Time to leave Cold War behind



Dear Editor:

Why revise an ancient folk saying that, standing the test of time, has served generation after generation well? It used to be said that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This is no longer so, especially when we look at the international effort to eliminate religious radicalism in the Near East.

Russia fights the extremism there — ISIS, the Nusra Front, et al — alongside us. Both nations have lost hundreds and thousands of citizens to that terrorism, and both have mounted campaigns to destroy it — that which has proven so destructive to the lives of Muslim people. How clear that is in the flight of families from Iraq and Syria.

And yet the new “wisdom” seems to be “the enemy of my enemy is my enemy,” with talk of shooting down Russian planes over Syria, as was done by our close NATO (anti-Russia) ally, Turkey, and Russian planes striking terrorists targets in war-torn Syria.

Might it not be time for greater understanding — even acceptance — of the events of the Russian Revolution of nearly 100 years ago? After all, for far longer than that, Russians have praised and admired the example of our Revolution.

To be sure, President Putin is a dynamic leader, working indefatigably for the good of his nation. There would seem to be little evidence that his efforts stymie our own. His recent appearance at the UN Conference on Terrorism, shown on TV, when he greeted Secretary Kerry, seemed to show an individual shaking the secretary’s hand with unfeigned friendliness.

Might it not be time — these most dangerous times — to put the Cold War behind us?

Stanley Harrison

Ellsworth

 

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