The saber-rattling must come to an end

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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To the Editor:

The vitriolic rhetoric coming from both President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with negative criticisms from the Chinese government, is deeply troubling.

Biden, during a recent ABC News interview, called Putin a “killer.” Likewise, Biden asserted that Putin would “pay the price” for alleged meddling in the 2020 Presidential election.

Contrariwise, Putin retorted, “It takes one to know one.” He also challenged Biden to a live debate.

Since the honorable President Carter left the White House in January 1981, subsequent US Presidents and various foreign leaders seemingly threatened to use aggressive tactics to intimidate so-called enemies. The saber-rattling must cease.

According to US intelligence sources, Russia attempted to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential challenge of now former President Trump in 2016. The same conclusion was drawn, regarding the 2020 Presidential election. It is important to note that Trump arguably allowed Putin to use his influence to undermine Biden’s chances.

The last time I checked, such efforts failed. Since Trump is believed to have been involved, directly or indirectly, in the aforesaid clandestine efforts, the focus should be on how to hold Trump accountable. Putin and Trump essentially were dancing to the same sheet of music.

News reports reveal that Biden has called Putin a “KGB thug” and other awful names over the years. It is only natural to expect that such aspersions and insults will be reciprocated.

For example, per the interview, Putin reminded Biden of the dark history of slavery and Jim Crow in the United States and the slaughter of Native Americans. He also pointed to the rationale behind Black Lives Matter, initially organized to combat the killings of unarmed Black men at the hands of the police.

The fact that Putin is not a saint notwithstanding, he has been linked to the poisoning and murder of political dissidents. Besides, Putin has been excoriated for the annexation of Crimea—by the way, Barack Obama was the US President at the time—and contributing to geopolitical instabilities in the Middle East, especially in Syria.

I envision a world where superpowers and other countries with nuclear weapons will pursue, not a Cold War posture, but a climate where we turn our weapons of mass destruction into Biblical plowshares of peace.

Indeed, it would be great to see Biden and Putin break bread together and drink from the cup of peace.

To his credit, President Carter—remember the Camp David Accords from September 1978—promoted peace when such opportunities arose. Future Presidents should follow this lead. Rather than wage needless war, let’s work collaboratively to find a cure for cancer, dementia, and other medical conditions, whose cures have eluded society and the medical profession for too long.

Dr. King, the great peacemaker, left us with the following altruistic message: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Keith W. Cooper