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Letters: Putin's advice for America

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Russian gas monopoly Gazprom Head Alexei Miller in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. (Sept. 14, 2013) Credit: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised excellent points in his New York Times op-ed, which your op-ed writer commented on ["Putin's own brand of exceptionalism," Opinion, Sept. 17].

While I agree with his sentiments regarding expanding armed conflict, I also remember the Russia of the Cold War. Russia is a master of disinformation.

Also, the United States has exposed its own soldiers to chemical weapons without their knowledge. We, as veterans, have sustained serious and permanent harm as a result. In 1997, after the Gulf War, the U.S. government released a report saying that a chemical warfare agent was released as a result of U.S. demolition of rockets with chemical warheads. Recent studies have confirmed Gulf War troops' exposure to sarin nerve gas.

It took until 2008, with an independent study commissioned by Congress, to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome, and even then many top medical brass still disagreed with the finding. So the United States is also a master at denying its responsibility.

The United States has no right to bomb another country that has not involved us directly in its conflict. We failed to appreciate the complexities of invading Iraq, and that nation still has numerous lethal bombings.

Let us take the high road, because it is the right thing to do. And although it was said by Putin, who has his own agenda, let's allow the United Nations to do what it was tasked to do. Our country cannot afford more conflict -- militarily, emotionally or financially.

Craig Northacker, Cold Spring Harbor

With Putin making a grand entrance on our political scene, we can't figure out if he's a Democrat or a Republican.

In the interim, until he instructs us further on his positions on our foreign affairs, we can get back to bantering on sports.

Marty Orenstein, New Hyde Park


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