Personality crisis

Why is the right along with much of the media so obsessed with Hitler? My guess is that it’s because they can break it down into some personality-driven drama, the brave Churchillian resolve of…well, Churchill…and the evil of Hitler. Damn your wonky facts and figures, your liberal nuance and your equivocation, it’s time to fire up the Lee Greenwood and watch others take arms to defend these United States of America. And, no, we don’t need Nate Silver to calculate our odds of winning.

Never mind that Nazism didn’t occur in vacuum. Lev from Library Grape:

Hitler seems more relevant than ever, even though he’s actually less relevant than ever. It’s obviously very popular to hear arguments that we need to bomb Country X because Munich, obvs, but reducing Hitler’s rise to simple lack of willpower is reductive and silly. It owed just as much to institutional failure and economic mismanagement, and we have much better institutions now and know much more about how to manage economies. One could simply argue that a new Hitler is impossible at the present time given these new facts, and many of the purported new Hitlers are not really in a position to harm the West or have little obvious inclination to try. After all, our refraining from constant intervention for the first 170 years of the republic did not result in Hitlers continually rising up in Europe (or elsewhere).






88 replies
  1. 1
    Hunter Gathers says:

    If the 2016 GOP POTUS primary was held right at this moment, Putin would win easily. I’m surprised nobody’s polled how well Putin would do in a GOP primary.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Why has the American right of today forgotten just how much the American right of the 1930s loved them some Hitler?

  3. 3
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I think there was a poll by Pew a few weeks ago. He would not do well in the General, even when he was hosting the Olympic games. I think he might have to run as a “No Labels” candidate.

  4. 4
    colby says:

    Also, history studies since, well, 1938 have uncovered some pretty convincing evidence that Munich was hardly the result of naive beliefs in Hitler’s promises, but a clear-eyed assessment of where the other major powers were at the time- which was not a place capable of fighting Germany. Munich was an attempt to stall. And it still pissed Hitler off (but hey, what didn’t?).

    But the big problem is, the Munich analogy proves to much. There isn’t a diplomatic agreement on Earth that you can’t accuse one side or the other of waiting to reneg on. The only way to avoid Munich comparisons is not to negotiate. It’s a sham.

  5. 5
    Pogonip says:

    I would like to know what compelling national interest the U.S. has in Ukraine. References appreciated.

  6. 6
    Suffern ACE says:

    O.K. so what exactly does a leader have to do qualify as a “Hitler.”

  7. 7
    dslak says:

    If you don’t have anything intelligent (or relevant) to say, at least you can always mention Munich.

    ETA: E.g., Bobby’s problems with the bully at school remind me an awful lot of Munich ’38.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @Suffern ACE: Do something someone else doesn’t like.

  9. 9
    mk3872 says:

    Why does the right along with much of the media so obsessed with Hitler?

    I’m sure I don’t have that answer. However, it does help to explain why Repubs and the MSM want to bomb the crap out of everyone: they’re all afraid that they’re Hitler.

  10. 10
    RepubAnon says:

    I read an interesting article about Neville Chamberlain and the Treaty of Munich. It seems as though Britain needed time to re-arm, and knew that Japan would attack if the British got into a military confrontation with Hitler. Thus, Chamberlain had little choice other than negotiation. When things got hot, Churchill needed a scapegoat – and Neville was a handy target for derision.

    This is not the situation today. Europe will react, the US will react – the former Soviet Bloc countries will likely also react, making future incursions unlikely. The interesting thing will be to see whether Gazprom reacts by cutting natural gas shipments to Europe…

  11. 11
    RepubAnon says:

    @dslak: Don’t forget – Senator Graham just revealed that the Treaty of Munich and World War 2 were caused by Benghazi! (/snark, if anyone really wondered)

  12. 12
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Pogonip: None, except if you believe that it should eventually qualify to be a member of Nato and are willing to add another poor economy to the EU, and would like to continuously lend money to a bankrupt country where the loans will be pilfered by whomever is placed in charge.

    If we did egg Putin on by staging a protest based coup to bring Ukraine into the EU or Nato, we are getting the foreign crisis we deserve at the moment. We don’t actually want Ukraine or need them to make Nato effective and they actually add another basket case to the EU.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @Suffern ACE: In the old days it was difficult for wayward leaders to earn Hitler status. Standards seem to have slipped in recent years with new Hitlers being crowned all over the place.

  14. 14
    Lurking Buffoon says:

    I’m just waiting for the refusal to acknowledge facts or history gets to the point they say that Benghazi caused Hitler.

    EDIT: Curses! RepubAnon beat me to it!

  15. 15
    patroclus says:

    Hitler is always relevant because he happened only 70-80 years ago – he’s the reason for Godwin’s Law, which was broken by Chuck Lane (who was far better as Peter Sarsgaard) in the lead-in to this post.

    The Crimean peninsula was Russian prior to Khruschev giving it to Ukraine in the 50’s. Just as we were never going to go to war over Georgia, we’re not gonna do it over the Crimea either. But diplomatic saber rattling is good policy and I like what Kerry did in Kiev today. The market/ruble crash forced Putin to backtrack today and it seems unlikely that he’s gonna exterminate 6 million Jews, gays, Poles and many others in Ukraine. We’ll see though – the situation is fluid.

  16. 16
    efgoldman says:

    @RepubAnon:

    The interesting thing will be to see whether Gazprom reacts by cutting natural gas shipments to Europe…

    Wouldn’t that be cutting off their economic nose to spite their political face? Where else they gonna’ get money for what’s already a shitty economy?

  17. 17
    efgoldman says:

    @patroclus:

    it seems unlikely that he’s gonna exterminate 6 million Jews, gays, Poles and many others in Ukraine.

    I dunno’. Doesn’t Vladimir the Decisive see himself as the real heir to Stalin?

  18. 18
    jl says:

    ” and I like what Kerry did in Kiev today.”

    Right before Kerry flew off to Paris to continue to hash out a deal…

    Kerry to meet with Lavrov to discuss Ukraine crisis

    ” US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tomorrow to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell reports.

    Lavrov will not join the larger meeting with the Ukrainian Minister or the other foreign ministers.

    The Ukrainian foreign minister is travelling with Kerry on his plane to Paris for talks with other foreign ministers including William Hague tomorrow. ”

    http://www.itv.com/news/update.....ne-crisis/

  19. 19
    Belafon says:

    Because Hitler’s easy (in hindsight): He was evil in the most basic sense of the term. Very much like Darth Vader until you find out he didn’t kill Luke for a reason. If all bad guys were like Hitler, you’d know exactly what they were.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    Hitler seems more relevant than ever, even though he’s actually less relevant than ever. It’s obviously very popular to hear arguments that we need to bomb Country X because Munich, obvs, but reducing Hitler’s rise to simple lack of willpower is reductive and silly. It owed just as much to institutional failure and economic mismanagement, and we have much better institutions now and know much more about how to manage economies. One could simply argue that a new Hitler is impossible at the present time given these new facts, and many of the purported new Hitlers are not really in a position to harm the West or have little obvious inclination to try. After all, our refraining from constant intervention for the first 170 years of the republic did not result in Hitlers continually rising up in Europe (or elsewhere).

    This kind of gets into the whole way we view World War Two, especially now that there are so few people alive to remember it anymore. To us, World War Two is basically a Hollywood action movie that happened in real life, with the Nazis being the real life version of [vampires, werewolves, zombies – pick your movie villain] who could only be beaten by killing ’em all.

    No one’s interested in the complex economic and institutional failures that allowed fascism to take hold in Germany or Italy. We just want to remember the time of generic patriotic togetherness in which we all came together and fucked up some bad guys. If there’s any lesson to be learned from World War Two, it’s that crazy and scary foreigners are crazy and scary, you can’t give them an inch, and any time any of them gives you some lip, you just gotta smash their skull in with a baseball bat. That’ll learn ’em.

  21. 21
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    I saw joefromlowell in the comments on another site making the case that we should be involved because “the Ukrainians are people too.” He must use macros and just change the name of the country.

  22. 22
    David Koch says:

    Funny how the neo-cons didn’t see Putin as Hitler, when Bush and Cheney were hosting him at Crawford, affectionately calling him “Puttie-Put”

  23. 23
    IowaOldLady says:

    @David Koch: What was with all the stupid nicknames? What grown up person does that?

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    @colby:

    But the big problem is, the Munich analogy proves to much. There isn’t a diplomatic agreement on Earth that you can’t accuse one side or the other of waiting to reneg on. The only way to avoid Munich comparisons is not to negotiate. It’s a sham.

    Yeah, exactly.

    The problem with Munich is that everybody remembers that one time the mad dictator tried to conquer and/or destroy the world, and nobody remembers the twenty times that X or Y country seized someone else’s soil, Sudentenland style… and just left it at that.

    When China invaded Tibet, it didn’t go on to start World War Three. When India invaded Sikkim, it didn’t go on to start World War Three. Heck, Israel invades a neighbor every four or five years, and as unhinged as they can be sometimes, nobody thinks that letting them fuck up their immediate neighborhood means they’re going to go on some crazy, 1940s scale crusade. If you give a mouse a cookie, he will not, in fact, automatically want a glass of milk.

    And yes, maybe “somebody should do something” when events like the above happen, but the idea that not doing something will inevitably result in everyone else getting blitzkrieged is just nonsense. More often than not, it simply stops there.

  25. 25
    reflectionephemeral says:

    @Belafon:

    Because Hitler’s easy (in hindsight): He was evil in the most basic sense of the term.

    I think Belafon has this right. If you’re a (contemporary, US) conservative, you think that out groups are bad. So… why not the worst?

  26. 26
    Tim F. says:

    Moral clarity. Unlike literally every other circumstance in world history, everyone but Pat Buchanan agrees that Hitler was bad and attacking him with our army was the best and only way to save the world. If you want war then only Hitler will do. You cannot railroad an argument with World War I, Ho Chi Minh or Nikita Kruschev and nost people still have no idea who the hell was Xerxes.

    Anyhow Nazism was an equal-but-opposite reaction to Marxist movements of the time. Keep in mind that Russia had just fallen and Communists had already taken two credible shots at revolution in Germany. The social Democrats and moderate nationalists both had their own social order and gangs, but most people agreed that only the Nazis brought an organization and ruthlessness that could match the communists. Nobody ever gave Hitler enough power to legitimately claim power, they were not that crazy, but fear of an even worse alternative moved the nationalists and industrialists to grant him enough power to grab it.

    The lesson is that Nazism needs an equally frightening internal enemy to gain traction. For instance if Occupy Wall Street caught on beyond their own wildest dreams, then maybe instead of crying to the Times about people not liking them the 1% would find some some hard hitting tea party crackers and put them in enough positions of authority to get a lid back on the situation, one way or another.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    Some commenter earlier today said (loosely paraphrasing) that the GOP is going to latch on to this crisis just as it is winding down.

    I guess something like this situation will not really be over for a long time, and we have to continue to hope for the best.

    But underneath all the amateur war gaming about sending all U.S. fleets into the Black sea, etc. there are hopeful signs that the outlines are becoming clear of what each of the parties involved (which for political reasons domestic and international includes the U.S.) wants and is willing to accept.

    IIRC correctly, at the U.N. yesterday there was agreement that working out something that looks, at least vaguely like the Feb 21 agreement is acceptable to the U.S. and Russia (and I guess something will be found that Ukraine will agree to).

    I think Putin today more or less stated today that he is satisfied enough with the way things are going that he is OK with Crimea as his bargaining chip for now, and toned down his rhetoric so that his next pretext, if needed, will require considerable work and creativity.

    If we are lucky, what will happen is that the GOP will continue to rave incoherently about the crisis long after the really dangerous bits are over, in wingnut code language that is ever more incomprehensible to normal people.

    Edit: presumably, something vaguely like the Feb 21 deal, but without Yanukovych, I don’t see how he can be part of anything going forward. Progress might be measured in how little we hear about him from now on.

  28. 28
    efgoldman says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    What was with all the stupid nicknames? What grown up person does that?

    Question answers itself, dunnit?

  29. 29
    Suffern ACE says:

    @David Koch: Yeah, but that was before they decided to offer NATO membership to everyone and his uncle. I think Russia has been very clear that they do not want any more NATO members on its borders. If the US isn’t going to respect that, well then Russia probably should set up disputed territories to prevent it.

  30. 30
    Quicksand says:

    After all, our refraining from constant intervention for the first 170 years of the republic did not result in Hitlers continually rising up in Europe (or elsewhere).

    With notably rare exceptions.

  31. 31
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jl: Honestly, if the GOP wants to run on Ukrainian Nationalism, let them. I don’t think that’s going to be a winner, but they seem to think so.

  32. 32
    Anoniminous says:

    @Chris:

    Israel is different because Jesus.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    I think Belafon has this right. If you’re a (contemporary, US) conservative, you think that out groups are bad. So… why not the worst?

    Yep.

    This is, literally, what they mean when they call liberals fascists and Nazis and compare a tax hike to Munich: all it means is “you’re mean and nasty and bad.” None of them have any fucking idea what fascism is beyond “the evilest evil that ever eviled.” So anything they don’t like, by definition, is fascist.

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Right, right.

  35. 35

    Why does the right along with much of the media so obsessed with Hitler?

    Because he failed and they want some (most? all?) of his “ideas” to happen today?

  36. 36
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    All this talk about Munich, what about Finland? Should the Allies come to her aid when the Soviets invaded in ’39?

    How would that have played out? Well, I suppose US would have just kicked one more ass on the Forties. It would have been easy.

  37. 37
    somethingblue says:

    we have much better institutions now and know much more about how to manage economies.

    Uh-huh.

  38. 38
    kindness says:

    C’mon now. Hitler is an easy insult to throw around. The actual similarity or not doesn’t mean a thing to a rightie. It’s an easy visceral attention grabber. Except with over-use it won’t be. Like now. Still, for a delusional lowbrow who thinks they need a soap box to blame anyone else for their/the world’s problems Hitler will forever be a go to line. And the right will never agree there is a hypocrisy in them using Hitler all the time.

  39. 39
    Lev says:

    Gosh, thanks for another citation! I’m overwhelmed.

  40. 40
    KG says:

    @RepubAnon: not only will Europe and the US react, what allies does Russia actually have if the feces hit the ventilation? The rest of BRICS does too much business with the west to risk WWIII over Ukraine

  41. 41

    It owed just as much to institutional failure and economic mismanagement, and we have much better institutions now and know much more about how to manage economies.

    We certainly have the first. We do have more knowledge about how to manage economies. That hasn’t done us a lot of good lately, has it?

  42. 42
    Calouste says:

    @Quicksand:

    I was wondering in which parallel universe the US refrained from constant intervention until WWII. Probably one where the American continent ends at the Mississippi or the Rio Grande.

  43. 43
    jl says:

    I wasn’t going to bring this bit of CA governorator campaign news up, but since the topic has drifted in the same general direction:

    (And before people freak out, this madness is from Tim Donnelly running for CA gov, not Jerry deciding to throw in for 2016)

    California Guv Candidate Compares Obama To Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong Il, And King George III
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....ama-hitler

  44. 44
    Cassidy says:

    When is the UNSC gonna get involved? I’m excited about Master Chief, but I’ll settle for a Warthog.

  45. 45
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jl: IIRC correctly, at the U.N. yesterday there was agreement that working out something that looks, at least vaguely like the Feb 21 agreement is acceptable to the U.S. and Russia

    There was no such agreement, and perhaps the key element of the Feb 21 agreement was leaving Yanukovych in place and holding elections in December. That’s a complete non-starter in Ukraine now. I think everyone on all sides recognizes that Yanukovych’s political future in Ukraine is non-existent.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    @jl: No Pol Pot? Fucking amateur hour.

  47. 47
    Lev says:

    @somethingblue:

    Compared to Weimar Germany? And Keynesian economics was just being born in the interwar period, let alone becoming even remotely accepted, not to mention that nearly all European countries not named France or Britain were only getting used to this whole “democracy” thing. I mean, the whole thing’s a mess but there’s no comparison.

  48. 48
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    All this talk about Munich, what about Finland? The Soviets, invaded in ’39. Should the Allies have come to her defense then? How would that have played out?

  49. 49
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Calouste: Well, we showed that King of Spain where he could stick his meddlesome tyranny in Cuba, and we got the Philippines for our effort. To protect them, mind you. Until they were ready for the independence that they thought they were ready for at the time.

  50. 50
    Chris says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    Dunno. How much of the clusterfuck of the last thirty years is actually due to a lack of “knowledge,” and how much of it is due to policymakers and other VSPs simply ignoring said knowledge in favor of policies that may not manage economies well, but make the richer richer and more powerful?

    None of what Krugman’s saying is exactly rocket science by modern standards – the Gilded Age, Progressive Era, Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, World War Two and postwar Liberal Consensus years gave us plenty of information on what does and doesn’t work in managing a national economy (hint: stimulus spending, high taxes and high rates of unionization aren’t the problem, and deregulation and tax cuts on the rich aren’t the solution) and plenty of people have written plenty about it. We just choose to ignore it all in favor of inane Ayn Randian buckets of shit churned out by bought-and-paid-for think tanks and media outlets.

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @KG: Europe will not react. It’s been pointed out facetiously here that the price of central London real estate will crater if there’s a war or sanctions, but the hard truth is that the UK will not support sanctions largely because of the degree to which rich Russians spend tons of money in London. Also the fact that BP holds 20% of Rosneft and has publicly stated it supports those investments unequivocally. Merkel will never support sanctions because she needs the gas at current prices.

  52. 52
    Calouste says:

    @Lev:

    Yeah, thanks for the laugh. Now go read a history book before you make a fool of yourself again the next time you post something.

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    @Lev:

    And also too, compare the Marshall Plan to the Treaty of Versailles. I mean, compare the rebuilding of Iraq to the Treaty of Versailles.

    In people’s rush to condemn the present and recent past, they overlook how much more fucked up the distant past was.

  54. 54
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think the issue was whether Europe would react to Putin actually behaving like Hitler. I think that was meant to mean “Doing a heck of a lot more than he is now.”

  55. 55
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    There are enough Arabs in London to prop up the real estate prices when the Russians are gone. And they will be flush with cash because the energy prices will go through the roof.

  56. 56
    drkrick says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Yeah, but that was before they decided to offer NATO membership to everyone and his uncle.

    The idea of NATO membership for Ukraine has been dead for more than 10 years. EU membership not so much, but that shouldn’t be the same kind of red flag for Putin.

  57. 57
    drkrick says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    What was with all the stupid nicknames? What grown up person does that?

    Chris Berman?

  58. 58
    Jay C says:

    @Ronnie Pudding:

    The situation n Finland in 1939 was more akin to the Russian moves against Georgia in 2008: A serious Russian aggression to “correct” borders they (well, Stalin) thought were too close for comfort – against a smaller, less-important nation in their “sphere of influence”. All conducted to a chorus of worldwide condemnation which had no effect whatsoever on the final result. Of course, unlike in Georgia, the Finns fought back, hard, and kicked Soviet ass left, right and center until they were simply overwhelmed by superior numbers. And, yes, many of the Allies did make plans to try to help the Finns: but it was too distant, too late, and by the time they even got plans in gear, they had other fish to fry, i.e. the German invasions of Denmark, Holland, Norway, and finally, France….

  59. 59
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    ” There was no such agreement, and perhaps the key element of the Feb 21 agreement was leaving Yanukovych in place and holding elections in December. ”

    I didn’t mean a formal agreement and should have explained more I should have said that a general idea for an agreement.was discussed that seemed acceptable to Russia and the US representatives at the U.N. Russia said it wanted the Feb 21 agreement, and the U.S. said that probably the Feb 21 agreement could be used as a model with some work, and some changes. Maybe that discussion is the basis of the negotiations in Paris tomorrow.

    I forgot to set up a folder to save these articles. Don’t know if you saw it, but I found a more detailed report of the 24-25 Feb poll that said 43 percent of Russian public supported intervention in Crimea That’s at yesterday’s War Makes Good Headlines post.

  60. 60
    Cervantes says:

    @DougJ:

    Why is the right along with much of the media so obsessed with Hitler? My guess is that it’s because they can break it down into some personality-driven drama, the brave Churchillian resolve of…well, Churchill…and the evil of Hitler. Damn your wonky facts and figures, your liberal nuance and your equivocation

    I don’t know the answer to your question. Maybe she does:

    Hillary Clinton Compares Russia Moves To Nazi Aggression

    Clinton compared the Russian government’s issuing passports in Ukraine to pre-World War II actions taken by Germany, two fundraiser guests said of Clinton’s first comments since Putin’s troops entered Ukraine on Saturday.

    […]

    Both Saltzgaver and a second fundraiser attendee, who requested to speak without attribution, described Clinton’s parallel between the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, who resettled tens of thousands of ethnic Germans in Eastern and Central Europe to Nazi Germany.

    “She compared issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians with ties to Russia with early actions by Nazi Germany before Hitler began invading neighboring countries,” Saltzgaver said. “She said, however, that while that makes people nervous, there is no indication that Putin is as irrational as the instigator of World War II.”

    “She talked about how what Putin is doing now is similar to what Hitler did, essentially providing these ethnic Russians in the Crimea region access back to Russia,” said the second attendee. “And that it was destabilizing.”

  61. 61
    Suffern ACE says:

    @drkrick: I suppose. But which body in Europe is the one that freezes assets and hands out economic sanctions? Individual countries can do it, but doesn’t the EU do that for all members? The Common Foreign and Security Policy, while not loaded with cruise missiles, is actually another tool that the Western Europeans have to make life difficult for non-EU members.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @jl:

    Can’t find the article that talks about the idea of some version of the February 21 agreement would be OK to US and Russia.

    But here is an article that reports mutual willingness to consider international observers as a solution. Obviously there is no formal agreement on anything yet, but they did identify some basis for moving forward with negotiations, which I think is an important development.

    Russia: Yanukovich asked Putin to use force to save Ukraine
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....nnel=11563

  63. 63
    Cervantes says:

    @Suffern ACE: Hittle?

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cervantes: I am actually curious to see what more she has to say beyond that reporting. She can be very hawky. OK, scratch that. She is very hawky. I would like to see if her time at state has changed those impulses.

  65. 65
    JoyfulA says:

    @Ronnie Pudding: Getting to Finland through the Baltic would have been tough in 1939.

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @jl:

    Can’t find the article that talks about the idea of some version of the February 21 agreement would be OK to US and Russia.

    This may not be it:

    Lavrov said Ukraine should return to a Feb. 21 agreement that sought to end months of unrest in Kiev by addressing an array of issues at the heart of the dispute between protesters and the government of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. However, the agreement did not address the grievances that caused the protests in the first place, and the pro-Russian Yanukovych fled Kiev for protective sanctuary near Moscow within days of signing it.

    U.S. officials say the Feb. 21 agreement could form the “basis” for a political resolution to the crisis, but not in its present form. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said it would have to be significantly altered in order to be useful, given major changes since it was signed.

    By Lara Jakes, AP, March 4, 2014.

  67. 67
    jl says:

    @Cervantes: Yes, that is it. Thanks.

    Anyway, what i meant to say in my original comment was that they have found a few ideas that are good enough to go ahead with some low visibility negotiations. What goes on there may be more important that the public PR talk we hear over the next week or so. I hope they make progress.

  68. 68
    proterozoic says:

    Apologies if someone said this already, but the Hitler analogy is rather useful to bash Putin with. The word “anschluss” has been bandied about quite a bit around Russian-language sites in the past couple of days, even with a censorship crackdown.

    It’s not just blog rhetoric – a professor just got fired from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations for a really long article where he really drove the whole thing home. For Russian readers: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinio.....-uzhe-bylo

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I am actually curious to see what more she has to say beyond that reporting. She can be very hawky. OK, scratch that. She is very hawky.

    As of this morning:

    Hillary Clinton has yet to comment on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a situation that escalated Saturday when 6,000 troops moved into the province of Crimea. Even as Republicans have criticized the former secretary of state for her implementation of Obama’s “reset” approach to Russia in recent weeks, Clinton has stayed quiet. Her spokesman did not respond to an inquiry on Monday about the still shifting conflict.

    Late last year, Clinton did tweet twice about ongoing Ukrainian protests, which she said she was watching “with alarm.” And at a speech in Florida last Wednesday, before tensions in the region escalated, Clinton advocated for a “unified Ukraine” and predicted Putin would “consolidate the position of Russia in eastern Ukraine.”

    As for:

    I would like to see if her time at state has changed those impulses.

    To be clear: the remarks posted in my previous comment were made this evening.

  70. 70
    RaflW says:

    It also helps that most of the people who were adults or even adolescents during Hitler’s reign are dead now, or in serious decline. There’s just not that many people to call I-was-there bullshit on these armchair tank jockeys.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Seems to me that, at least to Lane and his neo-con, Keyboard Kommando ilk, comparing Putin to Hitler is less about Putin than casting Obama as Chamberlain and themselves as Churchill

  72. 72
    David Koch says:

    Dougie,

    I gotta think Fournier is a worse, if not dumber, chicken hawk than Lane

    @ron_fournier: “#Obama undercut his standing by vacillating on Syria & reluctant to use force.”

    Invading Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t stop Putin from invading Georgia.

    In any event, Russia knows the US won’t got to war over Crimea, there’s no oil to steal.

  73. 73
    David Koch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: exactly. And they fail to acknowledge that Chamberlain was member of the conservative party and a failed trust-fund businessman, just like Bush

  74. 74
    mclaren says:

    Why is the right along with much of the media so obsessed with Hitler?

    Adolph was the original rock star, bitches. All those searchlights pointing up? All the costumes and regalia? Those elaborate stage mechanics?

    All just a prelude to Kiss and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars!

    And who doesn’t love Kiss and Ziggy Stardust, I ask you? Who????!!?!??

  75. 75
    David Koch says:

    There’s also some sexual issues over their titillation of Putin’s staged physical activities.

  76. 76
    Petorado says:

    The thing about Hitler is that he’s about as universal an apotheosis of a demonic being as modern history can recollect. The first thing about waging an all-out war on your opponent is to demonize them — to strip them of their humanity so that their utter annihilation can be achieved. Want to make your opponent less than human and therefore deserving of no empathy whatsoever? Link them to Hitler and the Nazis so that destroying them becomes a favor to mankind.

    But of course dehumanization is exactly the method Hitler and the Nazis used upon their own sworn enemies, so in essence going all Godwin on an opponent makes the accusers far closer to the Hitler analogy themselves rather than the people initially being smeared.

  77. 77
    gian says:

    @RepubAnon:

    I will probably regret not scrolling down.
    But the thing is Churchill had been preaching the dangers of Hitler throughout the 30s and it fell on deaf ears. Fascism was in fashion, and very few in power wanted to look at the darker side.
    France and the UK had bled like stuck pigs in WWI and weren’t exactly eager in the populace to start WWII
    he was dismissed as a warmonger.

    Perhaps the best chance to avert disaster would’ve been a military response when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland.

    Churchill had been politically pushing to ramp up the British military and had basically been ignored. IIRC he had a hand in the late 30s in getting the RAF into something like fighting trim

    this article was a quick google hit.
    http://www.historynet.com/wins.....ending.htm

  78. 78
    gian says:

    @Petorado:
    so when I say that Pol Pot was like Hitler, I’m – like Hitler?

  79. 79
    Petorado says:

    @gian: There are plenty of actual horrible people whose actions are analogous to what Hitler did in fact do, Pol Pot being one of them. Comparing the ACA to Nazi atrocities is obviously bullshit.

    But if the whole point of a person’s argument is to demonize their opponent, without any legitimate rationale to do so, simply to sway the public into taking harshly negative positions, then I think they are using tactics other despots have historically used to make it easier to destroy a perceived enemy, literally or politically.

    If someone has to abandon rationality and resort to unconscionable propaganda methods to declare innocent people as subhuman, then yes, that’s doing what many of the great mass-murderers in history have done.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Chuck Lane needs to be chucked out of a helicopter.

    Just sayin’.

  81. 81
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Tim F.:

    For instance if Occupy Wall Street caught on beyond their own wildest dreams, then maybe instead of crying to the Times about people not liking them the 1% would find some some hard hitting tea party crackers and put them in enough positions of authority to get a lid back on the situation, one way or another.

    Your alternative history novel is too terrifying to read, thank you.

    @mclaren:

    And who doesn’t love Kiss and Ziggy Stardust, I ask you? Who????!!?!??

    10yo Jewish Steel is pumping his fist to this in a most unkosher way.

  82. 82
    Fred says:

    I think if it hadn’t been for the extermination camps Hitler would be viewed as just another megalamaniacal failed dictator.
    And if Hitler had let his generals run the war he might not have been such a failure. They possibly could have consolidated a nice little empire if they had just left France and Russia alone. Who gave a fart about the Slavs and the Baltics? Not anybody with a big army.

    Did someone stage a chorus line called “The Dancing Hitlers” or is that my imagination? The image is so vivid but I get those. Maybe I should seek medical attention. Ahh, a hallucination here a delusion there, a good dose of denial and apply liberally.

  83. 83
    zoot says:

    Why is the right along with much of the media so obsessed with Hitler? My guess is that it’s because they can break it down into some personality-driven drama, the brave Churchillian resolve of…well, Churchill…

    my guess is that they are obsessed with hitler is because they love him – its secret hero worship. hitler was, and achieved everything republican/conservatives strive for: ruthless authoritarianism, unabashed persecution of “the other”, shameless superiority complex, violent enforcement of one’s beliefs, rejection of reality in favor of a twisted unreality, etc.

  84. 84
    cleek says:

    analogy ad-Hitler is simply the easiest way for a lazy thinker to say “X is really bad!”

    almost everyone knows Hitler and his stories and he’s such a clear example of evil that the temptation to use him as the reference point for whatever you’re dissatisfied with is too great for many.

  85. 85
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @beltane: They’d love their own Hitler today. He was “manly” and “decisive” – unlike our current president who is supposedly indecisive and wimpy. Their only issue is there’s a Hitler out there somewhere else and we don’t have one.

  86. 86

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: It is telling how they love them some Putin, the strong leader of their fantasies.

  87. 87
    Heliopause says:

    So Putin is some combination of insane and Hitler-ish. Not to mention Kerry’s formulation that he’s a 19th century colonialist autocrat.

    At this point I just want to leave aside the truth or falsehood of any of this and grasp the punditocracy by its collective throat and ask, “have you even thought for five seconds about the implications of any of these claims?”

    Goddamn the Twitter era.

  88. 88
    central texas says:

    Given much of the wingnutosphere’s barely concealed infatuation with Putin, I’m surprized that they don’t idolize
    Adolph as a “strong leader” who “took direct action” and “who you always knew where he stood”, etc, etc, etc.

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