Rather, March 1942 - "Good evening. German submarines took a heavy toll in
the Atlantic and the Japanese fleet, roaming the Pacific seemingly at will, ravaged the
remnants of the U.S. Asiatic fleet in the East Indies.
"There are some who will say that this war
looks more and more like a quixotic and ill-conceived venture and that we should concede
to the Axis their legitimate territorial claims. Experts point out the overwhelming
technical and motivational superiority of Axis forces. When one considers the imminent and
inevitable closing of the Atlantic by the U-boats and the fact that there can be no hope
for an American fleet standing up to the Japanese for at least 18 months, they may-well be
"Our setbacks force us to turn a moral
mirror on ourselves. Are we perhaps getting our just desserts? Though rumors of Japanese
atrocities are heard, they are as unsubstantiated as recently discredited stories of a
Japanese massacre of 300,000 Chinese civilians at Nanking. What really counts is that
Asians now rule Asia
"Maybe, some say, it is best that we will
soon be unable to resupply Great Britain, as its consequent fall will also bring down its
hated empire. Prime Minister Churchill's bull-headed opposition to change has brought his
people much unnecessary misery, in this increasingly popular view.
"The Roosevelt administration has been
greatly embarrassed by leaks of a plan to occupy Japan after an improbable American
victory and to impose democracy on its unwilling populace. Informed sources say this plan
reveals an arrogant and naive misunderstanding of Eastern culture and risks offending
"Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin of Montana,
who voted against the war declaration, bids to become a rallying point for growing
discontent; she may become the conscience of the nation. Are you listening, Mr. Roosevelt
and General Marshall?
"Finally, our thoughts tonight are with,
our fighting men and their doubts as to the justice of their efforts. Perhaps, some say,
they would be better off at home battling true injustices, Understanding and tolerance of
the hopes and dreams of the German and Japanese nations, together with recognition of our
many mistakes, may be the answer to their prayers."
First published as a
"Readers' Turn To Write"
The Times Herald, Olean, New York
(Mr. Stengel lives in Friendship, NY)