There have been many traumatic days in US history, and Jan. 6th was indeed one of them. But any attempt to equate the post-election riot of Jan. 6th to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 displays a pitiful understanding of the difference between a major worldwide shifting event and an important historical event.
The United States unwillingly got involved in World War I despite Woodrow Wilson’s attempts to stay out of the fray. But the decision was made that without US involvement, things would get worse and ultimately involve the United States anyway. Historians will continue to debate this matter, and it is not 100% clear to this day whether the United States involvement was the right policy decision and whether or not it came too late or too early.
However, as far as World War II and 9/11, the story is completely different. FDR probably understood years before the outbreak of World War II that the United States would need to get involved – with boots on the ground – if Germany, under the leadership of Hitler, were to be stopped. Winston Churchill certainly did everything he could to beg and persuade FDR to join in. But FDR had domestic pressure working against getting involved in the War. One of the many results of World War I was a strong anti-involvement attitude throughout the United States. Most people, rightly or wrongly, thought that the massive cost in US lives in World War I was not justified. And they were not interested in getting embroiled in another foreign conflict.
So FDR came up with the brilliant idea of getting involved without sending troops that was widely approved of by Americans – the lend-lease program. That basically meant that America would provide the weaponry that the British and other troops would use to keep the German Army at bay. This worked, but also failed to keep the German Army out of everything but England. They could not conquer England, but they bombed them constantly for years.
But in June 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, it became clear that the United States needed to do more or else, the German tentacles could spread too wide and far to contain. But the United States still did not get involved more than supplying Russia with a seemingly endless number of trucks and weapons. Yet that also did not do enough to stem the tide of the war.
But when Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan, FDR realized that it was now his chance to do what really needed to be done earlier. He sent American troops, warships, and airplanes into the various theaters of war. That turned out to be one of the main turning points that saved the war and the free world. The bravery of Russian soldiers and and the British Air Force were no less important. But, what did the German Army in more than anything else was what Joseph Stalin demanded – a second front on the coast of France that forced the German Army to split up it’s resources. That is what ultimately saved the free world from Germany totalitarianism.
Jan. 6th was a chaotic mess that Donald Trump and some of his angry followers wrought. But, it was nothing more than a fitting messy nuisance of an ending to the Trump Presidency that will cloud over many of the important accomplishments of the often chaotic Trump administration.