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I do not normally comment on things I read, but Magda Teter’s Sept. 27 column “Recent soundbites reflect ignorance of history” was so intellectually dishonest that I have to speak up.

Teter — a professor of history at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. — calls out Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for his misuse of history in a recent marathon speech on the Senate floor. She takes Cruz to task for using an analogy about British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy when discussing the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz used the analogy to point out that the British should not have appeased Germany before World War II and neither should his Republican Party do the same now over the Affordable Care Act. Teter counters Cruz’s argument by noting that Cruz is ignorant of history and stating that “Britain responded to the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, within hours, and Neville Chamberlain declared the nation was at war with Germany.” This is true, but the professor left out the rest of the story and that is that the British did nothing after declaring war.

For nine months following that declaration, the British did nothing in a period known to history as the “phoney war.” It was not until May 10, 1940, that Britain and France actually entered the shooting war when it was forced upon the Allies with the German invasion of the Low Countries and France. In other words, they demonstrated a lack of will to actually confront the aggressor in the nine months between Sept. 1, 1939, and May 10, 1940, while Germany systematically partitioned Poland. (The British did engage the Germans during the invasion of Norway in April 1940 but, again, only after it was forced upon them by German actions.)

It took a new prime minister, Winston Churchill, to make that declaration of war meaningful and end the policy of appeasement.

What do we expect politicians to do? They make arguments in the public forum with historical analogy all the time and it is up to the public to examine the arguments to determine the truth. What bothers me is that a professor of history would present a counterargument that leaves out facts to make her point. This is intellectual dishonesty on the part of someone who most people would hold up as an expert and would adhere to the highest standards of research and integrity in her field.

I would have hoped an educator would present all the facts and allow people to decide, rather than writing a column to wade into a political fight.

In the end, the professor has done the same thing that she accused Cruz of doing, and that is misleading the listener/reader. As an expert armed with all the facts, an educator has the duty to present them all, and not cherry-pick to make a favored point.

Col. Michael Forsyth

Fort Shafter, Hawaii

Bad time to cut comic strips

I’ve recently relocated from Böblingen, Germany, to Colorado Springs, Colo. Imagine my surprise when accessing Stars and Stripes, my daily reading, for the first time in a while only to find something horribly askew. Mysteriously missing is not one or two humorous entries, but an entire page of jocularity and brain-bending fun.

During these trying economic times, the comic strip pages of your publication act as a salve against all the nonsensical governmental conflict and infantile rhetoric of our representatives. As many federal employees return to work this week, please consider reinstating the comic strip section to its original glory.

While I am not a particular fan of the Jumble Word, many of my peers can’t start their day without it. At the very least, bring back “Zits” and “Baby Blues”!

Diana Hartman

Colorado Springs, Colo.

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