Japan strikes first blow

Editor’s Note: This editorial originally ran Dec. 8, 1941. The language used in this editorial from 76 years ago, quoted verbatim from the newspaper, could be offensive to some readers.

Hydra-headed tools of Hitler give typical demonstration of the type of honor and national integrity we are up against ... mopping up operations by Uncle Sam are already under way.

All news from the war fronts last week was climaxed Sunday by the cowardly Japanese attacks on American territories.

Running true to form, the Japs launched a treacherous bombing raid on American ships, American military posts and American citizens, and then declared war afterwards.

By the time this is printed, Congress will have passed an act declaring our country in a state of war with Japan.

And while this is being done it might be just as well to include the entire Axis ensemble in the declaration, for Hitler and Mussolini are just as guilty of this attack as the Japanese.

The time for indecision is past.

The fact that the Japs attacked United States territory is conclusive proof of the Axis determination to force this country into war.

It proves that we could never have isolated ourselves, even had we wanted to.

Up to the time of the attack yesterday there was still hope that war could be avoided or at least delayed.

Now we must all unite on one solid front and give everything we have to crush our enemies.

There can no longer be any such thing as neutrality on the part of any nation anywhere on this earth.

The world stands divided on the issue of despotic totalitarianism and democratic freedom.

One or the other will be totally destroyed by the time this war is ended.

All factions must cease all pretense of neutrality and align themselves on one side or the other.

The whole aspect changed the minute the Japanese dropped the first bomb on American territory.

That was more than an attack on the United States.

It was the opening gun of Hitlerized tyranny against the civilized freedom of the Western Hemisphere.

Against our will, against our ideals and against our sense of decency we have been forced into the war.

Make no mistake about it, this is far greater than just war with Japan.

It is war against all nations that have espoused Hitlerism.

All of our energies and aims must now be concentrated on exterminating this hydra-headed enemy with no letup or interference until the victory is won.