chairman, Cold War Veterans Association
To the editor:
The Cold War appears to have been reignited, only this time the United States cannot claim the moral high ground it once commanded.
While the government that led Ukraine (until its overthrow) did not meet “Jeffersonian” ideals, it was democratically elected and was due to stand for re-election. Rather than wait out this process, the U.S. government, through the auspices of U.S. Ambassador Victoria Nuland and with billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, coordinated a violent coup.
Spearheading this U.S.-sponsored violence were groups considered by many to be “neo-Nazi.” Another violent group, historically aligned with Nazism, is Svoboda. Five members of the Svoboda Party hold positions in the coup government now ruling Ukraine.
It should also be noted that the non-elected Ukrainian government has replaced the governors in the east of the country (the part of the country which remains loyal to the democratically-elected government) with “oligarchs,” billionaires whose wealth was obtained through very questionable means and methods. U.S. taxpayers are now being asked to further enrich these billionaires at a time when the U.S. is cutting military benefits, veterans’ benefits, food stamps and other programs that non-billionaire Americans depend upon.
Further damaging our reputation is our refusal to recognize democratic elections by sovereign regions within Ukraine (such as in Crimea) that do not wish to be ruled by neo-Nazis.
Perhaps the greatest mischaracterization of the events in Ukraine is the portrayal of modern-day Russia as a Soviet reincarnation when, in fact, the present leaders of Russia are (nearly) universally Christian and the majority of the Russian populace self-identifies as Orthodox Christian. In other words, Russia is no longer the “godless,” “atheist” nation that America fought for so many years.