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'War in Europe: 50-Year Legacy'

September 10, 1989

In the third segment ("For Soviets, Last Battle of War Is Over Its Legacy," Aug. 29) of your series, Dan Fisher reminds us of Russia's role in World War II with these words: "The turning point of this conflict had less to do with Normandy and Hiroshima than with Stalingrad and Leningrad, and 50 years later even the most anti-communist historians are more inclined to credit what was long the 'unknown war' on the Russian front for its pivotal role."

The recollection of this historic reality brings to mind its contemporary relevance: the need now for the re-establishment of that U.S.-Soviet de facto partnership as a crucial element in the effort to solve pressing global problems.

This need is, coincidentally, implied in another article in the same issue of The Times: David F. Musto's Op-Ed Page column, "Changing Climate Among Superpowers May Aid Fight Against Drugs." Here the author emphasizes the difficulty of dealing with narcotics supply "in the absence of great-power cooperation" and goes on to add that "In the last 40 years the most persistent obstacle . . . has been the Cold War, which divided the world into suspicious and hostile camps."

A thoughtful observer would conclude that there are many planetary problems and opportunities that could be dealt with more effectively by a U.S.-Soviet led partnership of nations: the ecology, Mideast problems, even non-military space exploration.

WESLEY BILSON

Pacific Palisades

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