LETTERS: by Michael JardineNews Weekly
On our own terms (letter)
, October 5, 2002
The last major nation to launch a massive attack on another without first declaring war was Japan, when it flattened a large part of the United States Navy's fleet at Pearl Harbour in late 1941 ... a fact somewhat overlooked in the breast-beating over the Twin Towers tragedy.
Perhaps war talk against Iraq reflects an American desire for military greatness. After all, World War One lasted four years for everyone excepting the United States which joined in for the last year and a bit, and in World War Two, America made money for two-and-a-half years before being dragged in by the Japanese. Add the disaster in Vietnam and the noise in the Gulf and the Hollywood values of the American term "Gung Ho", and there we are.
Australia should look to itself and remind politicians at the next election. We have already watched the Americanisation of Australian military history in those references to the World War Two action on the Kokoda Trail
- which Australians used to know as a track
- neatly promoted to distract attention away from the fact that the first military defeat of the Japanese was by Australian forces at Milne Bay, prior to Kokoda.
For once I agree entirely with Nelson Mandela. By all means let us defend ourselves- but when we
must, not when the White House cocks a finger.Michael Jardine,
Mt Lawley, WA