April 2016 – WASHINGTON – The recent incident in the Baltic Sea involving Russian SU-24 war planes making a “fake” attack run on the USS Donald Cook, a destroyer, should scare every American and Russian citizen. It should scare Americans because the Russian fighter wasn’t shot down carrying out its simulated strafing attack. And it should scare Russians because it sent the wrong message to Cold War Warrior Vladimir Putin that the U.S. is reluctant to use its military strength when confronted by another nuclear power.
The U.S. threatened Russia in the Ukraine and in Syria, then it backed down. Superpowers should never threaten action they are not willing to back up. They should never create situations where other nuclear nations’ basic national interests are threatened. America has done both. The next Russian, Chinese or North Korean fake attack might be against a U.S. nuclear carrier, and it might turn out not to be fake. Then President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will have to play real international politics with all our lives at risk! –Fresno Bee