Doing disservice to allied war dead

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 July, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 July, 2001, 12:00am

I refer to the article from The Independent headlined 'Exploding a myth' (South China Morning Post, June 21), referring to the 'myth' of the attack on Pearl Harbour and all of the conjecture surrounding the attack and its origins.

The author of this upsetting article David Thomson, convincingly mixes truth with conjecture and spins his opinion into a depressing story of American complicity in the attack that led to the US entrance into World War II.

I was three years old when the attack took place and like most Americans of my age, I studied much about the war and its origins.

While it is true that the anti-war sentiment in America prevented much of what should have been done to forestall the attack, it was not the cause.

While President Franklin Roosevelt might have invited the attack in order to get America involved, this too was not the cause of the attack. And while Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel was in charge at Pearl, his ineptitude did not cause the attack.

True, Japanese were illegally detained and humiliated in Manzanar in a desperate and immoral attempt to divert America's attention from the calamity. Again, this was not the cause of the attack.

The attack was caused by the military necessity of Japan to attack and hopefully catch the Americans off guard so that the forces of Japan could attack and capture what they needed to prosecute a war they thought was necessary and winnable.

The article overlooks the importance of the attack to both sides and the fact that even though stung by the blow, America came back to not only help the UK and Europe win the war in Europe, but to win the war with its allies in the Pacific.

The article does a disservice to the allied war dead. And it also overlooks the fact that had the atomic bomb not been used barely two weeks after it was tested in New Mexico, the hundreds of thousands of soldiers, already on board ships headed for Japan for the invasion, would have died.

Pearl Harbour was a mistake. Had the Japanese heeded Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and had America heeded its own harbingers of doom, the attack and the resulting carnage would not have occurred.


Tai Tam