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Dealing with Russia

July 13, 2009

Re "Russia summit met a low bar," July 8 and "U.S., Russia -- a little thaw," Editorial, July 7

The Obama administration and the media are calling Russia's decision to give the U.S. military access across its territory into Afghanistan a sign of progress between the two countries.

Let's remember: Russia assisted North Vietnam with military supplies that helped defeat the U.S. forces. The United States assisted the Afghans/Osama bin Laden to defeat Russian forces. The chess game was even at that point.

Now, 2009: The Russians will help facilitate military supplies into the Afghan graveyard for foreigners.

Remember: The U.S. can play baseball and golf against the Russians, but I would not advise playing chess or war with the Russians.

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp, Calif.

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Russia is not our equal. Russia is a thug-state that seeks to reconstitute its empire. It seeks to intimidate and even physically invade bordering countries that are not part of its sphere.

It generally seeks to obfuscate America's every interest.

Gerry Hoyme

Los Angeles

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I read with interest your report concerning President Obama's speech during his visit to Russia.

Especially ironic was your reporters' observation that Russian media only showed snippets of the speech. When has American media shown the entirety of any foreign leader's speech during a visit to the United States?

Perhaps when Khrushchev addressed the United Nations during Eisenhower's administration? What chutzpah!

Harold Shabo

Los Angeles

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The U.S. and Russia have agreed to cut their nuclear arsenals by as much as one-third. So what?

During the Cuban missile crisis, both sides had only a couple of hundred weapons, and yet they brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation.

So, when we're on friendly terms with Russia, everyone will say the Cold War is over.

And when we run into problems, the Cold War will be back on again ad infinitum.

Lewis Waldman

La Jolla

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So not even Obama sweet-talk after years of Bush bluster can bring the Russians to heel on a number of issues.

Probably Putin and Co. took a look at the map and didn't like what they saw. Start with the American bases slated for Iraq, then the plans for nearby Afghanistan, and of course there's Iran in between. Add to that a missile "defense" shield in the Czech Republic and Poland, those two well-known gateways to the Persian Gulf.

Perhaps our erudite president should have added at least one course in geopolitics to his intellectual accomplishments.

Doug Doepke

Claremont

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The U.S.-Russian nuclear-arsenal-reduction agreement is a critical step toward U.S. security and for the world.

We must all support our president in this endeavor. Deeper reductions in nuclear arsenals can lead us toward the ultimate goal of a safer world, free of nuclear weapons.

Lillian Laskin

Los Angeles

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