I’m not normally drawn to historical parallels, which are usually misleading, especially when they feature Hitler: take the most recent and egregious example, Andrew Bridgen MP’s comparison of anti-covid vaccinations to the Nazi Holocaust (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservative-mp-bridgen-whip-covid-holocaust-b2260105.html); but you can’t help thinking of Hitler when you look at the actions of Putin today. First Crimea (Sudetenland); then Donbas (Austria); then Ukraine (Poland)…. all in the interests of a ‘Greater Russia’ (Greater Germany); and against the background of what is taken to be an encircling and existential national threat – from Jews in the German case, or ‘the West’ in Russia’s. I’m sure there are other parallels too. And yet it’s Putin who is labelling the Ukrainians as Nazis, based, I presume, on memories – still – of the Second World War. Let’s hope, fervently, that it doesn’t lead to a third World War in this case.

What may be even more alarming are the comparisons that could be made between the ideologies (such as they are) of Putin’s Russia and of other menacing dictatorships just now – Iran and Afghanistan most currently. All of these regard themselves as reacting against Westernisation, or Western ‘imperialism’, or – to put it a way we in the West would prefer – ‘Western enlightenment’; not only in political terms (‘democracy’), but in cultural and social terms (women) too. That brings all these movements together on one side of the latest bilateral global divide, replacing the old ‘capitalist/communist’ and ‘North/South’ ones; and likely to dominate world politics for decades to come.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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2 Responses to Putin-Hitler?

  1. mickc says:

    Sorry, also meant to include the Nye Bevan phrase about how could a country which produces so little steel compared to the West be a threat to it…
    In short, the Cold War was unnecessary for the security of the West, but certainly was for the enrichment of the USA…
    Bevan understood this, Bevin didn’t, and despite his many virtues, was an imperialist, although a liberal progressive “help the lesser breeds one”.
    Attlee (my particular “hero”…) should have stood up to Bevin, but couldn’t…


  2. mickc says:

    At the end of the Cold War, which was meant to be an “end”, not a victory by “the West” (actually the USA), Russia was promised that NATO would not expand Eastwards. It was the price for German re-unification ( the French demanded the Euro as the price believing it would “control” Germany…it actually strengthened it…).
    As an aside, Thatcher actually understood that Germany would become stronger and opposed re-unification, but if it was to happen suggested to George H W Bush that Russia be developed as a counterweight. He went ape…what else could be expected from a former head of the CIA and closet Neocon…
    A further aside…both Poland and Russia had the same capitalistic “shock treatment” of introduction to a market economy. Poland did ok, it got Western help…Russia became a basket case…it didn’t. That was clearly the original intention and entirely in line with the Wolfowitz doctrine for US hegemony and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC)
    NATO then expanded Eastwards up to Ukraine. Kennan, among others advised this was catastrophic.
    The USA then put ABM bases in Poland…against Iranian missiles…yes Iran is a major missile threat to the West..🙄🙄🙄..having abrogated the Anti ABM Treaty unilaterally..this was clearly aimed at Russia.
    In 2014 the duly elected Ukrainian President was overthrown by a CIA coup ( the deputy head of the CIA visited the country ONE WEEK after the coup…) but Russia managed to keep the Crimea ( actually Russian for centuries)…its loss would have meant exclusion from the Black Sea…a major strategic disadvantage…
    The Minsk Agreements provided for self rule for the Donbas ( mainly Russian speakers) but weren’t complied with by the Ukraine government and indeed Merkel has confirmed they simply allowed training and armament of the Ukraine forces by the West.
    Ukraine continues to shell the Donbas.
    The Russian language is banned in the Ukraine.
    Zelensky is elected on a platform of friendship with Russia.
    Russia seeks a new security arrangement for Europe…ignored by the West.
    Russia invades Ukraine.
    Zelensky is in mind for peace talks, Boris Johnson scuttles across to dissuade him… ( yes, Johnson is going to be very very rich…which us why he gave up his Premiership so easily…)
    Ukraine is devastated for the cause of US hegemony…
    And Lavrov has stated ” what use is the world without Russia?”…he means “if we lose, the world will cease to exist”…he, and Russia, mean it.
    Do you seriously believe Russia is the “bad guy”?…as opposed to the US Neocons and Military Industrial Complex?
    The USA rulers ( not the US people, who are poorer) have profited immensely. It has taken out the EU as a competitor, and (possibly) embroiled Russia in a grinding war ( but Russia is rather good at those…)…
    I have an acquaintance who has (extremely well educated and qualified) Ukrainian refugees (I don’t like the term…guests?…displaced persons?..don’t like that either…guests seems appropriate… ) in a property he owns. Apparently they have a very poor view of Zelensky…I would be interested in what your guests’ view might be…
    Sorry…very long, but as ever follow the money…


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