Globe and Mail | Sep. 29, 2001 | Orest Slepokura

Forget sloppy tears

The Editor:

Re: "Forget sloppy tears, stiffen that upper lip and DO something," Heather Mallick, Toronto Globe and Mail, September 29, 2001.

Heather Mallick refers admiringly to a Martin Amis essay wherein the Brit author owed to feelings of "species shame" as "he watched the second plane [to hit the World Trade Center] 'sharking in low -- galvanized with malice.'" In fact, this "sharking" technique was applied on a massive scale during the 1945 Anglo-American fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War.

In 'Twas a Famous Victory [Arlington House, 1974], Benjamin Colby wrote: "The second bombing attack [on Dresden], chiefly with thermite incendiary bombs, was set for three hours later, so that fire-fighting brigades and relief suppliers which might arrive from other cities would themselves become victims..."

The chief architect of the Dresden fire-bombing was Sir Arthur Harris, affectionately known as "Bomber" Harris. On May 30, 1992 Amis's fellow Brits unveiled a statue in tribute to Sir Arthur in the heart of London. Up to 250,000 people may have died in the Dresden firebombing, most of them women and children, most burned alive with incendiary bombs intended for that purpose.

"Species shame," anyone?

Sincerely yours,

Orest Slepokura
Strathmore AB