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Letters to the Editor: Biden is trying to avoid World War III. He must stay the course

President Biden delivers remarks about new U.S. aid to Ukraine in Washington on March 16.
President Biden delivers remarks about new U.S. aid to Ukraine in Washington.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: While I applaud Mikhail Alexseev’s concern about the need to stop Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion and destruction of a sovereign nation, I must take exception to his desire to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

I believe that doing so would be the equivalent of luring the U.S. and its allies into a war with Russia. This would help the Russian dictator justify what he is doing and provide propaganda for his false idea that Ukraine instigated this horrible war.

Even the normally hawkish Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has said that enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would result in World War III.

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I believe that the U S. has helped Ukraine tremendously by sending guns, ammunition, rocket launchers and enough Javelin missiles to counter every Russian tank.

Donald L. Singer, Cardiff, Calif.

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To the editor: I am a liberal Democrat, but I join Alexseev and disagree with President Biden’s strategy of not “escalating” the conflict in Ukraine by declining to enforce a no-fly zone and refusing to send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Putin started this war and escalates it every day. Defending Ukraine is not escalation.

What I am saying, I think most Americans support. It’s been three weeks, and we witness the daily slaughter of defenseless Ukrainians as they fight for their homeland. We keep saying we don’t know what Putin will do if we do this or that, and we don’t want to incite him.

But sending jets or enforcing a no-fly zone is a defensive measure and tells Putin he can stop his empty threats of starting a nuclear war. He knows attacking the West with nukes would mean the end of his country.

We can end this war, Putin’s expansionism and the suffering of the innocent Ukrainians, as well as put down a marker that Russia and other dictators cannot invade sovereign countries when it suits them, by standing up for Ukraine.

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David McLane, Pasadena

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To the editor: Alexseev dusts off the discredited “domino theory” from the 1960s, when the Lyndon B. Johnson administration told us that if the U.S. did not defend South Vietnam, North Vietnam (backed by China) would extend its communist reach to the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia and, before we knew it, the beaches of San Diego.

Alexseev repositions this preposterous scenario for the Ukraine crisis, with analogies to Europe in the late 1930s, where Ukraine becomes the Sudetenland, Putin becomes Hitler and Biden is Neville Chamberlain.

Alexseev concludes his surreal argument by making an argument that appears to be what former California Gov. Jerry Brown called in a recent essay “crackpot realism.” Risking nuclear war is proposed as the necessary “audacity” to prevent the formation of a new Festung Europa, dominated this time by Russia.

We can only hope that Biden continues with his commendable caution.

Leigh Clark, Granada Hills

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To the editor: How long can we stand by as Russia decimates and ultimately annexes a properly constituted democratic country?

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I understand the risks of an actual faceoff between Russia and the U.S., but don’t we stand for anything anymore?

Putin calling his unprovoked incursion into Ukraine a “special military operation” brings to mind George Orwell’s “1984,” where words mean what Big Brother says they mean.

We must find a way to do more.

Anne Beaty, Los Angeles

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