To the editor:
Regarding the O’Connell letter (Public Forum, Dec. 12), I have to ask if Roosevelt was so incompetent, why was he elected to four terms as president? The decision to move the Pacific fleet to Pearl was to discourage Japanese imperialism whose aggression had already carved up most of the Far East. The attack on Pearl was meant to slow down our Pacific fleet and buy time and delay our military interference.
Fortunately our carriers were not at base at the time. If not Pearl, San Diego would have been attacked resulting in more casualties! If anyone was to blame, Admiral Kimmel, head of the Pacific fleet at Pearl, deserves some. Knowing of an imminent Japanese attack he was totally unprepared, leaving fighter planes bunched together, making it easy to attack them and harder for pilots to get airborne!
As for the Lend Lease Program, the Allies would have fallen. France had fallen and Britain was against the wall. Supplying Russia resulted in a second front against the Nazis, leading to a pincer movement shortening the war. The Lend Lease Act saved thousands of American lives and resulted in victory for the Allies instead of sure defeat. The world would be a much different place had we had not supplied the Allies. President Roosevelt is regarded by historians as one of the greatest American presidents! I have talked to many seniors who lived in that time period and most regard him as an American hero!