Henry Payne, The Detroit News

By: Especially War." After Henry Payne did an Iraq-war cartoon referring to D-Day, he had some "E-Days" filled with e-mails that were 60% critical and 40% supportive. One reader wrote: "I'm frustrated with conservatives who try to prop up the shaky moral standing of the Iraq war by connecting it to a truly just and moral war. It's cynical and cheapens the efforts of the WWII vets."

But Payne says he wouldn't have done the June 2004 cartoon any differently. He notes that while World War II "seems so straightforward in retrospect, [it] was full of mistakes and difficult calculations. But it ultimately led to 'liberation' ? ironically of the very French nation that pooh-poohs that notion in Iraq. The famous Normandy image, I thought, was a perfect way to frame the message."

Payne adds: "I treasure cartoons like this because they provoke laughter from supporters and outrage from those who disagree. But, above all, the cartoon forces both sides to wrestle with the issue."

It was syndicated by United Media, but didn't appear in The Detroit News, which only runs Payne's local-issue cartoons.

The News staffer, who majored in history at Princeton University, often does cartoons that reference the past. He says: "History teaches perspective on any number of issues, especially war."


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