Editor: This week, Leesburg resident Jim Buttolph wrote a letter expressing his concerns about the Democratic Party’s campaign “to distract from their party’s disastrous performance.” While I respectfully disagree with Mr. Buttolph on this matter, it is for another reason that I write in response to his letter.
For 50 days, Ukraine has been fighting for its very survival against the autocratic regime of President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Buttolph has suggested that Putin’s brutal invasion was in part to President Joe Biden’s “feckless leadership.”
The blame for this war—a war that has killed thousands of innocent civilians and displaced more than 10 million people—lies solely on the shoulders of Vladimir Putin and his cronies. To suggest otherwise obscuresthe Russian regime’s responsibility for the atrocious human rights abuses and war crimes occurring in Ukraine.
While it’s every American’s right to question and criticize our own government, projecting a narrow American political perspective onto this tragic war degrades the suffering and bravery of the Ukrainian people.
I’m glad to see members of our community condemning the Putin regime’s unprovoked, unilateral invasion of Ukraine. I only ask that Mr. Buttolph and others who wish to engage with this tragedy begin by listening to local—which is to say, Ukrainian—voices, as well as experts in the history and geopolitics of Europe and Eurasia.
If they insist on pointing fingers, point them at the real perpetrators of this heinous war—they sit comfortably behind the Kremlin’s walls.
Mike Smeltzer, Lovettsville