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Letter: Doubt, concern about Kerry’s statement

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John Kerry, our Secretary of State, was so sadly wrong when he stated a few days ago that President Putin of Russia (and we) should realize that we are no longer living in the 18th or 19th century when clans, tribes, cities, states and nations used force to achieve political objectives through force. Rather, we should recognize that we are currently living in the 21st Century and that political aspirations can and should be resolved through dialogue. That would be great, but I must voice doubt and concern.

Why doubt? Well, our most recent century, the 20th Century was probably the most onerous and dangerous century in recorded human history when it comes to the slaughter of innocents, probably more brutal than the sacking of Rome by Huns and vandals, probably more ugly than the enslaving of Africans, and probably more dangerous when brother turned against brother in our own Civil War. So, I just don’t see or read any evidence that the killing of others in the 21st Century will not be as bad or worse than prior centuries, if history is to be our guide.

Why concern? I am always hopeful that our current and future leaders will have high aspirations for civilization, that they have dreams for a peaceful world, and that they use their leadership positions in munificent and benevolent ways. But the cold realities of the past argue against that position. Dreams and hopes, unfortunately, are not strategies.

Perhaps humankind will somehow, become enlightened, but I wouldn’t bet my great grandson’s future on it.

Fulton Gallagher

Bemidji

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