The Republican presidential candidates have been competing to display the most belligerent attitude toward Russia, expressing eagerness to shoot down any of their planes that should intrude on a no-fly zone we might declare in Syria. This is an invitation to start a nuclear Armageddon.

Those who can remember the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, and the few other occasions when the world came within a hair’s-breadth of plunging into World War III, will shudder at the cavalier, reckless threats made by these people.

Have we not learned any caution in depending on military power, after the Bush presidency led us into the Iraq debacle based on false claims about Iraq’s weapons program, a war now spreading throughout the Mideast and beyond with no end in sight?

Should these irresponsible war hawks have their way, the universe could well look forward to one less planet with advanced life.

Gene Clifford

Mount Desert