Echoes of Georgia 2008, Not Czechoslovakia 1939
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by Finian Cunningham via Strategic-Culture
© Photo: REUTERS/Handout
Making up false historical analogies as Western leaders and media are doing is preventing a rational, intelligent discussion to resolve deep-seated problems.
There’s a curious contradiction in the stance of the United States and its NATO allies. They are making out that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is the new Hitler and the Russian military operation ordered in Ukraine is but the beginning of disastrous aggression against Europe.
U.S. President Joe Biden has denounced Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine. Britain’s Defense Minister Ben Wallace claims Putin has “lost his mind” and that the Russian military will next turn to attack Eastern European states. Wallace compared Putin with Hitler on the cusp of Nazi Germany’s war of conquest unleashed on the rest of Europe.
The analogy with Hitler and World War II is all over the Western media. The Washington Post headlined: “Putin’s attack on Ukraine echoes Hitler’s takeover of Czechoslovakia”. It goes on to say: The Nazi leader used similar tactics to dismember and devour Czechoslovakia before World War II.”
There are shrill calls to not “appease” Putin in the same way that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is accused of being soft on Hitler in 1938 around the time that the Fuhrer was planning to invade Czechoslovakia.
The Washington Post piece is particularly ominous. It implies that Putin’s actions in Ukraine are prefiguring designs on the Baltic states and Poland in an attempt to revive Czarist Russia. Even more darkly, it postulates that the Holocaust inflicted by the Third Reich is potentially unfolding under Putin.
Yet, here is the contradiction. If Western leaders and media really believed in their Putin-Hitler analogy then why are they balking at going to war with Russia?
Biden is busy moving thousands of U.S. troops around NATO countries but insists that there will be no American forces deployed in Ukraine. Likewise, the British are refusing to commit any direct military support for the Kiev regime. Ben Wallace, the defense minister, said the imposition of a No-Fly Zone in Ukraine by British warplanes would mean an open confrontation with Russia, which, he said, was not what London wanted.
But their logic is not consistent. If they believe in the dire comparison of Putin and Hitler, Russia and Nazi Germany, then they should act decisively. But they are not.
Of course, it is possible that the Western powers fear that if they were to go to war with Russia then the outcome could be a nuclear cataclysm.
Another possibility for why they are not willing to go to war for the sake of defending Ukraine is simply this: their analogy of Putin-Hitler is downright false. And they know it.
Granted, Hitler did exploit the presence of ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland as justification for expansionism. He hailed the defense of their rights for invading the eastern strip of land adjacent to Germany.
On a superficial level, that move may resemble Putin’s declared recognition of the Donbass republics and defense of the ethnic Russian population. However, the big difference is that Russia’s argument is actually true, unlike Hitler’s pretense of defense in Sudetenland.
(Besides, it should also be noted that the U.S. and Britain are past-masters for cynically using “protection of human rights” as a pretext for their criminal imperialist wars, as in Libya, Syria and many other interventions. So all their posturing and pontificating have a deafening ring of hypocrisy and self-projection.)
It is a verifiable fact that the Russian population in Donbass was besieged and assailed for nearly eight years by the Kiev regime’s forces. If people in the West are unaware of that it is largely because their media chose to ignore the conflict. The Western media also concealed the nature of the Kiev regime and its Neo-Nazi brigades. The regime was brought to power in 2014 by an illegal coup orchestrated by the United States and other NATO powers. The new authorities were and are infested with Neo-Nazi politics and intense anti-Russia phobia. This is who the U.S., Britain and other NATO countries are sending weapons and trainers for.
The shelling of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics by Neo-Nazi brigades persisted for nearly eight years. Moscow vainly held on to the desire that the Kiev regime might implement the Minsk peace accords negotiated in 2014 and 2015. But it had become apparent that the accord would never be implemented. An internal solution was no longer tenable.
As the United States, Britain and other NATO powers flooded Ukraine with lethal weapons – as well as turning a blind eye by France and Germany to systematic violations of the Minsk deal – the Kiev regime was being given license to kill in the Donbass.
Given this background, Russia was forced to take action to defend its compatriots in southeast Ukraine. The hysterical warnings of an impending Russian invasion by Biden and Britain’s Boris Johnson were intended to do two things: incite the Kiev regime forces to ramp up violence; and to stifle Russia from acting because Moscow could then be accused of “invading” as the Western powers had “predicted”.
Moscow says it has no intention of occupying Ukraine. Its objective is to “demilitarize and denazify” the regime that the NATO bloc had installed in Kiev. The priority was to stop a genocide against the people in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Recent discoveries of mass graves show that this is not hyperbole, despite the flippant response from Western politicians and media.
If that’s Russia’s objective then it is justified and principled. It will also show that Western analogies of Nazi aggression on the rest of Europe and the Holocaust are grotesque fear-mongering.
A more accurate analogy to contemporary events is found in the Russian-Georgian war in the summer of 2008. The brief war erupted because the United States and other NATO allies incited Georgia to ramp up aggression in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Putin ordered in Russian troops and quashed the NATO-Georgian offensive. Today, there is a modicum of peace in the Caucasus because Tbilisi backed off from the NATO conspiracy to harass Russia, and to come to terms with its separatist regions.
Will the Kiev regime, or whoever replaces it, likewise come to realize that the NATO-incited aggression against the Donbass and Russia is a path to destruction? A path that the NATO powers do not have the courage nor conviction to actually deploy on.
As ever, the bigger picture here is the steadfast refusal by the United States to commit to a peaceful security order in Europe with Russia. Making up false historical analogies as Western leaders and media are doing is preventing a rational, intelligent discussion to resolve deep-seated problems.