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Letter of the Day: What kind of nation?

  • (DANA SUMMERS / Tribune Content Agency)

What kind of nation?

EDITOR: John Donne wrote that no man is an island, but the same is true of nations. The United States has been a part of European warfare since before its founding. Lafayette didn’t come just to help us but to strike at England. The Germans attacked our merchant ships before World War I, though we were neutral, and the Japanese attacked at Pearl Harbor when all we wanted was peace in our time.

Donne also said that any man’s death diminished him; the same is true of nations and peoples that cherish freedom. So when we hear that the Russians have annexed Crimea, or that Syrian President Bashar Assad is murdering his own people, we should recall that the bell that tolls for those victims also tolls for us.

Our commander-in-chief doesn’t seem to understand this, which distinguishes him from Presidents George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and puts him in the same leaky boat as President Jimmy Carter.

Modern weapons make quick and lethal wars. We no longer have time to lead from behind. It’s time for us to reconsider just who we are, and who we want to be, and for our leaders to act accordingly.

BRUCE G. ENOS

Santa Rosa

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