Never equate the US with Rus­sia

The Columbus Dispatch - - Letters To The Editor -

I com­mend let­ter writer Rick Mino for us­ing his Amer­i­can right of free speech to dis­cuss Rus­sian and Amer­i­can re­la­tions. Un­for­tu­nately he likely would not be free to do so in Rus­sia (“US and Rus­sia need each other,” Fri­day).

He sug­gested we look at Amer­i­can his­tory. But it seems he’s for­got­ten Rus­sian his­tory. Un­der Rus­sia’s pre­vi­ous govern­ments, it was di­rectly or in­di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the es­ti­mated deaths of 100 mil­lion peo­ple in the 20th cen­tury. Rus­sia ag­gres­sively pushed for the ex­pan­sion of its in­flu­ence and po­lit­i­cal sys­tem across the globe: East Ger­many, Eastern Europe, China, Korea, Cuba, Chile, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia, West and East Africa and the United States it­self.

Un­like the United States, Rus­sian ef­forts at in­flu­ence ex­pan­sion al­ways in­cluded murder, tor­ture, en­slave­ment and bru­tal daily re­pres­sion on an in­dus­trial scale. Gu­lags, forced star­va­tions (Ukraine 1930s), KGB tor­ture cen­ters, mass re­lo­ca­tions, ex­e­cu­tions of dis­si­dents; these were the ex­pe­ri­ences of tens of mil­lions for decades, who fell un­der the in­flu­ence of Rus­sia.

This his­tory pow­er­fully mo­ti­vated the United States to vig­or­ously op­pose the ex­pan­sion of Rus­sian in­flu­ence.

We were not al­ways suc­cess­ful, nor were we to­tally in­no­cent in our ac­tions. But to im­ply there is a moral equiv­a­lency be­tween the ac­tions of the United States and that of Rus­sia is, if not naïve, re­pug­nant. Colum­bus

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