In response to “History repeating itself in modern Europe, and we do nothing” (March 7), Mr. Ted C. McNeel Sr. is selective in determining how far back in history he wishes to travel. His reference to Germany’s annexation (1938) in Austria took place 77 years ago. A mere 45 years before that (1897), the United States of America illegally annexed the Republic of Hawaii. In 1893, a handful of businessmen (mostly American) in Honolulu, under the cover of 300 U.S. Marines, overthrew the constitutional government of Hawaii. To gain the strategic port of Pearl Harbor when the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, the U.S. Congress formally annexed Hawaii. By taking this action, the United States unilaterally annexed a Constitutional Kingdom which had been recognized in treaty for 70 years.

On Nov. 23, 1993, The United States Congress passed Public Law 103-50 which was signed by President Bill Clinton. Public Law 103-50 was an apology to the Hawaiian people. Section 1(3) states: “The Congress, apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on Jan. 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination.”

It is risky business to cherry-pick elements of history in order to recommend or justify foreign policy. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Richard A. Marksbury

university administrator

New Orleans