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To the editor:
I felt it necessary to respond to Richard Warren’s letter to The Chief (March 3) because I think he distorts American history.
Warren’s main error is that he compares and conflates the immoral and anti-democratic actions of American warmongers including President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, with a single psychopathic killer who threatens basic human rights and world peace, Vladimir Putin.
Putin is a cold-blooded murderer with weapons he has used against his adversaries, including various poisons, and those he threatens to use, including nuclear weapons. There is a difference between Ronald Reagan’s support for (and CIA Director Alexander Haig’s coverup of) the killers of human rights advocates in Central America, including American nuns in El Salvador in 1980, and the threat of Vladimir Putin to world peace.
The coup in Chile in 1973 that led to the removal of democratically elected President Salvador Allende was supported and even demanded by Nixon and Kissinger. This was an intentional and deliberate attack on democracy by American leaders who refused to tolerate a socialist president in Latin America, even if he was democratically elected.
Regarding Warren’s references to the Vietnam War, I served my year in Vietnam, but also marched with family members in John Kerry’s "Vietnam Veterans Against the War" in April 1971. It was a horrible war, but at least those of us who served don’t feel we let poor kids, including many minorities, die in our places.
America has been responsible for slavery and many historical injustices, but right now we have to save democracy around the world by giving our full support to Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainians against Vladimir Putin.
We have to take Putin out by any necessary means and help the Ukrainians defeat Russia. Nothing in American history even remotely compares to the threat to democracy and human rights as does the threat of the coldblooded killer, Putin.
He would restore the Soviet Union to its cold war power at the expense of democracy around the world — by any means necessary, including a nuclear war. We have to remove Putin from power which probably means we have to remove him from this world.
Michael J. Gorman
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