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Letters: Kerry's words apply to U.S., too

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures while

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures while speaking at a press conference at the end of the Iranian nuclear talks in Geneva on Nov. 10, 2013. Credit: AP

Secretary of State John Kerry made the following comment in Kiev, Ukraine: "It is not appropriate to invade a country, and at the end of a barrel of a gun dictate what you are trying to achieve" ["Putin takes a step back from brink," News, March 5].

That's the speech Kerry should have made 11 years ago before the Iraq War.

Hans van Ophemert, Kings Park

Why all the fuss about the Ukraine? Why doesn't President Barack Obama take Russian President Vladimir Putin golfing, sign him up for Obamacare and have the IRS investigate him?

Problem solved.

Richard Stallone, Franklin Square

The United States long ago forfeited the right to condemn any nation for violating the sovereignty of another nation. This country has a long, bloody history of committing that exact international crime so many times since 1945, with military interventions and coups, and huge losses of lives, to bring about "regime change" in favor of U.S.-friendly governments.

A few examples are Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Iraq (1963), Vietnam (1962-73), Congo (1960), Dominican Republic (1963), Indonesia (1965), Chile (1964-73), Greece (1967), Jamaica (1976-80), Afghanistan (1980s) and Haiti (2004).

There is evidence that the democratically elected, pro-Russian president of Ukraine was deposed by a coup partially funded and coordinated by the United States, as the infamous phone call of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland indicates.

President Vladimir Putin and others have merely learned the terrible lesson that, if the United States can violate international laws with impunity, they can, too.

Ed Ciaccio, Douglaston

What am I missing? We invade Iraq twice, Afghanistan once because of weapons of mass destruction -- never found -- or to protect American interests.

Russia invades Crimea, which was once a part of Russia, and it has a large legal military base there. More than half of the population proclaims loyalty to Russia and welcomes the Russian military presence.

The United States and most of the West is in an uproar. Why?

Martin G. Tall, New Hyde Park

Newsday's editorial states that "the United States has no vital national interest at stake" in the Ukraine ["West must unite against Russia," March 4].

This unfortunately overlooks the vital interests and powerful influence of the military industry. War makes billions. We've intervened time and again under the illusion of making the world safe for democracy, only to deepen the pockets of this industry. Not to mention the disastrous fiascos in Vietnam and Iraq.

Opposing and guarding against conservative war hawks deriding President Barack Obama's rational approach as weak, often under the banner of patriotism, is the most prudent course of action if we ever are to learn from history.

Fred Barnett, Lake Grove