From "Smallville: Ryan (#2.8)"
When Winston Churchill heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, he broke out a bottle of champagne and said "We've won the war." His generals looked at him like he lost his mind. America's Pacific fleet was wiped out, France was overrun, and the Luftwaffe was bombing London. Churchill said "America is like a giant boiler. Light a fire under it, and there's no limit to the amount of heat it can generate." If you start a fire, Mayor Tate, you'd better be prepared to deal with the flames.