Title of letter ‘deeply offensive’
The title of Mario Guarina’s letter, “Reminiscent of the British policy that brought about World War II” (Opinion, 7/24/13), is deeply offensive. The British policy of appeasement, although flawed, was designed to try and prevent war—an objective that was perhaps understandable given that limited time had passed since 37 million people had been killed during World War I.
As Guarina asserts, the policy ultimately failed to prevent the outbreak of war. But, to suggest that the policy “brought about World War II” is not only illogical, but is an affront to the 500,000 British people and millions of others who subsequently died during the fight against fascism.
The George Santayana quote (“those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it”) that Guarina uses in his letter was actually originally attributed to the British statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke. But Burke also said “you can never plan the future by the past.” However, perhaps the most appropriate quote is that of the French philosopher Albert Camus, who said: “Peace is the only battle worth waging.”
—BRITISH EMBASSY MANILA
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