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Hillary: Okay, so maybe Putin’s not exactly like Hitler

Hillary: Okay, so maybe Putin’s not exactly like Hitler

Clarification of yesterday’s historical analogy

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Tuesday drew parallels between the aggressive actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine and those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930’s.

She made the comments while speaking at a private event, according to the Press-Telegram of Long Beach, California.

Putin’s desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler’s actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she [Clinton] said.

Putin has been on a campaign to give Russian passports to anyone who has Russian connections, Clinton said.

The Russian leader has recently done so in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which, Clinton said, is similar to what happened in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Hitler resettled tens of thousands of ethnic Germans who were living in parts of Europe to Nazi Germany.

Clinton made her comments at a private event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

[…] “So everybody is hoping that there will be a negotiation but a negotiation that respects Ukraine and doesn’t ratify a reoccupation by Russia of Crimea,” she said. “So it’s a real nail-biter, right now, but nobody wants to up the rhetoric. Everybody wants to cool it in order to find a diplomatic solution and that’s what we should be trying to do.”

(Full comments at Press-Telegram)

On Wednesday, Clinton explained her earlier remarks to an audience in Los Angeles, saying that she wasn’t drawing a comparison but offering historic perspective.

From CNN:

“I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before,” Clinton said during a question and answer session with Lynn Vavreck, a professor of political science and communication studies at UCLA.

“What I said yesterday is that the claims by President Putin and other Russians that they had to go into Crimea and maybe further into eastern Ukraine because they had to protect the Russian minorities … is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland, in Czechoslovakia and elsewhere throughout Europe.”

In her answer to Vavreck’s question, Clinton did not use the name Hitler and instead used the phrase “Germany under the Nazis.”

Full remarks from Wednesday available at CNN.


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Comparisons to Hitler ought to play well in Russia. I thought she was a foreign policy expert, having spent eight years in the White House and served as Sec. of State?

DINORightMarie | March 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Sadly, I must admit I agree with the point she is making. The nationalistic claims that Putin is asserting are indeed reminiscent of those made by Hitler to Chamberlain and the rest of Europe to justify his acts of aggression and invasion.

It’s history. It’s not saying Putin = Hitler.

    The problem I see is she appears to be walking back her comments. The mistake that rookies make on the world stage is to treat the world like the USA. It isn’t. The Democrats have become lazy, relying on their lapdogs in the MSM to spin their rhetoric and grant endless do-overs when they screw up.

    The world isn’t as friendly, and Hillary’s tough talk one minute, followed by her backtracking, doesn’t project the image one needs to in order to be taken seriously. For whatever faults Bush had, he was surrounded by seasoned professionals when it came to foreign policy. The press called him a clown, but the world paid attention to him.

    Hillary was foolish in her attempt to appear bold and wise. She now looks indecisive and uninformed. I think that her comments were ill-advised in that they have the potential to anger the average Russian. Putin should have been her target. She should have used a rifle instead of a shotgun, but liberals aren’t very experienced with guns, so her mistake is understandable.

I despise Hillary. But she’s absolutely correct in drawing the parallel. Wrong to go all Chamberlain, but right on her history.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Daiwa. | March 6, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Yes…. recall that Hitler believed that all “ethnic Germans” were part of the greater body called Volks Deutsche, and as such, belong within the borders of Greater Germany, either by migration or conquest.

    Putin is making the same claim of “Russians”.

    I just hope this doesn’t come to sanctions, because the west might lose its supply of hot women fleeing that nation of misogynistic drunks.

The obvious parallel with Pres. ScamWOW as Chamberlain is why she’s backing off.

BannedbytheGuardian | March 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

After the pathetic sniper fire lie , she should STFU.about eastern europe.

What caused this epiphany? Did she find Ukraine on the map?

Hitler resettled tens of thousands of ethnic Germans who were living in parts of Europe to Nazi Germany.

A bizarre claim.

Expanding the borders of the Reich to include Germans is not how one normally uses the word “resettle”.

Maybe she learned something about the mutability (not to mention perversion) of language from Bill, the “I did not resettle with that woman” Kid.

Adolf’s reoccupation of the Rhineland was a seizure of a productive area of Germany which the Allied powers had removed from German authority after WW1. The Reichswehr had moved into the area to put down Sparticist uprisings around 1920. In response, French troops occupied Frankfurt. The Reichswehr dealt with the Sparticists and left, after which the French grudgingly left Frankfurt. Adolf wanted to see if the French of 1936 would be on their guard the same way they were in 1920. (We all know the answer to that one.)

The Anschluss with Austria was convenient for Adolf’s secret rearmament program; elimination of a national border would make it much harder for Germany’s old enemies to keep track of what was going on – though that couldn’t have been hard, as they don’t seem to have known about the Wehrmacht‘s huge armor-training program in Kazan. Odd in retrospect, because Comrade Molotov certainly knew about it. The Anschluss also allowed Adolf to claim to be a native son of the Reich, which he couldn’t do before his native Austria was included; though little details like that probably didn’t cause him to lose a lot of sleep.

The annexation of the Sudatenland was a particularly spectacular coup. The new country of Czechoslovakia (tacked together after WW1 from the wreckage of the Habsburg Empire), anticipating that its major problems in the future would be with Germany, had built Europe’s most extensive system of forts (notwithstanding the Maginot Line and the forts around Liege) in its border areas. But the border areas were . . . the Sudatenland. The Munich Conference guaranteed Germany that the rest of Europe wouldn’t interfere if Adolf seized those Czech areas; and with them, the Czechs lost their system of fortifications, leaving the rest of Czechoslovakia essentially undefended.

In short, Adolf doesn’t seem to have been strongly motivated to protect foreign Germans who in any event weren’t in any particular danger. His moves had solid strategic significance. The populations, when they figured into things at all, were excuses.

The Russian problem in its current form dates from a Stalin-era attempt to dilute local ethnic populations by forced resettlement; either moving chunks of the ethnics elsewhere, the method most notoriously inflicted on some of the Cossacks, or by moving Russians in. One of many advantages in moving Russians in was that then the Central Committee could require that education in government schools be conducted in Russian (specifically, Great Russian, as spoken around Moscow). Weakening of the local ethnic languages would help to weaken political unity, and any sort of local political unity was (and still is, I suppose) anathema to a good Communist in the capital.

The mass relocation policy continued postwar in the territories which had been reabsorbed into the Motherland, most notably, perhaps, the Baltic republics states, whose native populations weren’t remotely Slavic, let alone Russian.

That’s the situation which confronts Putin. Vast numbers of Russians were moved from one place in Russia to another several decades ago, all by virtue of those imperious phone calls from Comrade Secretary Stalin or his immediate successor, the somewhat less paranoid or homicidal but equally totalitarian Nikita K. These Russian populations are still there, but some of the areas they were moved to are no longer in Russia.

If Putin is genuinely concerned about ensuring the welfare of some of these ex-Russians, well, that won’t be the worst thing he’s ever tried to do. But if it’s really just an excuse for some other bit of policy he’s been trying to justify, well, that’s just Great Power politics, and nothing Putin (or for that matter, Adolf) invented.

CONCLUSION: Hillary is, as expected, worthless.

    If Hillary stated that Putin is Hitler, what is she going to do about it?
    As for the claim that Stalin’s population transfers are responsible for today’s problems in Ukraine, what do you make out of, for instance, Odessa? It was founded in the late 18th century by Catherine the Great on the land annexed in Russo-Turkish wars, and throughout the 19th century was majority Russian with something like 30+% Jewish minority. Important Russian cultural center. it’s now majority Ukrainian, but still Orthodox and Russian-speaking. You can look at every Ukrainian region and find them to be absolutely different.

Putin has been on a campaign to give Russian passports to anyone who has Russian connections, Clinton said.

And Barry Obama has been on a campaign to give U.S. citizenship to anyone who doesn’t have American connections. (Bonus points if they’ve been involved in anti-American protests, or have terrorist connections).

Richard Aubrey | March 6, 2014 at 7:43 am

After WW I, and the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (“the melting pot on a cold fire”), many ethnic groups sought autonomy. Clemenceau remarked, “Must every little language have its own country?”
Ditto the USSR. Remember Nagorno-Karabakh, whoever they were and however many city blocks they constituted?
Hillary, it kills me to say, was right in that Hitler used ethnic Germans in other polities as excuses for mischief.
The question is whether Russians in other polities are, as the question was about the Sudeten Germans, in need of succor. Or, I suppose, after the Peace of Westphalia, even that’s not a question/excuse for anything.
After having been unable to pin the Balkan atrocities on the US–damn’ shame–liberal churches in the US came up with the doctrine of humanitarian intervention. If nagged enough, they might have agreed with the “f” word (fight) in that the conditions for peace might have to be imposed.
Be a hell of a note if Putin is reading the minutes of the WCC/NCC (Nobody Goes to Any More).

Putin is not like “Hitler” (per Hillary). Putin is like Obama: taking over our country w/Obamcare regardless of the economic consequences and a general lawlessness w/an Imperialist’s tyrannical bent.

She’s right in making the comparison in the terms that she did; she didn’t say Putin’s going to attempt to exterminate an entire race or draw a Hitler mustache on him. She simply noted, historically accurately, that Putin is using the same sort of logic that Hitler did. A logic, we should remember, that made perfect sense to many Germans and appears to make perfect sense to many Russians. A logic, we should also note, makes perfect sense to La Raza and their affiliated groups here in America.

As early as 1933, Hitler was drumming up support by attacking the Versailles Treaty and promising to stop reparation payments. It was a small leap to then turn his attention to the lands that he and many Germans had long-felt were “stolen” from them after WWI. Indeed, the Germans were happy to “take back” those first portions that were carved out at Versailles because they saw that as their right. No one knew then what Hitler would do next, of course, and the comparison Hillary makes stops there. I think we do a disservice to history (and to our present and future) when we make any and all factual historical comparisons to Hitler “off limits.”

Maybe the Hitler comparison was inspired by her starring role as Neville Chamberlain.

Henry Hawkins | March 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Crimea, Ukraine, Putin, Hitler… none of this shit would be going on if John Kerry were still alive.