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the wrong fear.

The man in charge of the air base was worried about sabotage, most likely from a foreigner (a.k.a. terrorism).

So, he ordered all of the planes to the middle of the airfield, as far from the fences as possible, wing tip to wing tip, and made sure all of the weapons were removed. 

Which would have been great, provided there had been a terrorist attack. And, after all, what other kind of attack would there have been since... 

"A Japanese attack on Hawaii is regarded as the most unlikely thing in the world, with one chance in a million of being successful..." 

 Turns out that Japanese attack - not the other one - happened and destroyed all of the airplanes that had been set-up almost perfectly for them. 

That's the thing with fear, and with pride, and with letting either one of them - worse both at the same time - make decisions for you. You might end up losing everything you thought you were protecting - or never thought you could lose. 

 

thousands and thousands...

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