Hmmm. Interesting article in 'The Guardian' (via Summer on MetaFilter (including discussion)).
First, the author says The Cuban Missile Crisis is a better comparison to these attacks than Pearl Harbor. It depends what you're trying to analyze. The attack itself is pretty analogous. But Woollacott has a point in comparing the potential responses. His assessment makes Kennedy look pretty smart.
Woollacott says toward the end of the article that his assessment of the waning of terrorism and fundamentalism may be 'too sanguine' and I think it is. However, I agree with most of his analysis and his caution about retaliatory action.