IS HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF – AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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This will appear in The Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana, USA on March 14th.

In 1938 Adolph Hitler made one of his many moves for world conquest and domination by moving troops into a part of Czechoslovakia known as the Sudetenland. This is a land area that borders Germany on the east and was a large part of western Czechoslovakia. Hitler telegraphed his move to the world and without a formal outcry he annexed the territory and then moved troops in. England had legitimized his reasoning for the move and signed the agreement allowing Germany to control the land. Hitler had used as the context for the land grab that he needed to protect the German speaking inhabitants of the Czech territory.

In less than one year after Hitler took control of the new territory, German launched a full scale invasion of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. Six hundred thousand Czech Jews would eventually be sent to concentration camps and the country remained occupied until a second yoke of tyranny, the Soviet Union, liberated and then controlled it until the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s.

Soon after the annexation by Germany, elections were held and over 97% of the voters determined that the Sudetenland would be ruled under the Nazi Party. Hitler knew exactly what he was doing and he understood that he had the most powerful army of his day and thus the world would turn a blind eye. He had also confirmed by vote that the new territory would be administered under the Nazi banner.

Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was one of the two most powerful countries in the world. They and the United States held the power to completely destroy the word as we know it today within a matter of hours. Russia’s power on the world stage was immense and they were playing in the politics of countries from Angola to China and from North Korea to leftist militia in South America. Suddenly this came to an end when the Soviet Union collapsed and a proud former power had to take a back seat to a sworn adversary, The United States of America.

While America focused its’ international attention on the middle east a leader emerged in Russia that is determined to restore to his country to its’ former grandeur; and he is accomplishing this. When Hitler took control of Germany the economy was in shambles and that was his first great accomplishment, he got the economy under control and thus the hearts and minds of the population followed. Today Russia’s President Puntin took control of a troubled economy and during his first Presidency real income increased by 250% while unemployment was cut in half. A revamp of the military and a flat rate income tax of 13% was pushed by this former leader in the Russian KGB. He was smart, well-educated and due to his KGB experience understands the workings of the western countries much the way that George Bush SR understood the ideology of Saddam Hussein.

Teddy Roosevelt said,”Speak softly but carry a big stick”; meaning let your actions speak for you and when you say something be prepared to back it up. Putin has been testing the resolve of the United States and has uncovered weaknesses in our state department doctrine and how we have changed our past strategy to a newer wait-and-see approach to handling crisis. The handling of the Iranian nuclear program and alienating Israel has played into Putin’s hands. Our leading from behind in Libya has surely left a NATO community questioning America’s ability to take charge of a tense situation while the Benghazi fiasco has left leaders of our own country incredulous as to the safety we provide to our Foreign Service teams. Again Putin smiles as he quietly observes the collapse in American dominance unfolding before him. Our approach to Syria allowed Putin to take center stage as a world leader as he brokered the deal between Syria and the western world that ultimately favors Russian’s Syrian ally. We, the United States, is responsible for elevating Putin to a world leader of the stature he enjoys today.
Today Russia has moved troops to the Crimea area of the Ukraine. This is of key importance to Russia as this allows the country to have a warm water port, a very important part to any country’s military operations. The pretext of the move into Ukraine, to protect the Russian speaking people living in the Crimea section of Ukraine. Next on the agenda; an election to determine what government the Crimea will control the territory. Sound familiar. It directly parallels the invasion of the Sudetenland by Germany and Hitler’s desired and Putin desires to build their counties into the single most powerful world leader.

There is a difference this time. Despite a country that many have a perception of becoming a paper tiger, the current leadership in Washington is showing a new found governance in the world. Since we have now lost the respect of the world when it comes to world leadership, we may have to go it alone with the Ukraine and it appears the current administration is prepared to do so. America has about 37 Billion Dollars in assets in Russia while a much smaller European Economic Community has seven times this amount. Had we been stronger in the past they may have been willing to more eagerly back the United States with our mission to keep Russia form controlling the Ukraine. There is too much at stake for Europe to do so today. There will be some support but it will be limited, despite how hard we try to persuade our allies to support us.
It is imperative that we stay the course when confronting Russia for three reasons. First it is right to protect a country that is under threat of invasion. That is who we are and what has made us great. Second we have to thwart the growth of Putin and his ideological ideals. Third, we must show the world that we are the country of old, the banner of democracy and the leader of the free world and thus regain the respect of our European allies.

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Comments
  1. Kinda hard to “rally” behind or in front of Obama….

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