RAGA Newsletter #48, from W George Krasnow

Dear friends of the Russia & America Good Will Association (www.raga.org) and antiwar colleagues!  

In my previous newsletter RAGA Antidotes 46 and 47, I let you know about an International scholarly conference "Reading Solzhenitsyn" that was held under the auspices  of Northern Vermont University on September 7-8, 2018 in Lyndon, Vermont. 

After returning to Russia I was able to observe some of  the Solzhenitsyn Centennial festivities here too, especially, in Moscow. Now I have summarized my impressions, as well as my own friendship with the Russian writer who, after being  forcibly exiled from the USSR, enjoyed the hospitality of American people in Cavendish, Vermont. Then, in  1994, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his family triumphantly returned to his beloved Russia as he had predicted he would. 

Here is my long essay that was just carried by The Unz Review, one of the most open-minded, peace-loving and user-friendly webzines in the States.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Relevance Today

International “Reading Solzhenitsyn” Conference in Lyndon, Vermont, September 7-8, 2018 VLADISLAV KRASNOV • 15 COMMENTS • 13 NEW

Before you link to the long essay, please read below its conclusion, the letter penned by Margo Caulfield on behalf of the people of Cavendish
To the People of Russia:

For 18 of the 20 years he was exiled from Russia, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his family lived with us in Cavendish, Vermont. The Solzhenitsyns were then, as they are now, good neighbors, respected and valued members of our community.

While we are sad when residents choose to leave, we were glad that Solzhenitsyn was able to return to his “motherland,” as he predicted he would at our 1977 Cavendish Town Meeting. No matter how much our countryside may have reminded him of Russia, and allowed him the time to write, it would never compensate for the country he cared so deeply about.

Solzhenitsyn’s values were a good match for our Yankee way of life-hard work and the ability to speak freely and openly, yet also respectful of others and their privacy. While he learned from us how grass-roots democracy works, we in turn were reminded of the importance of providing sanctuary to those in need and the value of having courage and strong beliefs.

Upon his departure, Solzhenitsyn left the town not only autographed copies of his books, but more importantly, a homestead which allows his children to remain an integral and important part of our community. The lessons he instilled in his sons are shared with us as we work together to resolve the thorny issues of 21st-century life.
Every town needs a secret, such as the one we kept: “No directions to the Solzhenitsyn’s home,” as it united us for a common good. We still do not give out directions, but we do welcome visitors from around the world.

On this the 100th birthday of Solzhenitsyn, the people of Cavendish extend our best wishes to the people of his homeland.

On behalf of the people of Cavendish,

Margo Caulfield, Director, Cavendish Historical Society

Brendan McNamara, Cavendish Town Manager
This Letter was read during the Solzhenitsyn's Centennial Conference at the Russian State Library in Moscow on December 10, 2018 by Natalia Solzhenitsyn, the writer's widow. She got a resounding applause of Russia's best scholars and lovers of literature.

On a personal level, and as the RAGA's founder, I want to thank Margo for reflecting the best attitudes toward Russia that I have always noticed among Americans of all walks of life. This letter has reaffirmed my faith in America which once gave me a refuge and hospitality but now appears to be less civil at home and more war-like abroad than it was when my native Russia was in the grip of totalitarian Communism. I am re-affirmed that RAGA is needed in both countries. I also feel that Solzhenitsyn, more than anybody else, unites Russia and the USA in their urgent task-- and duty-- to secure a peaceful, free, fair, and harmonious global commonwealth in which every nation is a proud member. 

Please read his 1973 essay

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1973) *

Selected excerpts: "It is in our human nature to … apply ordinary, individual, human values and standards to larger social phenomena and associations of people, up to and including the nation and the state as a whole...We seem to have forgotten that we have been entrusted with the great task of transforming the world. … We need new creative efforts, we need a new language. We must speak of what is beyond modernity, of what is eternally living and absolute in this world of the relative,of what is simultaneously both eternally old and eternally young. It must mean not only a breakthrough into eternity but the presence of eternity in our own time. … It must lead not to a reformation but to a transformation of Christian consciousness and life, and through it to a transformation of the world.


Because of the holidays, I don't want to overburden you with sorry political news. Just a few of them, alerting the world to the growing risk of accidental war.

It’s Not Too Late to Save the INF Treaty
No one should dismiss lightly an agreement that has helped keep the United States and its allies safe for a generation.

The United States is on the verge of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which bans the United States and Russia from having nuclear or conventional ground-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles)....

Jon Wolfsthal is director of the Nuclear Crisis Group. He was President Barack Obama’s special assistant and senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation. @JBWolfsthal


GREG WILPERT: Joining me now to analyze this flareup in tensions between Russia and the Ukraine is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He’s a retired U.S. Colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Currently he’s a distinguished professor at the College of William and Mary. Thanks for joining us again, Larry.

GREG WILPERT: But now turning, actually, to the West, the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and pro-European government in the Ukraine has been all about an international conflict already, with constant intervention from NATO, as well as from Russia. Now, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a declaration, actually, where he declared, quote, full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. However, the Ukraine is not yet part of NATO, and thus there’s no obligation to defend the Ukraine. But Stoltenberg’s statement makes it sound like NATO would do just that, defend the Ukraine should a conflict escalate. Now, what do you think? Is that a wise position for the West to take, considering the potential forescalation and outright war?

LARRY WILKERSON: Well, I don’t think it’s been a wise position for the West...

Robert Legvold on Russia: Insights and Recommendations
November 20, 2018
Whatever muddled hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin and his entourage may have had for better times with Trump in the White House and whatever obscure intentions President Trump may have had of improving relations, the two sides remain mired in the new Cold War into which they had plunged in the last years of the Obama administration. (ISS Forum, 09.06.17)

Last, but not the least is an article by a fellow participant in The Solzhenitsyn Conference in Vermont, Jean Ranc
The Sun Does Not Revolve Around the US
August 28, 2018 • 41 Comments

While visiting Galileo’s house in Florence, Jean Ranc reflected on how America thinks the world revolves around it, as it was once falsely thought the sun revolves around the earth.

Special to Consortium News

Before I switch to Russian, let me wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and Joyous Holidays! (Now the Russians celebrate them too but 13 days later)  

Since the Russian speakers among you may want to listen to the 2nd part of my interview about Solzhenitsyn for RADIO RADONEZH, an independent Christian radio station broadcasting globally 24 hours a day, below are links to both 45-minutes parts.

А.И. Солженицын в Америке. Писатель, который изменил мир. Беседа В.Г. Краснова, главы Общества русско-американской дружбы "Добрая воля" 11.12.2018 22:08 ВЛАДИСЛАВ ГЕОРГИЕВИЧ КРАСНОВ

11 декабря 2018 года исполняется 100 лет со дня рождения русского писателя, драматурга, публициста, поэта, общественного и политического деятеля, лауреата Нобелевской премии по литературе (1970 г.) Александра Исаевича Солженицына. Сколько бы не спорили сегодня о месте Александра Солженицына в русской литературе, пришла пора понять: нет ему равных – не по таланту художественному, которыми IX век, да и начало XX мировую культуру стороной не обошёл, - равных нет ему крепостью противостояния. Не зря же писателем и повторено: слово правды весь мир перетянет. Солженицын – писатель с мировым именем. Это выдающийся социальный мыслитель, одна из ключевых фигур в истории XX века. В.Г. Краснов был лично знаком с писателем, посвятил ему одну из своих книг, тем убедительнее его свидетельство о пребывании Солженицына в Америке в развенчании мифа о " предательстве" Солженицына.

If you missed the 1st part of my interview, its is accessible in the archives below
К 100-летию со дня рождения А.И. Солженицына. Беседа А. Арендаренко с писателем и общественным деятелем В.Г. Красновым 30.10.2018 22:13
I confess I do admire Solzhenitsyn, especially as far as US-Russia relations are concerned, RAGA stands with him. But occasionally I disagree with him, as you can see in my recent article 

Emperor Michael II in the Solzhenitsyn House - Author: Vladislav Krasnov 


Владислав Краснов.  Император Михаил II в Доме Солженицына -  

Finally, for Holidays entertainment a romantic Russian song  

KATYUSHA (КАТЮШA) - Dmitri Hvorostovsky (2016)
[or, How the Red Army kept the Wehrmacht at bay during the Siege of Stalingrad - Editor, One Democratic State]
Sung by the incomparable Dmitri Hvorostovsky

SUBTITLES (Lyrics): Русский, Српски, Arabic, Čeština, Slovenščina, Ελληνική, Français, English, Nederlands, Italiano, Català, Magyar, Deutsch, Persian, Polski, Português, Español, Svenska, Norsk, Türk, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Vietnamese (Tiếng việt).

Backing choir: MVD Ensemble.
Песни военных лет - 09. 05. 2016. - The songs of the war years - 09. 05. 2016.

W George Krasnow
President, RAGA

Peace and Justice to the World.
миру мир и благоволение в сердцах
 From RAGA site:
"We are an association of Americans who believe it is in the U.S. national interests to foster friendship with Russia on the basis of mutual Good Will and non-interference in each other's affairs. RAGA is a gathering of people who share common interests in Russia's history, culture, religion, economy, politics and the way of life. We feel that Russian people have made outstanding contributions to humankind and are capable of greater achievements. We envision Russia as a strong, independent, proud and free nation and as a partner in achieving peace in the world."

All statements in this report are an opinion of the author. Act at your own risk. Russia & America Goodwill Association (RAGA) is not responsible for the content of the article. Any views or opinions presented in this report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RAGA. Any liability in respect to this communication remain with the author.




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