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Letters: The West's naive view of Putin

Re "Crimea upends West's view of Putin," March 7

No one should be the least bit surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin's Crimean power grab.

For the last several years, LGBT activists have been trying to warn the world about how dangerous Putin is. But until recently, few journalists outside the gay community took our reports seriously. We were even criticized for trying to "politicize" the Sochi Olympics.

It is disappointing this article draws no connection between the two issues, because anyone familiar with Putin's current anti-gay pogrom could have told you long ago that Putin is "living in another world" and that he will stop at nothing to expand his power.

Craig M. Loftin

Long Beach

I read with sincere amazement the article about Putin and how our government and various think tanks are reassessing what they thought they knew about him.

I don't think Putin is hard to figure out at all. All you need to focus on is his putting an end to Americans adopting Russian children, which came as a response to the U.S. denying visas to Russian officials who were guilty of human rights violations.

The guiding question should be this: What kind of person uses orphans as political pawns? If you apply this question to every move he makes, you should never be surprised.

Paul Skophammer

Malibu

When former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton paints the Russian incursion into Ukraine as akin to Nazi Germany's actions in the Sudetenland, does she not realize that with that same brush stroke she paints the U.S. in the role of Britain's ineffective Chamberlain government?

Therein speaks a truth about recent U.S. foreign policy: ineffectiveness. Failure in Iraq, failure in Afghanistan, failure in Syria, and the list goes on. I am in suspense over the outcome in Crimea.

I am disturbed how post-Reagan administrations have exacerbated the erosion of U.S. global hegemony. There was a time when U.S. leadership held out the promise to make this a better world, a safer place. Is this now a lost dream?

As Americans, we are plagued by substandard leadership, substandard policy and substandard execution. With no respite from either party in the upcoming years, does America look forward to a substandard future?

Byron Gutierrez

Van Nuys

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