By Ron Ridenour
I was trained to hate the Russians being raised in the United States of America in the 1950s. At age 17, I was in its Air Force, stationed in occupied Japan. We were subjected to weekly briefings, which always preached about how evil the Russians were.
One wonders who these Russians are that the USA denigrates and encircles.
Yuri Gagarin and Vasili Arkhipov stood for and acted for world peace in 1961 and 1962 when the US threated world nuclear war with its invasion of Cuba (Bay of Pigs), and later its blockade in international waters during the October Missile Crisis.
Yuri, the first astronaut to orbit the earth, went on a world-wide tour advocating world peace. Eighteen months later during the Cuban Missile Crisis Captain Arkhipov turned around his nuclear-armed submarine. He returned the ship to his homeland despite being bombarded and provoked by US ships. Russian leadership stood down and removed its defense missiles from Cuba. Decades later, Russian President Vladimir Putin again inspired me to appreciate Russians’ great efforts to prevent world war, promote world peace, and maintain their sovereignty.
US governments accuse Russia of being a threat to world peace, of meddling in the affairs of US elections. This is truly projection. The US encouraged its protégé Boris Yeltsin to bombard and kill members of his own parliament, in 1993, and then paid for his reelection, in 1996.
From the start of Russia’s revolution the U.S. has attempted to overthrow its governments starting with a military invasion, July 1918. Since then the U.S. has done everything else to subvert it, surround it, and overthrow it. Neither the Soviet Union nor Russia has ever invaded or subverted the United States.
Not all US military personnel have viewed Russians as enemies. That is the testimony of the Elbe Oath. Today some of those US military figures are here to share that Oath. Smedley Butler, the most decorated marine in history, was also one of those generals, who sought peace. He exposed the 1933-4 Business Plot in which corporation owners sought to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a coup d’etat. The same wealthy elite fed the fascist leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain, which General Butler opposed.
Oliver Stone’s interviews with President Putin urged me to write my most important book, "The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert”.
I had hoped to present this book to Russian panelists celebrating the wonderful idea of Elbe 75. Due to this virus pandemic we share our desires for peace in this forum. May the chances for world peace be fortified during and after this world crisis.