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To the editor:
American presidents have had our troops fight brutal and unjust wars and the CIA help to overthrow democracies and replace them with murderous dictators. It is not a distortion to say that they are just as much war criminals as Vladimir Putin.
In fact, most of Michael J. Gorman's alleged rebuttal actually backs up both what I wrote, and what Robert Ovetz wrote in another one of his superb columns. I can see why a mainstream publication such as the Daily News does not print Ovetz. He writes too much truth. Gorman's letter actually shows that when we say support of Ukraine has nothing to do with democracy, we are right.
As for Gorman's assertion about the Soviet Union's threat to democracy, I'm reminded of an exchange William F. Buckley Jr., on "Firing Line" during the 1970s, had with Noam Chomsky. Buckley spoke of all the times the Soviet government crushed attempts at democracy. Chomsky responded that the Soviets did that on a couple of occasions, while the other times it was done by the U.S.
It's hypocritical to claim Putin will use nuclear weapons when Gorman has been doing so much nuclear saber-rattling.
As for the Soviet Union, its last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, was pushing for peaceful relations. Under him was the adaption of "The Sinatra Doctrine," in which the Warsaw Pact countries would be allowed to do things "their way." But the U.S. government did not care about that. Capitalists simply wanted the end of communism. When you consider all the capitalist dictatorships they supported, this is no surprise.
As for Gorman's claim that there are "distortions" in my letter, I can respond by paraphrasing a George Kennedy line from "Cahill, United States Marshall": I looked but they just weren't there.
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