Dear editor,

Older Americans remember well the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 when the U.S. and the Soviet Union (USSR) nearly launched a civilization ending nuclear war because the Soviets had placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. But what was missing from U.S. media at the time was that a year earlier the U.S. had installed nuclear missiles in Turkey, bordering the Soviet Union. Moscow and other Russian cities were easy targets. Americans also never heard that in agreeing to remove the missiles from Cuba, the USSR forced America to remove its missiles from Turkey.  

Americans will find it hard to accept, but the Soviets simply did to the U.S. what the U.S. had done to them, and it was America that was the aggressor, not the Soviet Union. The January, 2013 issue of the Atlantic Magazine provides a well-documented history of the crisis. The blocking of investigative journalism at the time blinded Americans to the incredible hypocrisy of their own nation.

Moving to the present, imagine for a moment Russia has placed missiles and troops in Mexico along the U.S. border and has warships patrolling the Gulf of Mexico. Russian media – Moscow Times, TASS, Russia Times and Russian broadcasting – repeats endlessly that “America is being aggressive.” When the U.S. moves troops to Texas to protect itself from the Russian military, Russian media screams – “The U.S. is planning to attack Mexico! Russia must send more arms to Mexico to protect it from imminent attack. American aggression must be stopped.” Listening to their media, the people of Russia are certain America is threatening them. Russian politicians grandstand – “We must fight the Americans over there so we don’t have to fight them here in Russia.”

We would immediately recognize how dystopian Russian media is, how it totally misrepresents the truth. It would be obvious Russia is the aggressor. Yet we are blind to the fact that for years the U.S. has been installing missiles and conducting war games in nations near Russian borders and stationing warships off Russian ports in the Black Sea, blind to the broken U.S. promises not to move NATO “one inch to the east” after the fall of the Berlin wall when Russia disbanded the Soviet Union. And in complete denial of obvious, opposing facts, U.S. corporate media repeats endlessly that “Russia (not to mention China) is being aggressive.”

America is not “defending” Ukraine. As stated by former President Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book The Grand Chess Board (pg. 46), Ukraine is a pawn. If Ukrainians must be sacrificed in a bloody war to advance U.S. imperialism, so it goes.

U.S. military and state leadership has been dead wrong since Vietnam – arguably since the war in North Korea. America slaughtered millions of innocent people in these wars and murdered hundreds of thousands more in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. It sacrificed tens of thousands of its own young men and women. Not one of these wars was won, and history has shown every one of them was based on lies. Now this same “brilliant” leadership is dragging us into a war with Russia, a nuclear armed power that is simply asking America to honor its promises and keep the nations on its borders free from U.S. missiles, troops and war games.

America is playing the ultimate game of “Russian roulette,” with a fully loaded nuclear gun pointed at all humanity. The only – temporary – winner is the U.S. military/industrial/congressional complex making trillions off the slaughter of others.

Like many average Americans, I feel powerless to change this trajectory. I know the political and military “leaders” of my country listen only to big money. The corrupt Supreme Court Citizens United Decision ensured this. But if I could send a message to the current American “masters of the universe” –

You aren’t going to rule the world, it isn’t going to happen. You have no right to risk all life on Earth to feed your insatiable greed and power lust. Take your guns and your missiles, your drones and your bombs, take your murderous warships and killer attack submarines, and go home. Go home. Take care of your families, your communities. Do something decent with your lives. Let people live. America, your own nation, is a shambles because your military adventurism drains its wealth, poisons the minds of its people, and destroys its democracy. The world desperately needs cooperation, not more of your insane, endless wars. Go home. Show true strength and courage. Do something decent with your lives.

Dave Svetlik of Kronenwetter

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.