Again, I read of exchange of threats between Russia and the U.S. and its NATO allies (The Advocate, June 17, page 9A). Russia threatens to deploy intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. with its nuclear loads, and the U.S. with its NATO allies responds with plans to deploy heavy weapons and troops along Russia’s border. The U.S. and friends have overwhelming advantage in conventional weapons but are more than matched in nuclear capabilities.

The Russians know that. They already warned in case of war they will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons. It means that a substantial part of Europe and at least the New York metro area will be barbecued to death. Russia can be bombed as well but not taken over because of its enormous land mass. Armies attempting to occupy such a territory will be spread too thin against aggressive enemy. (Note American “successes” in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were supposed to be easy pickings for American military.)

American hostility toward Russia is defended by American resolve to protect Ukrainians’ desire for freedom. But this is hypocritical claim. Mobs that overthrew the elected president of Ukraine are called “the people of Ukraine.” But insurgents in Eastern Ukraine that rose to defend their president and their way of life are not people in American eyes. In Washington vernacular, they are “the Russian-backed separatists” and as such do not deserve to be called “people.”

Crimea, which voluntarily rejoined Russia, also is the bone of contention. It is called “annexation.” But Crimea was part of Russia since the middle of the 18th century when Ukraine did not exist as a state. In 1954, the Soviet government transferred the peninsula to Ukraine without ever asking the people of Crimea whether they liked it. And they did not. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Crimea demanded full autonomy from the Ukrainian government. Lately, they showed their will by voting to return to Russia. The will of the people deserves American respect.

Yet Washington has embarked on a mindless adventure, which may have catastrophic consequences for all countries involved.

It is better to stop it now.

Boris Odynocki

college teacher

Slidell