Why Russia might feel threatened

In one way or another, the administration of every single president, from Truman through G. W. Bush, has reminded us "The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming."

The threat of nuclear annihilation of mankind, and possibly all life on this planet, hung over us, all of us, like the mushroom cloud that symbolized its use. The voluntary breakup of the former Soviet Union in 1989-1991, thanks to Mr. Gorbachev, seemed to offer us an opportunity for the "Peace Dividend" that our government promised us once the evil empire had been vanquished.

But that was not to be. After all, victory brings with it great responsibility. We are the world's only superpower. We have a duty to bring democracy to peoples around the world, whether they want it or not. And if they do not want it, then we must force it upon them.

A truly great nation does not shrink from its responsibilities just because they happen to be unpopular. A good example of this would be the preservation and expansion of NATO.

NATO is a military organization formed in 1949 between the U.S. and its west European allies to present a counter force to the Soviet forces stationed along the east European border. Once the Soviet Union was dismantled and its military forces were removed, one might think that NATO had outlived its usefulness. Not so, foolish man.

The U.S. government not only fought to preserve NATO, it was the force that brought about its expansion. Since the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the U.S. has supported Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in joining NATO; all of which were former Warsaw Pact members. And, in accordance with a recent agreement missiles will be positioned in Poland. The stage is also being set for the Ukraine and Georgia to also enter NATO. All of these nations are adjacent to Russia's border.

Now I ask you, why would the Russians see these actions as being threatening or belligerent? Anyone interested in learning the extent to which the U.S. has been the primary destabilizing force since W.W.II, read "The House of War" by James Carroll.

[Source: Wayne Cogswell, Letters to the Editor, The Evening Sun, Hanover, Us, 31Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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