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Letter: A job for an international court

Re “From GOP troika, an unhelpful foreign policy critique” (Sunday Monitor editorial, March 23):

The Monitor is right about our “embarrassing neophyte senator”: “Putin is playing hardball and Obama is playing T-ball.” Really?

If hardball includes disregard for international law, I’d say that President Obama is no slouch, not quite in the same league with George W. Bush et al, but not bad.

From Russian President Vladimir Putin’s perspective, it’s been looking like it’s time to circle the wagons ever since the end of the Cold War. Since then, the United States has moved toward world domination, or so it must seem to Russia: little or no assistance in the early ’90s; the expansion of NATO, right up to Russia’s borders; the slowing of nuclear disarmament; the trashing of the ABM treaty, with the advent of missile defenses in East Europe. Yes, the Russian seizure of Crimea is provocative and probably illegal (although surely it doesn’t rise to the same level of criminality as the U.S. invasion of Iraq).

There are legal issues involved: the absence of due process in the ouster of a democratically elected Ukrainian president. Legal? Russia’s annexation of Crimea after a large Crimean majority referendum. Legal? And, after 200 years of belonging to Russia, Khrushchev gives Crimea to Ukraine (1954) as a gesture of condolence for its suffering from the Nazis. Legal?

Tough questions. But they are not for Russia to decide, and certainly not for the U.S. or NATO or the EU. They are questions of international law, and should be adjudicated by an international court. Let’s make the Big Boys realize this before we have another war involving nuclear powers.

RAY PERKINS Jr.

Concord

Great letter,putting our own behavior in the post-Cold War era in clearer perspective. Despite our own lofty conceit regarding the purity of our motives, self interest and stupidity have vied for top honors in our dealings with Russia since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It could have been so different.

Expected progressive views. So NOT patriotic.

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