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Specifically attacking the attitude of the Harvard Committee Against Military Intervention as expressed in yesterday's CRIMSON, Payson S. Wild, associate professor of Government, devoted his Tuesday lecture on International Law to an analysis of our aims in the war with Japan.
Professor Wild disagreed in particular with the statement contained in the advertisement that our Aid-to-Britain policy had weakened us in the Pacific. Giving permission to have the lecture quoted, he said, "Actually our policy had strengthed us in the Atlantic and thus enabled us to fight better in the Pacific because the Atlantic was guarded behind us. Furthermore, the British can now send ships to Singapore."
"We really have strengthened our defenses in the Pacific as far as possible," continued Professor Wild, who is on the staff of the Naval War College at Newport. "We don't yet understand what happened at Pearl Harbor, but it is utterly false to say that we were denuded in the Pacific.
"In order to deal with the situation we must first understand Japanese psychology. In times past they had reason for grievance against the western powers. After wars with China and Russia they felt that we had snatched some of their loot. Therefore, they felt they had as good a right as anyone to help themselves in Asia.
"If there were a reasonable government in Japan, there would be a basis for settlement and we would have to make a fair adjustment. However, for the last 10 years the "young colonel" group of Japanese Army officers with dreams of conquest has captured control and stifled all liberal and decent opinion. It is this unreasonable government, which has the same psychology as the Nazis, that we must fight against.
Therefore, we have the twin jobs of resisting the wrong kind of Japanese government and getting ready for constructive settlement with reasonable Japanese when we have won. We have made mistakes and will eventually have to clear out of Asia; however, the Japanese have even less right to subjugate peoples their way than we have.
"Our strategy has always been a war of attrition with Japan. We can expect a long war, with initial setbacks such as the loss of islands and ships, but the long-run factors are on our side.
"The Japs are tied to Hitler and we must fight them as a part of our general policy to defeat the Axis. It is a globular war."
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