Letters to the Editor

September 4, 2014

Is Great Britain a good ally? Letter writers disagree

Joseph Reichert was at it again, sending out historical fantasy as fact. In a recent letter he blamed our friend and ally, Great Britain, as the world's villain.

Great Britain did not start World War I as Reichert believes; it was a domino effect as one nation sided with another until most of the continent was at war, with Germany siding with Austria against Serbia and attacking British shipping.

The Ottoman Empire was on the side of the Germans when the German/Austrian side lost the war. The Ottoman Empire dissolved into present-day Turkey. The Ottoman Empire conducted a wholesale genocide against the Armenian Christians that rivaled the Jewish genocide by Hitler.

One thing I will agree with Reichert on is the division of the Mideast along arbitrary lines. Palestine was similar the Roman territory of many centuries earlier.

The Treaty of Versailles was terrible but it was put together by Woodrow Wilson, Reichert's liberal hero, in conjunction with Great Britain and France. It did push the German nation toward the Hitler regime (very similar to the Obama regime). It eventually led to a second world war.

After World War II the Jews fled the Nazi Holocaust from Europe for their ancestral homeland in Palestine. Great Britain did its best to stop the inflow of Jews to Palestine but without success.

There was an ongoing conflict between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine for about five years. In 1949 the United Nations (not Great Britain as Reichert avers) decided to allow a small Jewish state called Israel to exist in Palestine.

Israel has fought several wars against great odds to continue its existence against terror beyond measure. The Jewish people's right to a homeland goes back for about 3,000 years.

H. Ray Sigler

Highland

... Critical opinion still stands

I stand by my opinion that Great Britain has been a historic problem for the United States and other countries.

I have previously pointed out that it is the only country to attack the United States twice. The last time, in the War of 1812, the British burned our capital, the Congress building and the White House. They were instrumental in bringing slavery and supporting the slave trade even after it had been outlawed in their country. It was their deceit and incompetence that dragged us into World War I and World War II. We had to save them both times.

They said, "The sun never sets on the British Empire," but that was only true because they had claimed and conquered free countries that had already existed. (Canada, Australia and New Zealand are still technically theirs.)

They were responsible for the apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia and, even after India gained its freedom, Pakistan still had to fight for its freedom.

Their mishandling of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire causes problems today. They ignored the promise made to the Arabs by "Lawrence of Arabia" and drew the boundaries without regard to traditional tribal and religious realities.

Israelis lived in peace with the Arabs until 1948, when they gave them Palestine which was not theirs to give. Is that enough or do readers want more proof?

Joseph M. Reichert

Belleville

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