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Letters the Week of Aug. 28, 2013
Putin's Aggression Follows Nazi Pattern
Now that the revitalized Russian empire has made obvious its grip on Georgia -- the moral equivalent of the Nazis' Sudetenland -- it is only a matter of time before it moves to take control of the rest of that country (A Matter of Opinion: "Georgia Should Be on Their Minds," Aug. 14).
Hitler waited about six months before he swept the rest of Czechoslovakia into his Third Reich.
I'm sure that Vladimir Putin is already reviewing possible candidates for his eventual puppet replacement of the current democratic government of Georgia.
West Must Resist Revival of Russian Imperialism
The Russian bear is reverting to it's communist foreign-policy style (A Matter of Opinion: "Georgia Should Be on Their Minds," Aug. 14).
It has just used its military to invade a pro-American democracy, and is back trying to intimidate its other neighbors into submission. What will the West do? So far, the answer is nothing.
The United States is not going to send troops to Georgia, but must do everything short of open war to respond to this unprovoked attack.
Condemning this invasion in no uncertain terms, supplying Georgia with military aid, placing economic sanctions on Russia and threatening to toss it out of the G-8, along with a reminder that Ukraine and other former Soviet republics are under NATO protection, would be good ways to express our outrage.
Having Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice verbally vent will do absolutely nothing.
The Russian Communists used to follow the policy of stick a knife in your opponent and if it hits something hard, pull back. If it hits mush, push it in deeper. What it hits depends on the West's response to this brutal invasion. If it's mush, expect the knife to go all the way into Ukraine.
Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
Don't Reduce the Conflict to Good Versus Evil!
I think Jonathan Tobin is not in touch with the reality of what's truly going on with respect to Georgia (A Matter of Opinion: "Georgia Should Be On Their Minds," Aug. 14).
The current fighting is intimately involved with what has transpired in Kosovo and with NATO. In my opinion, Vladimir Putin and Russia are merely reasserting themselves in the world.
The United States and Europe have been kicking Russia around for the last 15 years. Kosovo's independence and the admission to NATO of some of the states that used to make up the Soviet Union are excellent examples of this.
Promises of U.S. support for many of these countries, such as the placement of defensive missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, goes against the interests of Russia and won't be tolerated by it unless the United States is able to back it up with military might, which it can't do at this time.
It's nice to look on the world as being a conflict between good and evil, where Russia equals evil and Georgia equals good. But this has very little to do with what's going on in the world of international politics.
Most of what I see is a grab for power in one form or another, and as much as I love and respect the United States, I don't feel that it acts differently than any other of the countries in the world.
Trumbo's Vision of Justice Continues to Inspire
I especially enjoyed Michael Elkin's column about "Trumbo" (Arts & Entertainment: "Red Badge of Courage?" Aug. 14).
I "discovered" Dalton Trumbo back in the 1960s (the dawning of my "hyperactivist" era), when one of my pacifist cohorts gave me a copy of his anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun.
Trumbo was probably the first writer who moved me to research his life. I bonded with my grandmother -- an activist in her own time, as it turned out -- over Dalton Trumbo, other blacklisted artists and the whole McCarthy-era debacle.
Trumbo's dear to my heart -- not just for his vision and eloquence, but also for how his beliefs are causing palpable ripples, even today.
Do Hollywood Stalinists Deserve Hero Treatment?
I was appalled by the ongoing deification of Dalton Trumbo and the "Hollywood Ten" as portrayed in the documentary "Trumbo" (Arts & Entertainment: "Red Badge of Courage?" Aug. 14).
It is true that, to his credit, Trumbo eventually repudiated the Communist Party, and admitted that it was a dangerous conspiracy that didn't deserve to be protected by the silence of Stalin's American henchmen.
But that doesn't mean that we should pretend that it was either courageous or moral to be a Communist during the time of Stalin, or that it was right to protect those communists who infiltrated the film industry.
What irks me the most is that those who write and make films about this era act as if the only villain was Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose wild accusations ultimately discredited anti-Communism.
McCarthy was wrong. But Stalin and those Americans who acted as apologists for him and his murderous regime were the real bad guys.
Remember: After Hitler's fall, the Soviet Union was the greatest anti-Semitic power in the world and oppressed its Jews.
Those Americans who lied for Stalin and hoped for the victory of his cause were just as wrongheaded as those who, only a few years earlier, rationalized Hitler's anti-Semitism.
The "Hollywood Ten" were no heroes.