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Letters: Draw the line on Putin's actions

March 15, 2014

Re "Insane? Hardly," Opinion, March 11

The Duke of Wellington said it best. When asked about Napoleon's propensity to always go on the attack, he said: "A conqueror is like a cannonball … he can only go forward. Once he rebounds, his career is over."

So it is with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Whether bullying members of Pussy Riot or cowing his opposition, Putin can only be dissuaded by force. All the sanctions in the world will only give him another excuse to go on the offensive. It may not be the sole duty of the United States to stop him, but one thing is clear: Sooner or later Putin will have to be confronted and made accountable for his actions.

Indeed, Putin is hardly insane. The insanity of it all lies chiefly in allowing him to continue his course.

Charles Reilly

Manhattan Beach

This piece didn't cover one possibility: a backlash against the Kremlin.

Using the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, Putin has forgotten that there are retired soldiers and other Russians in former Soviet republics elsewhere. As when I was in Estonia, the locals feared invasion by Russia to protect its interests.

It would be ironic if the Baltic and Slavic nations were to decide that all those ethnic Russians should be expelled. Putin's militarism may cause other neighboring countries to move close to the West for defense.

Bernard Bregman

Northridge

We send fighter jets and troops to Poland and keep an aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean, and U.S. officials say the administration has no intention of using force in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

To quote Albert Einstein, "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."

Bill Hunker

Aliso Viejo

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