The Dec. 12 letter to the editor from Richard Drake of the University of Montana surprised me. Drake seems to be deflecting the conversation from the essence of the debate to his and Professor Robert English’s biographies, and my speaking out at the lecture. How does my behavior, or Drake’s long-term service to the university or English’s biography, connect with the substance of the lecture?
Each issue that I said in my guest column (Dec. 9), I could not explain fully due to length constraints. I can say much more about these and other challenges to the professor, if I had more space. For example, U.S. Sen. John McCain began by thinking Ukraine was turning nationalistic when the Maidan uprising began. But after visiting the country and speaking with the leaders, he realized the movement was truly democratic and freedom-seeking.
I can prove that the professor’s lecture was consistent with pro-Russian propaganda. So, to be more objective, and to explain the situation in detail, I propose the university invite English and me to debate. We should debate the Russian-Ukrainian situation and not our biographies.
I agree that the professor is a star, and that I am a trouble-maker, not smart at all and not enough educated in this area. But we should talk only about the global situation, using facts we can substantiate. If he cannot return to Missoula, I would be happy to speak on my own with the real information so the audience can make their own conclusions.
I respect everyone who has responded to my communications, and appreciate what you all have said.