In 1936 we were treated with the Hitler’s Olympics; this year we had Putin’s Olympics. Both men have many similarities not the least of which is a desire for more land and a country in which dissent is not tolerated. Whatever the man wishes is immediately done as shown in the case of Putin by the 80 – 0 vote in his rubber stamp politburo to give him the power to war on Ukraine.
On February 20, 1938, less than a month before invading Austria, Hitler “depicted Austrian Nazis as a persecuted minority, saying it was “intolerable for a self-conscious world power to know that at its side are co-racials who are subjected to continuous suffering because of their sympathy and unity with the whole German race and ideology.” After the speech, Nazis throughout Austria took to the streets amid wild shouts of ‘Sieg Heil!’ and ‘Heil Hitler!'”
While the Austrian Chancellor Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg tried to keep his country independent it “was being eaten alive from within by the emboldened Nazi agitators. Mobs brazenly tore down the red-white-red Austrian flag and raised the swastika banner while police, under Seyss’ control, stood by and watched.”
When Hitler invaded on March 12 his forces met no resistance and in many places were greeted like heroes. “When news of the invasion reached Britain and France, they reacted just as they had when Hitler occupied the Rhineland a few years earlier. They did nothing.”
I don’t know about you but it seems those events are being echoed today and we can hear Hitler’s voice in the words we are hearing from Putin and his henchmen. I also get the feeling that again in the face of aggression the Europeans and Americans will do nothing. Maybe they will not attend a couple of meeting with Russians but there seems to be little else on the table.
The big question is why were we so unprepared for something that clearly was about to happen. It was months ago when the Ukrainian people balked at being brought back under Russian control and began the demonstrations. Few expected that Putin would tolerate this rebuff. He did because the Putin Olympics were in the offing and nothing was to be done to interfere with it.
As I and others following these events predicted, once they ended, Putin would feel free to take action. Surprisingly,President Obama and Secretary Kerry were caught flat-footed by his attack as it seems were the European leadership. We are supposed to have this enormously powerful N.S.A. and C.I.A. and Pentagon yet it seems none had any plans ready in case of this eventuality. Or if they did, the president didn’t like them. This has all the appearance of being Obama’s Katrina.
Maybe the putative next Democrat president has some ideas. I tried to find out what Hillary Clinton had to say about this matter. This is the time for leadership so one would expect this aspiring president would have some suggestions. The best I can find is a statement four days ago. Here’s what is reported:
“Clinton said Russia’s President is a man who “sits as the absolute authority now in Russia and it is quite reminiscent of the kind of authority exercised in the past by Russian leaders, by the czars and their successor Communist leaders. On Ukraine, she said Putin could consider making a move. “I believe, and this is just my opinion, if there is an opportunity for him to consolidate the position of Russia in eastern Ukraine, he will look seriously at doing that,” she said.”
She said: “the United States needs to support a “unified Ukraine”. All that was four days ago, since Putin’s invasion she’s been quiet. Now doesn’t seem to be the time for silence from a presidential hopeful.
Secretary Kerry said of Putin’s move: “It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President (Vladimir) Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia is in violation of its international obligations.” He went on to say: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.”
All true, Kerry, but what are you going to do about it. Think of the Olympics. Think of the men who had them named after them. Think of the language they use to justify their crimes. Think of what happened when nothing was done when the first guy used his military because he could; guess at will happen if nothing is done this time.
My grandson once said to me when he was three years old: “Grandpa,the world is not like you want it to be.” Better he told it to Obama.