Dear Editor:

Our pretense of having higher geopolitical moral principles than Russia is so very hypocritical.

I do condemn Russia for reabsorbing the Crimea back into Russia. (It was given to Ukraine in 1954 by the Russians.) However, I do believe if the fairest of democratic election were held–with both sides given equal campaign time and money–the Crimean’s would still have voted overwhelmingly in favor of realignment with Russia.

Nevertheless, Russian President Putin should not have pushed the takeover of Crimea, no matter that the democratically elected Ukrainian Government was overthrown in a coup by the current Ukrainian Government which was helped in the coup by Europe and the United States.

We must, if we are to be true to our “very high principles” take a look in the mirror. What would we see?

Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford took South Vietnam, at least for awhile. (Eisenhower prevented a fair election that was scheduled to take place in 1956 by the Vietnamese to determine if reunification of North and South Vietnam was to take place.) When the issue wasn’t settled by the election, three million people were killed in the Vietnam War including 58,000 Americans.

Nixon secretly bombed and invaded Cambodia and extended the Vietnam War by voiding Johnson’s 1968 negotiated settlement with North Vietnam.

Reagan invaded, of all places, Grenada. (Reagan was using Grenada for cover of the killing of 240 Marines in Lebanon after he invaded there.) And not let us forget the CIA war in Nicaragua and Iran/Contra.

Bush One invaded Panama to capture Manuel Noriega and killed 2,000 Panamanians while he was at it. The Gulf War for oil resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands.

Clinton bombed Serbia into submission. Clinton’s post Gulf War sanctions resulted in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children.

Bush Two invaded Iraq and Afganistan resulting in over two hundred thousand deaths, and the suffering still continues.

And Obama is using drones to kill the “bad guys,” even though several hundred innocents also have been killed. (I must say that Drones and Special Forces, like the Navy Seals that got Bin Laden, are far preferable to boots-on-the-ground where many more die than are killed by drones.)

I am not saying we shouldn’t hold Russia accountable for the taking back the Crimea. But at least let’s not be hypocrites in our condemnation and sanctions of Russia. Also, I am not saying we shouldn’t act to prevent Genocide wherever it might be happening.

If we are to stand on the moral high ground are hands must be clean.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville