The March 28 Washington Forum page was a keeper, graced as it was by four thoughtful analyses of the current contretemps with Russia, which our president is handling with proper care and attention despite the fulminations of his critics. The insights and suggestions of George P. Shultz, Sam Nunn, Eugene Robinson and Fareed Zakaria should be required reading in the additional light of often-obscured Russian contributions to our welfare in times of stress. These contributions include Catherine the Great’s refusal to accommodate George III’s request for 20,000 Cossacks to help put down the revolution in the American colonies; Czar Alexander II’s refusal to join England and France in a demarche to “mediate” our Civil War by brokering a peaceful division of North and South; and the sacrifice of untold millions to stop Kaiser Wilhelm and Adolf Hitler.
Add to that the contributions to our hearts and minds of those who confined their talents to their “homeland” — Pushkin, Chekhov, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, to name a few.
In sum, let’s approach all our differences in light of such memories.
James W. Symington, Washington
The writer is chairman of the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation.