say that Congress acts quickly to reply to the attack from the Japanese. In the Manitowoc Herald-Times the head title is Congress Acts Quickly in Reply To Japanese Attack. This newspaper shows how Congress did do something about it and were responsible instead of sitting their and waiting to see what happens. Also after the incident of 9/11 Congress did not hesitate to declare war because we were attacked and we were being responsible and fighting back. These two attacks on America are not the only attacks that have happened. On the same day that the World Trade Centers were crashed into another plane crashed into the Pentagon. This was just another reason for congress to take up the responsibility and react to the attacks. If someone lived in a different country that did not have the right or responsibility to protect itself in the case of an attack they would not be happy. The reason they wouldnt be happy is that they know that they would be more susceptible to attacks. Most people would not want to be somewhere where they know that they could be attacked at any time and the country officials can not do anything about it. Also you would not want to live in a country where they government did have the right to declare war and react to an attack but they were not responsible enough to react. Most people would want to live in a place where they knew that they were not in

a lot of danger of an attack because they know that the government would take action in reacting to an attack. We must ensure that our country is always ready and prepared for offense and defense in order to best protect the future of this great nation. Congress is not the only one that has the responsibility for protecting the country it is also a duty of the House of Representatives, the President, and in some cases American citizens. The Congresses responsibility for protecting the country is making sure that, if attacked, we fight back. The House of Representatives and the presidents role in wars is that they make the decisions on how they should react to the attack. Last is the role of an American citizen to protect the country against attacks. We do have a humanitarian responsibility in helping defend our country. American citizens help protect the country be reporting any bomb sightings or anyone making terrorist like plans. There are many different factors that help each other to come together to make this country as safe as it can be. America has had many wars in its history. In conclusion America should have the right to defend itself in the case of an attack. The reason being that America should be able to defend itself is that if we were not able to defend our self then we would be in danger and more susceptible to attacks. Most people in the world would want to live in a country where they know that in the case of an attack that they would be safe and know that their would not be many attacks their. Defending America isnt just a right it is also a responsibility because the congress has the responsibility to react to an attack. Most American citizens would want to be sure that the country was safe and that the Congress and President are responsible enough to declare war on other countries if they attack us. Us American citizens know that the Congress is responsible enough to react to an attack. The reason we know that is that their were two historical attacks that showed how quickly congress can react those attacks. These two attacks were Pearl Harbor

and the attack of 9/11. Both of these showed how Congress can react quickly and defend our country.

Primary Sources

"Pearl Harbor Articles & Newspapers." Pearl Harbor Newspaper. Manitowoc Herald-Times, n.d. Web. <http://www.archives.com/genealogy/newspaper-genealogy-pearl-harbor.html>. This is a picture of the Manitowoc Herald-Times on the attack at Pearl Harbor.

"Pearl Harbor." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. <http://www.history.com/photos/pearl-harbor/photo13>. This is a picture of a newspaper article stating how the US declared war.

"Remembering WWII." Pearl Harbor. Honolulu Star Bulletin, n.d. Web. <http://www.rivervet.com/pearl_harbor.htm>. This is a picture of the Honolulu Star Bulletin on the attack.

Secondary Sources

"Article I." The US Constitution. Broadview University, n.d. Web. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei>. This shows Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that states that Congress will have the power to declare war.

Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor." Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor. National Geographic, 2001. Web. <http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pearlharbor/ngbeyond/stories/story7.html>. This tells how America reacted to the attack on pearl harbor and how they fought back.

Congressional Power to Declare War." Constitution Guide. N.p., n.d. Web <http://thepeoplesguidetotheusconstitution.com/blog/articles/congressional-power-to-declarewar/>. This cite shows the power that America has to defend itself.

"Only Congress Can Declare War." Tenth Amendment Center. N.p., 12 July 2008. Web. <http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2008/07/12/only-congress-can-declare-war/>. This cite shows what power congress and the Legislative branches have win wars.

"The Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941." The Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND, n.d. Web. <http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq661.htm>. This source is an excellence source because it tells how the attack started and how America defended its self.

"Public Discourse." Public Discourse. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/09/4004/>.

This source tells how congress declare war on Iraq and the Al-Qaeda.

"Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004." Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004. Richard F. Grimmet, 14 Mar. 2005. Web. <http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl30172.htm>. This site show many wars including the U.S. It also shows the attack on pearl harbor and how America declared war.