Like Hitler and 1938? If that’s really the case, then what’s the response?
If it’s really like 1938, what’s the action?
The “rhetorical gas” that Mark G. Dillon refers to (“Let us ‘be not afraid’ of Vlad the Terrible,” March 12) comes not from Washington but from his hollow spouting. He writes as if there is some action that could be taken that would suddenly cause Vladimir Putin to reverse course and leave the people of Ukraine to decide their own fate. Of course, like others, he does not even attempt to say what that action or set of actions would be.
The situation in Ukraine is complex. As Dillon points out, Putin is not someone who will be influenced by reasonable discussion. There is no simple solution. What can be done in the way of diplomatic and economic actions are being pursued by the Obama administration.
Bill Cutler, Oak Park Heights
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History tends to repeat itself. It cannot tell you what you should do, but it can tell you what did not work in the past. Here is a brief summary of history from 1938:
Hitler occupies Austria. First, he encourages the Austrian Nazis to demand a union with Germany. Then, he invades when the Austrian chancellor announces a vote to see what Austrians want. After the German invasion, 99 percent of Austrians vote “ja.” Britain and France do nothing.
Does this seem familiar? Replace the names of leaders and places with the current cast in Crimea, and it all seems very close to “now” instead of “then.”
The West did nothing after the Anschluss — 1938 was a good year in the West, but 1939 to 1945, not so much. I do not have the “right” answer to the current process in Crimea. Clearly, history indicates that “nothing” is the wrong one.
Will Harrison, St. Paul
Sagehorn, Garofalo cases really do differ
Scott Gillespie (Short Takes, March 12) suggests that the consequences for student Reid Sagehorn’s remark about a teacher were excessive compared with those for state Rep. Pat Garofalo following his tweet about the NBA. Gillespie is wrong, because Sagehorn’s remark was directed at an individual, while Garofalo’s tweet was about a general class of people.
In the first case, the teacher about whom the comment was made could have lost her job or even her teaching career as a result. It was actionable.
David M. Perlman, New Hope
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The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.