Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George W.Bush are presidents who faced
markedly different times, economic issues and social concerns.However,
they have one tragic fact in common: they were both sitting presidents when
the United States experienced surprise attacks from countries or entities
outside the United States.Roosevelt was President during the attack on
Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and Bush was president on September 11,
2001, when the terrorist organization al-Queda attacked New York City and
Both incidents resulted in the United States going to war with wide
support from the American public, and allegations have since arisen that
both presidents knew about the likelihood of the attacks before they
There’s no doubt that both attacks came as a complete surprise to most
people.Roosevelt called the attack on Pearl Harbor a day that would live
in infamy, and the immediate circumstances surrounding the attack certainly
supported that view.The attack made it impossible to not declare war on
Japan, and since Japan had signed an agreement with the Axis Powers, this
meant we were also at war with Germany and Italy.
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the great majority of
American realized we had experienced a terrorist attack, which made it
unclear atfirst just whom we should declare war on.In some ways the 2001
attack was even more outrageous to Americans than the Pearl Harbor attack
in 1941.In 1941, Japan had chosen military targets.In 2001, al-Queda
hit only one military target which resulted in a small minority of the
casualties compared to the thousands of people who died in New York City
when they attacked civilian targets. By September 15th, formal opinion in
the government had formed that the terrorist group al-Queda was behind the
attacks as they had claimed.President Bush’s administration had already
made it clear that we…