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The Putin-Hitler Analogy Parallels to the Ukraine
Hillary Clinton's remarks at UCLA regarding the Russian moves in Crimea and Ukraine that parallel Hitler's moves raised a lot of ignorant reactions. Obviously, those comments stating that her comments are incorrect in comparing Putin to Hitler are simply wrong. The Russians may not like being compared to Hitler or the Nazis, but what Putin and Russia have done mirrors what Hitler did in the pre-WW2 years. It is right out of the Hitler playbook. Putin, no doubt knows this. Of course, Putin has not killed millions of Jews, so any analogy about that is wrong.
For those who are ignorant of history, Hitler did exactly what Putin has done in the Ukraine and Crimea. In 1938, Hitler claimed that Austria and Czechoslovakia were filled with ethnic Germans and he was determined to annex both. He did so without much opposition from France, the US, or England, who simply watched as German forces moved into Austria. Once that was done, Czechoslovakia was next. However, like today, the allied nations did try to oppose this through diplomatic channels during the Summer of 1938. By September, 1938, the negotiations were still far apart. That is when Hitler ordered his troops to conduct exercises along the Czech border, over 100,000 of them. Obviously, he was going to invade unless he got what he wanted and the allies gave him what he wanted. Hitler claimed that some three million Germans were in the Czech region that faced persecution, although all claims were hard to prove.
By mid-Sept., the allies gave Hitler the border regions containing the ethnic Germans without any discuss or treaty with the Czech government! In 1939, Hitler used similar tactics to claim Poland, however, that was the first battle of WW2, as German forces occupied the country just as Putin has occupied the Crimea, which was part of Ukraine.
So, many of the knee-jerk reactions about what she said and how Putin's actions resembles Hitler's are shallow. Putin is grabbing the Crimea for the warm water port Russia needs and claims that the region is mostly Russian, which is not 100% true. He seized it because Ukraine is not a Russian territory as it was before 1994, but a independent nation, Putin cannot accept this. He is from the Cold War era. The Ukraine was vital to the old Soviet Union and Putin does not want it to lean towards the West. Putin may use another play from Hitler's book, that is, seize the part of the Ukraine (the eastern part) containing mostly Russians or pro-Russian, splitting the country in two. An election may also create the same situation or a pro-West or pro-Russia state. But you know, in any election planned, the loser will claim of fraud at the ballot box, so any election may be futile in solving the issue.
The West has more options than in 1938, but sanctions will hurt Europe far more than the US, which gets 30% of its gas from Russia. Sanctions will hurt Russia but probably not change Putin's objective by much. He can shut off the gas to the Ukraine, as he has does before to get his way.
Maybe the Ukraine should become a West and East Ukraine but the Crimea will probably now be always Russian.