I am writing in response to your plea for commentary. I have been following PRAVDA.Ru since it became available on the world wide web. For many years I have wanted to say what I am about to say – to express what I know many Americans feel about our friends in Russia.
I have been an avid follower of events in your country ever since my teenage years; I was born in 1963 and lived the first thirty odd years of my life under the threat of the cold war. Because of this intense competition between our country, the United States of America and the former Soviet Union, I was always fascinated by the people we knew so little about. All we were told was the propaganda fed to us either by the West or by your own propaganda machine in Russia. Because I didn’t trust the veracity of either source of information, I was constantly on the lookout for written first hand accounts about your people, the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, and the shared history of both or our countries during the Cold War. Although I am deeply opposed to the Communist system, I always felt that the Russian people were the authors of a splendid culture. I remember when the wall separating East and Western Europe fell in Germany, the hope we all felt that finally our countries could become friends. After all, we share a common history in many ways – we both threw off our aristocratic rulers in favor of a government of our choosing, we both have vast countries with large resources, and I believe we both share a common morality based ultimately on Christianity - even though the official line of Communism was against organized religion, the rapid reemergence of Christianity after the overthrow of Communism seems to indicate that at the core of the common Russian the moral basis of Christianity never died. We both have a multiethnic populace, a high regard for education, and a shared history of hard work taming our respective wilderness, and a strong patriotism, regardless of the politics of our governments. Unfortunately, we also have a common enemy in the predominately Muslim populated countries.
Because of all of these reasons and shared history, I hope that we don’t start sliding back into a situation that would put us in danger of a new Cold War, After all, the first Cold War claimed many lives from both of our countries and cost us a treasure which is so vast I believe we could have solved world hunger, put a space station on the moon, and been well on our way to manned missions to Mars if these resources had been spent in these more productive ways rather than scores of nuclear submarines and ballistic missiles.
I want your readers to know that I am not alone in my regard for Russia and her people. Many of my fellow Americans desperately want to remain friends with your country and become friendlier still. It is my belief that because of our shared history and similar core values that a very strong alliance between our two nations makes much more sense than a continuation of hostility and mistrust. We are both islands in the world – there is Europe for the Europeans, Asia for the Asians, Arabia for the Arabs, and South America for the South Americans – but where do our countries fit in? NATO is a joke these days – I think it is more likely that some of the nations in NATO are more hostile towards the United States than Russia is. I think we can be, and should be natural allies both militarily and economically. Please do not let this unfortunate business with Iraq harden your hearts against us. As your readers should be aware, most of our country was against the war – or was misled to believe that Iraq was behind the attack on 9/11.
In short, please believe that many in our country have a lasting respect and admiration for your country and I strongly believe that if the situation was explained to our respective citizenry in the right way, that we could become the strongest and most natural allies against the increasingly hostile world. Between the two of us, militarily we could prevent the next world war, scientifically we could lead the world into outer space, economically we could out produce the globe and finally realize the prosperity that so many US citizens enjoy on Russian citizens.