Two recent letters opposing U.S. involvement in Ukraine are fine examples of the right of every American to disagree publicly with government policies, even when the majority supports those policies (“Think twice before calling Russian invasion ‘unprovoked’,” April 12 and “The U.S. does not want negotiated peace,” April 18).

I say this sincerely, despite rejecting their position, which ignores the central struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. In another time, I’m sure they would have cheered when Neville Chamberlain proclaimed “Peace in our time,” after conceding to Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia. Less than two years later, an emboldened Germany invaded Poland.

Moreover, their tone is typical of the “everything wrong in the world is America’s fault” crowd. No doubt, our nation has made many mistakes and blunders over the last 250 years. Despite that, I believe our country has done more to advance liberty and economic advancement than any nation in history. We have done so, in part, because people are not just allowed to speak out about problems and issues, they are encouraged to do so, with very few limits, by outlets such as this newspaper. We must continue to defend free speech, even speech we don’t like.

Just for comparison, may I suggest to the authors that they visit Russia. While there, each of them should write a letter to Pravda opposing the current “special military operation” President Putin is conducting. Before you go, however, learn to speak Russian. Chances are the prison guards won’t understand English.

William Richards

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