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Letter: The U.S. has no business in Ukraine

Smith writes, "The justification for the U.S. getting involved in these wars is that if we don’t stop our enemies in the beginning, the threat will eventually grow to become a real threat to the U.S. That is too much of a stretch to be believable."

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.

Thursday morning, Russia invaded Ukraine, much to everybody’s horror. The ground invasion came from three fronts: north, east and south. They launched missiles into civilian populations, including the capital Kyiv, and also cyber-attacks against government sites, banks and cell networks. At the time of writing this, 57 people are confirmed dead and hundreds more injured, and it hasn’t been 24 hours yet. It goes without saying that what Russia has done is terrifying and horrible.
But it’s not the United States’ problem.

I know this will come off as heartless to some, but I am sick of wasting American lives fighting other people’s wars. It has been pounded into us ever since we were kids that the reason America maintains its freedom is because soldiers have fought and died defending it. When we see a soldier, we’re supposed to thank them for their service.

The uncomfortable reality is that since World War II ended, American freedom has never been threatened. In all the wars since then: Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the handful of other skirmishes, every American soldier who has died has done so for the benefit of some other country. Sometimes nobody benefited; Vietnam certainly didn’t benefit. The locals hated the U.S. troops there because we kept fire-bombing civilian villages.

The justification for the U.S. getting involved in these wars is that if we don’t stop our enemies in the beginning, the threat will eventually grow to become a real threat to the U.S. That is too much of a stretch to be believable.

The problem with the people who want America to be the “world police” is that these people are not the ones in harm's way. Our politicians sit very comfortably in Washington. Our military suppliers, like Lockheed-Martin, are very happy to make billions from government contracts (their stock outperformed markets today). All the civilian commentators are here on the safe side of the Atlantic Ocean, where no foreign invader has set foot in nearly 200 years. Everybody wants somebody else to fight their wars for them.

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Anastassiya Andrianova recently wrote a letter urging North Dakota congressmen to do more . If she wants to buy a rifle and join the Ukrainian resistance herself, she’d have my blessing. But she has no grounds to demand other people fight and die for her cause.

To quote the villain from Shrek (2001), “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.” This was supposed to be a joke.

William Smith lives in Fargo.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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