Who represents the Western spirit?
Regarding Bard Ward’s July 30 letter, “Glib reference to ‘Eastern spirit’ “: Kohima-Imphal is not in Burma but in the Nagaland state of India, where as many as 85,000 Japanese of the Imperial Army shed their blood along with their Indian comrades of the Indian National Army to raise, even if temporarily, the flag of free India. The British victory there was not one of the “Western spirit” but of Western imperialism.
Systematic omission of historical facts is not a monopoly of the Japanese or the Americans; British are perfectionists. How would Ward describe the deaths in 1943 of at least 5 million people in Bengal, British India, after food supplies were diverted by the British to feed their soldiers in both India and the Middle East, or the killings by the French of thousands of Arabs in Algeria in 1945 on the day Europe was celebrating victory? The British, French and Dutch subsequently came back to Asia to reclaim their empires, and millions were killed in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kenya, etc.
It is a legitimate question: Which group represents the Western spirit, Western imperialists or Western humanists?