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March 25, 2014

Readers’ Forum: March 26, 2014

TERRE HAUTE — Respect nothing when it involves Vladimir Putin

Recently, a Russian history “buff” unintentionally bored readers with his brief illumination about the Crimea: 1783-present. It was of earth-shattering interest and certainly shed light on something. His suggestion was that the Crimean people were “dancing in the streets” over the opportunity to be subjugated under the iron fist of Putin’s dictatorial rule.

He further labeled as “idiot” anyone who believed differently. Surely you kid, right Mr. Priest? The presence of Russian “Gestapo”, military vehicles, and a 350-year culture of fear, enslavement and poverty had no influence on the Crimean people “acting” all giddy over the day’s events? Get real! When did any free nation of the West adopt a position of trust regarding the intents of Russian dictators.

By sticking with historical knowledge as an “end” in itself, one does not have to think and conjecture. The present should be left to those who know about the threats and changing worldviews impacting tomorrow, not yesterday. History does foreshadow the future; and the free West must be responsible to the world in assessing the possible negative social, political and economic outcomes of all “questionable” sovereignty threats.

Even Shakespeare was aware, Mr. Priest, “the past is prologue”. Is a military showdown with Russia imminent? Heck no! Stupid to consider. However, the U.S. will be condemned for either, sticking its nose in or remaining detached (i.e. Kosovo mid-1990s). So why not err on the side of caring enough to care?

Perception is everything. When “they” think you are watching, they so behave. When “they” know they are being ignored, they take advantage.

Oh, one more observation. When has any nation been able to trust and believe reports posted by Russian television? Mr. naïve meet Mr. gullible.

— Jim Camp

Terre Haute

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