Week in Review
Hillary Clinton compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler over his excuse to enter Crimea. To protect ethnic Russians. Much like the excuse Hitler used to enter the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. To protect ethnic Germans. Because the Czechoslovakians were oppressing them. A trumped up charge. Much like Vladimir Putin’s claims that the Ukrainians were oppressing the Russians in Crimea. Clinton received some blowback for her comparison of Putin to Hitler so she walked it back a little. But was she wrong in her comparison?
Actually, no. For there are Crimea-Sudetenland similarities. But it probably ends there. For Hitler had much bigger goals. He wanted to recover all of the Germanic lands lost in the wake of World War I. For he felt the Germanic people were special. Even thought of them as the master race. And loved Germanic mythology. Especially those featuring Germanic glory. And the destiny of the Germanic master race. Which is why he loved Richard Wagner. And could listen to those 5-hour operas all day long.
He planned on taking Slavic lands (especially the breadbasket of Europe—Ukraine) for living space. Lebensraum. To take their food for the master race. Leaving the Slavs to starve to death. Expanding the borders of Greater Germany. To fulfill the Germanic people’s destiny. That’s what Hitler wanted. But Putin surely doesn’t share any similar goals as these (see Vladimir Putin’s heroes: Russian president motivated by writers’ messianic view of country’s destiny by Joseph Brean posted 3/21/2014 on the National Post).
…a young mystic poet and philosopher named Vladimir Solovyov gave his first public lecture in Saint Petersburg. A “wild looking” intellectual gadfly with long hair and “fiery” eyes, he expressed a vision of Russian destiny that, a century later, has made him a philosophical hero of the man behind Russia’s latest Crimean adventure, the long-serving autocratic President Vladimir Putin.
“The lecture had a markedly conservative agenda, close to the Slavophile belief in Russia’s divinely inspired historical mission,” according to Solovyov’s biographer, Judith Deutsch Kornblatt. “In it, he criticizes the blind, monolithic power of the East as well as the fragmented power of the West; the former destroys the freedom of the individual, while the latter leads to unchecked egoism and anarchy.”
Solovyov’s argument — still so relevant that Mr. Putin reportedly assigns his political underlings to read him — was that “hope for the future resides only with a third people, the Slavs,” whose national character integrates the other two extremes…
Mr. Putin is a product of the Soviet Union and sees its collapse as the greatest disaster of the modern era, a view that is rooted in a deeper narrative about Moscow as the “Third Rome,” said Neil MacFarlane, Lester B. Pearson Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford, focused on the politics of the former Soviet Union.
The collapse of Russia under his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, further strengthened Mr. Putin’s resolve to restore its former glory, and writers like Solovyov — obscured during Soviet rule, he rose in prominence following the 1980s Glasnost policy of openness — had a “visceral appeal.”
Russia’s divinely inspired historical mission? Moscow is the Third Rome? The collapse of the Soviet Union is the greatest disaster of the modern era? Return the former glory of Russia? Perhaps Hillary Clinton didn’t need to walk anything back after all.
Tags: Adolf Hitler, Crimea, Czechoslovakia, Germanic people, Hillary Clinton, Hitler, master race, Putin, Slav, Solovyov, Soviet Union, Sudetenland, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin
Week in Review
In the movie Yellowbeard there was a scene at the docks where a guy was asking who wanted to join them on a well-paid, well-fed, adventure holiday on a modern rat-free, leak-proof ship. Any volunteers were to just lie down on the ground with their eyes shut. Then a guy hit them over the head. Knocking them unconscious. At which point they volunteered for that adventure holiday. That’s one type of ‘democracy’. Here’s another (see Ukraine Secession Referendum Does Not Have a ‘No’ Option by Noah Rayman posted 3/7/2014 on Time).
Crimea, which voted to put the question of secession from Ukraine to a referendum, has released a ballot with severely limited choices, and all of the options come with strings attached
“No” is not an option in the upcoming referendum in Crimea on whether to split from Ukraine…
The two questions, written in Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar, ask:
•“Do you support joining Crimea with the Russian Federation as a citizen of the Russian Federation?”’
•“Do you support restoration of 1992 Crimean Constitution and Crimea’s status as a part of Ukraine?”
The current constitution states that the Crimean Constitution must be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament. Meaning that any secession of the Crimean peninsula must be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament. Which is why the second question, though it appears as a vote to stay a part of Ukraine, is basically the same as the first question. For the 1992 Crimean Constitution removes the clause about any Crimean constitution having to be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.
So what does this mean? It basically means anyone who opposes the annexation of Crimea by Russia should just lie down on the ground with their eyes closed. Forever. Because however you vote (option 1, option 2 or no vote) Russia will annex the Crimea. Even though current Ukrainian and Crimean law forbid this. But that’s the advantage of being a former KGB dictator. If you don’t like a law you just re-write it so you do. Sort of like President Obama rewriting the Affordable Care Act some 29 times so it doesn’t harm the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. So they can complete their annexation of the American health care system before the people can do something about it in the next election.
Tags: annex, annexation, Crimea, Crimean Constitution, Democrat, Democrats, Russia, secession, Ukraine, Ukrainian Parliament
Week in Review
They say artists must suffer for their art. Poor Vincent van Gogh suffered insanity and cut his own ear off. And later shot himself. Today his paintings are worth millions. So the works of this Russian artist should be worth big rubles in the future (see Artist nails scrotum to ground in protest by QMI Agency posted 11/11/2013 on Vancouver 24 Hrs).
A Russian performance artist’s latest piece saw him nail his testicles to the ground of Moscow’s Red Square. The act was to protest the country’s descent into a “police state,” The Guardian reports.
“The performance can be seen as a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society,” artist Pyotr Pavlensky said in a statement.
After Ronald Reagan won the Cold War the Soviet Union was no more. The people were free from their communist oppressors. For awhile, at least. Their current president was former KGB. Vladimir Putin. Who views the collapse of the Soviet Union as a dark day for Russia. And would like to put the band back together again. Which he is doing. The police state is making such a comeback that a protester nailed his testicles to the ground. For doing that was less painful than an oppressive police state.
Just something to think about the next time you vote. Do you want to give more power to the state? So they can listen to your phone calls and read your email? Or do you want the state to have less power? I think I speak for everyone when I say we would prefer a government that is less painful than nailing your testicles to the ground.
Tags: nailed his testicles to the ground, police state, Russia, Russian artist, Soviet Union
Week in Review
World conquest is a lot like real estate. The three most important things are location, location and location. And Poland has always been in a prime location. If you look at a map you can see why. To the east are Ukraine (bread basket of Europe), Belarus and Lithuania. All one-time members of the Russian Empire. As well as the Soviet Union. To the west is Germany. And Western Europe. To the north is the Baltic Sea. Making Poland the crossroads between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Soviet Union. Prime real estate indeed. From the days of Catherine the Great Russia wanted her land. As did an Austrian about 150 years later. Adolf Hitler. Who conspired with another Russian to take her land. Joseph Stalin.
Hitler and Stalin joined forces to conquer and partition Poland along the Narew, Vistula, and San rivers. After the Allies gave Hitler Czechoslovakia. Lying along the southern border of Poland. So Poland felt the wrath of two of the worst dictators of the Twentieth Century. As the Nazis invaded from the west and south (via Czechoslovakia). And the Soviets invaded from the east. They crushed Poland. And committed some of the worst atrocities of World War II. Which the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland officially kicked off (see AP Exclusive: Memos show US hushed up Soviet crime by RANDY HERSCHAFT and VANESSA GERA, Associated Press, posted 9/10/2012 on Yahoo! News).
The American POWs sent secret coded messages to Washington with news of a Soviet atrocity: In 1943 they saw rows of corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest, on the western edge of Russia, proof that the killers could not have been the Nazis who had only recently occupied the area.
The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power. The long-held suspicion is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t want to anger Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.
Documents released Monday and seen in advance by The Associated Press lend weight to the belief that suppression within the highest levels of the U.S. government helped cover up Soviet guilt in the killing of some 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in the Katyn forest and other locations in 1940…
The Soviet secret police killed the 22,000 Poles with shots to the back of the head. Their aim was to eliminate a military and intellectual elite that would have put up stiff resistance to Soviet control. The men were among Poland’s most accomplished — officers and reserve officers who in their civilian lives worked as doctors, lawyers, teachers, or as other professionals. Their loss has proven an enduring wound to the Polish nation.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) loved Joseph Stalin. It was the era of Big Government. And Stalin liked what he saw happening in Italy under Benito Mussolini. And what he saw in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. These were men who thought big like FDR. And knew the great things the state could do if only not hindered by laws and elections. He would have professed admiration for another Big Government type had he not made his ambitions clear so early. Because Nazi Germany was National Socialism. With a lot of the same kind of make-work programs FDR had in his New Deal.
But FDR was naive when it came to communism. While others saw the true Stalin FDR lived in denial. He liked Uncle Joe. Knew that he could talk to this man. That he could trust this man. He was so naive that his own administration contained Soviet operatives. Something he would refuse to even entertain the possibility of. Because the future was going to be made by men like Mussolini, Stalin and FDR. Then that horrible day came. When FDR suffered his greatest shock and disappointment. When the Soviets and Nazis entered into their non-aggression pact. The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1939. Where the Soviets agreed not to enter any war Germany started. In exchange for the Poland Partition and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Also, the Soviets agreed to provide Germany the raw materials she needed for her war industry that the British denied Germany with her blockade. Making the conquests of Nazi Germany possible. As well as her crimes. So Joseph Stalin has more blood on his hands than just that horrible massacre in the Katyn Forest. He has the blood of all those who died under Nazi aggression. And Nazi oppression. Including the twenty million or more Soviets who perished in World War II. The innocents who paid the price for their leader’s ambitions. As they always do.
Then the ultimate Polish betrayal came at the Yalta Conference. Where FDR still trusted Stalin. And gave him whatever he asked without asking for anything in return. The part of Poland Hitler agreed to give to the Soviets remained Soviet. Her western border was moved into Germany. But the Soviets never left Poland. Poland fell behind the Iron Curtain that fell from “Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic.” And all the conquered people behind the Iron Curtain remained oppressed throughout the Cold War. Stuck in time. Often hungry and without the basic necessities of everyday life. Proving the point that presidents with aggressive domestic agendas tend to have inept and naïve foreign policy. FDR may have won the war. But he lost the peace. And the price of losing the peace (44 years of Cold War) was as much if not greater than the cost of winning World War II.
Tags: Cold War, Communism, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe, FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Germany, Hitler, Iron Curtain, Joseph Stalin, Katyn Forest, Katyn Forest Massacre, Nazi, Nazi Germany, Nazi-Soviet, New Deal, non-aggression pact, Poland, Poland Partition, Polish, Roosevelt, Russia, Soviet, Soviet Union, Stalin, Western Europe, World War II
Week in Review
Apparently President Obama’s whispered words to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to tell incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin not to worry about the missile-defense sites did little to assuage Russian angst. He told Dmitry to tell Vladimir that he’ll have more flexibility once the 2012 election was over. Because without having to worry about pleasing the people for yet another election he could act with impunity. Dmitry said he would tell Vladimir. And yet the Russians are still really upset over the missile-defense sites. What, do they think Obama’s going to lose the 2012 election? Perhaps (see Russian General Threatens ‘Pre-emptive’ Attacks by ANDREW E. KRAMER posted 5/3/2012 on The New York Times).
A senior Russian general threatened on Wednesday pre-emptive attacks on missile-defense sites in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe in the event of a crisis, underscoring the Kremlin’s opposition to the Obama administration’s plans and further undermining relations between the countries…
Mr. Vershbow said NATO interceptors would not be able to be launched quickly enough to intercept a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile as it traveled toward the United States, calling it “a question of science and geography.” He noted that some Russian scientists and policy experts agreed with this assessment.
President George W. Bush proposed the system for Eastern Europe after withdrawing from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty over Russia’s objections. President Obama first stalled the Eastern European program as part of the so-called reset in relations and then revived it in a new format, called the Phased Adaptive Approach.
Russian generals floated a number of objections to the revised plan. General Makarov, in his speech, said the United States was refusing to offer written guarantees that the interceptor missiles directed at Iran would not have the capacity to hit a Russian ICBM in flight as it streaked toward the United States with a nuclear warhead. American officials have said the proposed system will not have that capability.
Remember the days of Ronald Reagan? When we were working on plans to put an antimissile defense system into space? Over Soviet protests? Those were the days. When we did things to protect the United States. And not try to be nice to people who weren’t playing nice with us.
The Left called Ronald Reagan a cowboy. Not in a romantic way. But as an insult. The Left said he was too swaggering and putting the U.S. into danger with all of his anti-communist talk. That we needed to talk to the Soviets. Like Carter talked to the Russians. And who, incidentally, caused the Soviets to change their nuclear policy. Because of Carter’s displayed weakness the Soviets established a first-strike nuclear option. That they came close to using during the Carter administration. Because they were sure they could get away with doing it.
The Left didn’t like George W. Bush either. For the same reasons. Which is why the Obama administration sent Hillary Clinton to Russia with a ‘reset’ button to reset U.S.-Russian relations. To undo all the damage George W. Bush, another cowboy, did. Meanwhile Vladimir is riding around shirtless. Showing his people, and the world, what a cowboy he is. But for some reason, the Left doesn’t mind when Putin swaggers.
So apparently cowboys are bad unless they’re Russian cowboys. And nuclear weapons are bad unless they’re Russian nuclear weapons. And American and NATO defenses are good when they can’t intercept Russian nuclear ICBMs.
What is wrong with this picture?
Tags: 2012 election, antimissile, antimissile defense system, Carter, cowboy, George W. Bush, ICBM, Medvedev, missile-defense sites, NATO, nuclear, nuclear weapons, Obama, President Obama, Putin, Ronald Reagan, Russian, Soviet
Week in Review
The first disappointment was his stated belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. A crushing blow for same-sex marriage advocates. Then came Obama’s less than enthusiastic support for the State of Israel in dealing with the Palestinians. Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. And Iran. Who all oppress and persecute the LGBT community. Unlike Israel. Who affords them the same rights as any other Israeli. In fact, Israel is a popular destination for the LGBT community. For in Israel there is no discrimination against pretty much anyone. Having been the butt of discrimination for much of history they’re just not a fan of it. And now this latest blow (see Russian lawmakers target gay ‘propaganda’ by Michael Birnbaum posted 4/17/2012 on The Washington Post).
The anti-Western rhetoric that dominated Russia’s recent elections has a new focus, with gays targeted as symbols of Western permissiveness in a wave of laws being adopted across the country.
Here in St. Petersburg, a city that prides itself as the most European in Russia, the lawmaker behind a new local ban on gay “propaganda” has said that he is defending traditional Russian values against an onslaught from the West. Gay activists — two of whom were the first to go on trial this week on charges of violating the new law — counter that the rules will legitimize homophobic attitudes and aggression even as Europe and the United States move toward acceptance.
St. Petersburg’s parliament was the latest to enact such a law, which imposes fines of up to $17,000 for spreading “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality or transgenderism among minors,” and the national parliament in recent weeks has taken up similar legislation. In a country where a 2010 poll by the respected Levada Center found that 74 percent of Russians deemed gays and lesbians “morally dissolute or deficient,” advocates for gay rights worry that the laws could rapidly become more common.
Wow. Ronald Reagan never did anything like this. And he was probably the most hated Republican. Though George W. Bush gave him a run for his money. As much as the Left hates Republicans, conservatives, Christians, etc., the LGBT community was never attacked like this by them. Sure, some in these groups may applaud these Russian developments, but even they have never advanced legislation like this. At most issuing moral condemnation about American televisions shows like Glee. Which is a far cry from what’s happening in St. Petersburg. Or should I say Leningrad? Which is how some do doubt feel it’s become.
President Obama has condemned George W. Bush’s Russian policies. He didn’t approve of placing anti-ballistic missile defenses in Europe that could intercept Russian missiles as well as Iranian missiles. And he didn’t like the swaggering cowboy image of George W. Bush (who condemned Russian human rights abuses) in general. So one of the first things he did as president was to send Hillary Clinton there with a ‘reset button’ for U.S.-Russian relations. So the U.S. and Russia can start a new era of friendship and cooperation. And about those anti-ballistic missile defenses in Europe? Well, a hot microphone picked up the president telling Russian president Dmitry Medvedev not to worry about that. And to tell incoming president Vladimir Putin (a man that likes to portray an even more swaggering cowboy image than Bush) that once the current election is behind him he will be more flexible on that missile defense issue. Because it didn’t matter what the American people thought after that election. So he had more freedom in his actions.
So if Obama is going to give away a defensive anti-ballistic missile defense system for his pal Vladimir chances are he’s not going to make a big issue out of Russia’s new policies on the LGBT community. Yet another let down for this community and liberals everywhere who helped elect him believing his message of hope and change. Little did they know that hope and change was only for the people who agreed with his vision that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Which creates quite the quandary for liberals. Do they keep ignoring these slights to issues they hold dear? Or do they say things weren’t really that bad under Republicans. And during those good economic times they at least had jobs. A lot more than they do now. And probably a lot better and higher paying. Because businesses can do that when they can earn a profit. Which has to eventually make some people ask if they’re not getting their policies why should they keep suffering with this bad economy.
Like I said, quite the quandary.
Tags: anti-ballistic missile defenses, between a man and a woman, discrimination, Dmitry Medvedev, George W. Bush, human rights abuses, Israel, LGBT, LGBT community, liberals, marriage, Obama, Russian policies, Russian values, St. Petersburg, swaggering cowboy image, Vladimir Putin
Week in Review
Man escapes death from being struck with by a piece of living history (see Man Miraculously Saves His Life As Satellite Fragment Crashes Into His House by Jesus Diaz posted 12/25/2011 on Gizmodo).
Andrei Krivorukov got a wonderful Christmas gift: his very own life. He saved it after a titanium ball from a Russian communication satellite crashed right into his house, escaping death by just a few feet.
The Russian satellite was a Meridian, which is used for civilian and military communications. It was destroyed when a Soyuz-2 rocket exploded in midair, just a few minutes after its launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome—a Russian spaceport, located 500 miles north of Moscow…
It’s a weird accident not only because of this Christmas miracle: the Soyuz has an excellent track record. It’s a tried-and-true vehicle with hundreds of successful missions since the 1960s, when it was designed by OKB-1 and manufactured at State Aviation Plant No. 1 in Samara, Russia. Its first flight was in 1966. The variant that launched today only has had one failure and one partial failure.
The Soyuz is tried and true. From the days of putting the first man into space to shuttling people and supplies to the orbiting International Space Station. It’s a true workhorse of the space program. And the only one. For the American Space Shuttle Program is now retired. And it was shorter lived, more costly and suffered more failures than the Soyuz. Never being able to live up to its initial design. Not only to make space travel cheap but profitable. Something it never did. Being one of the most costly space systems of all time.
Yes, the Shuttle could retrieve satellites from space. Something the Soyuz couldn’t do. But it came at a cost. And by cost I mean a big, heaping price tag. It would have been cheaper and more cost effective to have continued with disposable booster systems. Like the Soviets did. And the Russians still are. Sending new satellites in orbit to replace broken ones instead of trying to fix them.
Yes, the Shuttle was a magnificent piece of engineering. But here we are. Over 40 years have passed since Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon and we are still locked in Earth’s orbit. One wonders where we might have gone had we not poured so much money into Space Shuttle.
Tags: failed satellite launch, rocket, Russians, satellite, Soviets, Soyuz, Soyuz-2 rocket, space program, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Program, titanium ball
Week in Review
The last communist leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, is publicly criticizing a man he once supported. Vladimir Putin. Who is mocking Russian protestors. In his quest to return to power. Over the protests of those he mocks (see Mikhail Gorbachev ‘ashamed’ of Vladimir Putin by Andrew Osborn posted 12/23/2011 on The Telegraph).
In his strongest criticism of the Kremlin yet, the father of perestroika said he was shocked and disappointed by the glib way that Mr Putin had reacted to unprecedented anti-Kremlin protests in recent weeks.
“This is shameful. And embarrassing. I, for example, am ashamed,” he said of Mr Putin’s dismissive attitude after the prime minister sarcastically likened the protestors’ white ribbons to condoms.
“I feel tied to Putin in the sense that at first, when he came to power, I actively supported him everywhere, both here and abroad. And now look,” he said in an interview published in Novaya Gazeta, a liberal newspaper he part owns.
Strong criticisms, indeed. Mikhail Gorbachev may have been the father of perestroika (a little restructuring of the Soviet economy and society to be a little more like that in the West) but he was still a communist. What he wanted to do was what China did. And China did what it did by learning the lessons of perestroika. And why it destroyed the Soviet Communist Party. A mistake the Chinese did not make. At least, not yet.
It would appear that Vladimir Putin wants to do what China did. He is just trying to restore the glory days of the Soviet Union. A Soviet Union enthusiast. When people were cowed and feared the police state and did not protest. Like good little communists. The kind that he oppressed and disciplined during his days in the Soviet security police. The KGB. Similar to the Nazi Gestapo. So Putin knows a thing or two about Soviet communism. Tyranny. And oppression. Which is perhaps why the Russian people are none too eager to see him return to power. And return the Russian people back to the glory days of the Soviet Union.
Tags: China, Communism, Communist, communist leader, Gorbachev, Mikhail Gorbachev, perestroika, police state, Putin, Russian, Russian protestors, Soviet, Soviet Communism, Soviet Union, Soviet Union enthusiast, Vladimir Putin