The French Ambassador to the U.S. has used Pearl Harbor Day to attack America’s role in WWII, insinuating the U.S. betrayed France by not fighting in the early years of the conflict.
“In this Pearl Harbor day, we should remember that the US refused to side with France and UK to confront fascist powers in the 30s,” Gérard Araud wrote Thursday night in a now-deleted tweet.
More than 400,000 American lives were sacrificed in the struggle to save Europe from fascism, and Mr. Araud quickly faced a backlash for his comments and their timing.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the Japanese attack on U.S. forces in Hawaii on December 7th, 1941, which drew the country into the war.
“UK, France and US committed awful mistakes in the 30s. Because of its geography, France was the first to pay for them,” he wrote later, ignoring Poland’s wartime privations.
“Remembering the mistakes committed by the 3 democracies, France, UK and US, was not a ‘bad take’,” he then added, attempting to defuse the offence caused.
He added: “We are immensely grateful for what the US did for France in 1944 but it is a fact that US, France and UK committed mistakes in the 30s,” finally acknowledging American’s positive role in the war.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise assault by Japan on U.S. forces, made without a declaration of war. Around 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed and 16 ships were damaged or destroyed. 2,403 Americans were killed, and 1,178 others were wounded.
President Donald J. Trump tweeted Thursday: “Today, as we Remember Pearl Harbor, it was an incredible honor to be joined with surviving Veterans of the attack…”
“They are HEROES, and they are living witnesses to American History. All American hearts are filled with gratitude for their service and their sacrifice.”