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Demonstrators in Kiev show what they think of Russia's annexation of

Crimea. Is Hillary Clinton's comparison between the actions of Adolph

Hitler and Vladimir Putin fair? Historian Patrick van Schie says it is.

 

 

Clinton's Hitler-Putin Comment Highlights Weakness of Europe (Trouw, The Netherlands)

 

"Comparisons with the Second World War should indeed not be made too easily. Yet Putin's excuse that he 'only' wants to protect the Russian population in Crimea and elsewhere is an exact copy of Hitler's self-proclaimed role as patron to ethnic Germans in Sudetenland and the corridor between Germany and East Prussia. With her historical analogy, Clinton therefore hit the nail on the head."

 

By Patrick van Schie*

†††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††http://worldmeets.us/images/Patrick-van-Schie_mug.jpg

 

Translated By Marion Pini

 

April 5, 2014

 

The Netherlands - Trouw - Original Article (Dutch)

People hold signs in protest of Russia's taking of Crimea, in Maiden Square, Kiev, Mar, 23.

 

WEB VIDEO: Adolph Hitler in 1933: 'We want only peace, to be left alone, and be treated as equals,' Nov. 10, 1933, 00:03:23RealVideo

Various West European leaders distanced themselves from the comparison made recently by Hillary Clinton between Russian annexation of Crimea and Hitler's action in Czechoslovakia or Poland in the thirties. Comparisons with the Second World War should indeed not be made too easily. Yet Putin's excuse that he "only" wants to protect the Russian population in Crimea and elsewhere is an exact copy of Hitler's self-proclaimed role as patron to ethnic Germans in Sudetenland and the corridor between Germany and East Prussia. With her historical analogy, Clinton therefore hit the nail on the head.

 

The frequently mentioned reference to Soviet era is also in dispute. According to President Obama, there is no question of a new Cold War, as today's Russia in not the leader of an ideological bloc and because the West isn't looking for a Cold War. Here, too, the former secretary of state sees things more clearly. Whether or not there is a new Cold War will not be determined by the West, as Hillary Clinton said, but by Putin.

 

It is true that Russia is no longer the center of a communist bloc, although the Kremlin is openly capitalizing on nostalgia for the Soviet era, and Lenin is enjoying remarkable popularity among pro-Russian (often hired) protesters. However, in Putinís Moscow, the West is again seen as the great enemy, and the right to independence of former satellite states is not really recognized.

 

Thus, Moscow considers the alliance of the Baltic States to NATO a decade ago to be an aggressive act on the part of Washington. The fact that the public and politicians in the Baltic States sought protection through NATO membership from their former colonizers in Russia appears irrelevant. As was the case in Soviet times, the regime in Moscow designates every East European who opposes Russian domination a "fascist."

 

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What is also disturbingly similar to the thirties is the downright weak reaction of West European leaders. Thanks to wishful thinking - we must above all keep the peace and therefore not "provoke" - no tough sanctions against Moscow have been taken. The sanctions package that has been decided on hardly affects the Russians - and affects the Russians alone. Firmer sanctions would also be felt in West Europe itself. There appears among E.U. leaders little willingness to suffer themselves and take real action to respond to the illegal actions of Russia in Crimea. Alas, Ukraine is indeed a long way away. Once again, 1938 springs to mind, when Neville Chamberlain declared Czechoslovakia "that faraway country."

 

Sanctions are obviously partly symbolic. However, symbols can be worth something. A clear signal that Putin had really gone too far may not have changed the situation in Crimea, but for Putin, the current policy of the European Union is above all a sign that he can continue on his chosen path.

 

It would be extremely dangerous if Putinís statement that he has the right to protect Russian minorities in the Baltic States were applied. Fortunately, Obama has explicitly stated that the mutual assistance clause of the NATO Treaty applies equally to the Baltic States and other NATO members.

Posted By Worldmeets.US

 

 

NATO commander General Philip Breedlove said last week, that the positioning and readiness of Western troops in East Europe should be revised as a result of the events in Crimea. NATO will indeed have to, if necessary, assist the Baltic States or other NATO allies in East Europe not only through statements, but military aid. If the Baltic States should want this, then it would be best for the Western European countries, including the Netherlands, to station military units on site. Western Europe would then show that its fine words are not just idle talk.

 

*Patrick van Schie is a historian and director of the Teldersstichting, an independent research agency on behalf of liberalism allied to the VVD. He writes this column on a personal basis.

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

Vedomosti, Russia: From Hitler to Putin: Crimea is 'Not the First Time'

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: 'Annexing' Crimea and 'Uniting' Jerusalem

Gazeta, Russia: Russians Bid Farewell to the West

Gazeta, Russia: Annexing Crimea 'Too Costly for Russia to Bear'

Vedomosti, Russia: From Hitler to Putin: Crimea is 'Not the First Time'

Izvestia, Russia: New Russia: Becoming the 'Empire the World Needs'

Izvestia, Russia: Global Call to Arms Against 'American Exceptionalism'

Moskovskij Komsomolets, Russia: A Grateful Nation Cheers President Putin's Triumph

Izvestia, Russia: Crimea: 'We Will Never Give Up What We've Won'

Handelsblad, Germany: 'Fissures' in Europe: Putin, Propaganda, and Patriotism

Der Spiegel, Germany: Finance Minister Schauble Says Putin Plan Reminiscent of Hitler

Der Spiegel, Germany: The Sympathy Problem - Is Germany a Country of Russia Apologists?

Der Spiegel, Germany: NATO's Putin Conundrum: Berlin Considers Its NATO Options

La Stampa, Italy: Ukraine: Putin Capitalizes on Western Identity Crisis

La Stampa, Italy: Ukraine: Putin Capitalizes on Western Identity Crisis

de Volkskrant, Netherlands: Putin's Letter to Americans a Guilty Pleasure for the World

Huanqiu, China: Letter By Vladimir Putin Exposes 'Exceptional' American Inequality

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: A 'Puppet in Putin's Hands,' Snowden Paved Way to Ukraine Crisis

Diario De Noticias, Portugal: Russia and America: United in Flouting International Law

Carta Maior, Brazil: Venezuela and Ukraine: Upending Washington's Best Laid Plans

Le Quotidien d'Oran, Algeria: Crimea: The Latest Front for French Rambos

Reforma, Mexico: Crimea and Texas: Russia's Version of Manifest Destiny

Al Wehda, Syria: America's 'Destiny' of Invasion and Expansionism

FAZ, Germany: America and Germany: The 'Axis of Pragmatism'

BelTA, Belarus: Lukashenko Warns: Crimea Sets 'Dangerous Precedent'

Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia: Ukraine and Syria: May Allah Make Russia's Pain Severe!

tp24 Rubriche, Italy: America 'Too Young to Understand' Crisis in Crimea

Die Zeit, Germany: The Paler the West, the More Luminous Vladimir Putin

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Between Russia and the West: Ukraine's Insurmountable Task

Huanqiu, China: Crisis Over Ukraine Could Spell 'Disaster' for China

Asia Times, Hong Kong: Beijing to Kiev to Taipei: Why China Worries About Ukraine

Neatkariga Rita Avize, Latvia: Putin Clears Western Minds of Intelligence, Media 'Delusions'

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: Germans Must Now Back Sanctions - Even if they Hurt Us

Diena, Latvia: President Tells Lithuanians: Show Russia No Fear and be 'Ready to Shoot'

de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Recognize Russia's Legitimate Interests or Ukraine is Doomed

de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Most Crimeans Don't want Ukraine Split

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: Finding the Win-Win Scenario With Vladimir Putin

Sol, Portugal: Ukraine May Awaken 'Ghosts of the Great War'

de Morgan, Belgium: Putin Knows: No One in West is Willing to Die for Sebastopol

Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia: Crimea: the Next Puerto Rico?

Russia Today, Russia: VIDEOS: Roundup of Russian Reaction from Russia Today

European Press Agencies: European Reaction to Developments in Ukraine

Moskovskii Komsomolets, Russia: Report: U.S. to Help 'Oust' Black Sea Fleet from Crimea

Novosti, Russia: Looking Toward the West, Ukraine 'Lies' to the East

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: Ossified Kremlin Misreads Biden Visit to Georgia, Ukraine

Rceczpospolita, Poland: Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear

Kommersant, Russia: The Kremlin Offers 'an Ultimatum' to America

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: 'Enormous Error' of Bush's 'Georgian Protege'
Cotidianul, Romania:
Georgia Can 'Kiss NATO Goodbye'
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Before Georgia - It is Europe that Needs Mediation
Rue 89, France: East Europe Best Not Depend on 'Obsolete' NATO
Liberation, France: Russian President 'Dictates His Peace' to Hapless Europe
Le Figaro, France: Between America and Russia, the E.U. is On the Front Line
Le Figaro, France: War in the Caucasus: Georgia 'Doesnít Stand a Chance'
Le Figaro, France: A Way Out of the Georgia Crisis for Russia and the West
Le Figaro, France: A Way Out of the Georgia Crisis for Russia and the West
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: Did Russia 'Win' the Georgia Crisis? Not By a Long Shot

 

 

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Posted By Worldmeets.US Apr. 4, 2014, 4:29pm