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LETTERS: Unprovoked mass slaughter

Editor:

Re: “MP’s badge of honour,” Letters, March 31

The continuing unprovoked mass-slaughter of innocent Ukrainian civilians by Russia is inexcusable. Having said that, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s apparent fear of NATO expansion, though especially the deployment of additional U.S. anti-nuclear-missile defence-system batteries, further into eastern Europe is typically perceived by the West as unmerited paranoia.

Surely he must realize that the West, including NATO, would never initiate a nuclear-weapons exchange. But, then, how can he – or we, for that matter – know for sure, particularly with America’s military past?

While Ronald Reagan postulated that, “Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong,” who can know what may have historically come to fruition had the U.S. remained the sole possessor of atomic weaponry.

There’s a presumptive, and perhaps even arrogant, concept of American leadership as somehow, unless directly militarily provoked, being morally/ethically above using nuclear weapons internationally. Cannot absolute power corrupt absolutely?

After President Harry S. Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur as commander of the forces warring with North Korea – for the latter’s remarks about using many atomic bombs to promptly end the war – Americans’ approval-rating of the president dropped to 23 per cent. It was still a record-breaking low, even lower than the worst approval-rating points of the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

Had it not been for the formidable international pressure on Truman (and perhaps his personal morality) to relieve MacArthur as commander, could/would Truman eventually have succumbed to domestic political pressure to allow MacArthur’s command to continue?

​Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock

Letters

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