We are retaliating against Russia, not the Russian people

WILLIAMSVILLE — Invading a smaller nation under false, trumped-up pretenses; doing so with superior weaponry; massacring people; and shattering the infrastructure with toxic waste should be seen by anyone as a criminal act.

What if Iraq had been tied into adjacent NATO nations with their powerful allies and a significant amount of our country's banking was tied into the banks in one or many of those nations choosing to freeze our assets in retaliation?

What if our dollars that you and I have so proudly earned and saved immediately lost 30 percent of their value because of the actions of our criminal leaders, actions that we don't agree with?

We would be traumatized.

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I am making a simple point. As much as I enjoyed watching the first hour of Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday night - the early portion during which he addressed the Ukrainian situation - I felt that his speech missed one very important point.

In this age of othering, he othered the Russian people by not apologizing to them for the suffering that these sanctions would cause them.

We are not retaliating against the Russian people, who can be sent to the 21st-century version of the Gulag for standing up.

People are protesting this invasion in Russia at extreme risk. We should let them know that we are with them, as opposed to continuing the “pinko” mythology that we have grown up with.

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