"It gives me no joy to write this article. I don't hate the Russian people - and I really want to trust the Russian government."
It was towards the end of Ronald Reagan's first term. The Soviet Union was at its worst. The Soviets were still licking their wounds from what happened in Afghanistan, and there was no love between the Soviet Union and NATO. Then on September 1, 1983, if things could not get any worse, Soviet forces shot down a civilian Korean airliner.
All 269 passengers and crew were killed, including a United States Congressman from Georgia. As a "Cold Warrior" serving in the United States Naval Reserve at the time, I was pissed. So pissed that I went to a local tee-shirt shop and had one printed up which said, "Never trust a Russian". I got rid of it in the 1990's. I wished I had kept it.
Anyhow, not much ever became of it. The Russians accused the Koreans of espionage as KAL 007 was tracked over the Soviet super secret Kamchatka Peninsula. The Koreans denied it, and even if they had strayed off course, it was a war crime to shoot down an unarmed civilian airliner. Meanwhile, 269 innocents died for nothing at the hands of the Russians.
We all know the history since that happened. In Reagan's second term, his "fix" for our sagging military was really taking hold. Pershing II missiles, cruise missiles, and of course the dreaded "Star Wars" ABM system, started to scare the bejeepers out of the Kremlin. So much so, right before 1992 dawned, the Soviet Union folded.
The Soviets were gone for good - but now the Russians are back. Today we learned they have just done something as dastardly as they did in 1983. Our intelligence has just revealed findings the Soviets were complicate in the gassing of innocent Syrians. It was not just Assad who gassed his own people - the Russians (at the best) had turned a blind eye and deaf ear to what happened. At the worst however, they are knee deep in the s**t.
When the agreement to get rid of the Syrian chemical agents was signed in 2014, it was sanctioned by the UN. The Russians were involved as was brokers, and the Obama Administration was also at the table. No problem. It was promised by the Assad regime, seconded by the Russians, and believed by the Obama Administration, 100% of the chemical poison was gone. However, recent inspections have shown (gasp) weaponized chlorine, resin, sarin and even the dreaded DX still exists in Syria.
What have we learned by all this? 1) We have learned once more that the UN is as worthless as a screen door on a submarine. 2) If the Russians were involved in the recent gas attack either by omission or commission, they are GUILTY of war crimes. 3) If the Russian government did kill innocent civilians, I will go back to what I said in 1983 - "Never trust a Russian".
It gives me no joy to write this article. I don't hate the Russian people - and I really want to trust the Russian government. But right now they are once again appearing to wear the "black hats". To move forward in our civilization, that has got to change. Until then, they are the Boris and Natasha of our own Bullwinkle Show.