I am an Englishman on holiday in Palma who served in the Royal Navy in the last years of the war against Japan (1944-1945).
I have detected in your paper a strong anti-American bias which I find distasteful and without any basis in fact.
I could join issue with you on many fronts but I will select just one:
In his column in your issue of September 15th Matthew O'Connor wrote The reason America was attacked was because it is seen as an economic and military bully that only involves itself in another country's business when it is favourable to itself.
That statement is simply and plainly untrue. I give three examples out of so very many.
1. Were it not for the enormous assistance of America in men and materials it would have been impossible to defeat Hitler's Germany.
2. Almost alone the Americans fought and destroyed the evil Empire of Japan.
3. But for American aid the people of Berlin would have died of cold and hunger when the Russians closed the border.
In all of these matters the Americans were operating far from home with no advantage to themselves. The cost to them in casualties and economically was enormous but they bore this without complaint in order that mankind might live in freedom.
Mr O'Connor was apparently at university during the Gulf War and is therefore too young to remember the three examples which I have quoted. He is, however, supposedly, a journalist and, as such should check his facts before he makes such hurtful and untrue comments.
It is, I anticipate, too much to expect you to publish this letter but I would be grateful if you would make my comments known, not only to Mr O'Connor but also to Mr Ray Fleming who wrote in his support in your edition of September 16th.
Matthew O'Connor Replies: Without getting into an argument about America's involvement in World War II, which I see as irrelevant in many respects, the statement Mr Atchley refers to was not a statement of fact, but a statement of perception (note the use of the word seen). Regardless of America's role in World War II, the country is still seen by many (in recent times especially) as an economic and military bully that only sticks its nose in when it effects itself. Mr Atchley's three points are valid reminders of America's involvement in World War II, but it still doesn't change the way the country is perceived by the millions of people today who don't buy into the MTV and McDonald's revolution and resent American involvement in how they should live their lives.
As for hurtful and untrue comments, the last thing I wanted was to make hurtful comments, but ask millions of Palestinians, Africans, and South Americans how they perceive America and you will find that my statements are not untrue.
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