Andrés Martinez’s June 10 Outlook essay urging people to watch the World Cup as a “cosmopolitan antidote” to President Trump was very unfortunate [“Hello, World”]. This World Cup is being used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to distract the world from his crimes and make the point that business goes on as usual, no matter what he does in Ukraine and Syria or in elections around the world. It makes the point that although Russia has corrupted soccer’s governing body FIFA , the Olympics and other world institutions, Mr. Putin can get away with it and still host world events. A Dutch-led investigation recently concluded that the Russian military downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, killing all 298 on board, but Russia is still allowed to host the World Cup.
Mr. Martinez doesn’t like Mr. Trump, so he promotes someone even worse under the guise of the cosmopolitanism of the World Cup. This is shortsighted, because Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin want to achieve the same thing: to break up the rules-based world order and return to the rule of might, where nobody cares about anyone else and everyone is out for himself. Mr. Martinez has played right into Mr. Putin’s hands.
Natalia Petrenko, Boston