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In a US where everything is apparently comparable to Hitler, can we at least admit that Putin idolizes mass-murdering Stalin more than some mass-murdering Austrian if we are going to go to an absurd extreme over the military invasion of Crimea?

Declarations that Putin is somehow ‘just like’ Hitler because of the invasion are making me want to pull my hair out. Putin is a muscular masculine wrassler of bears not some goose-stepping asshole who liked his girlfriends to pee on him. And on the Awfulness Scale, after winning WWII Stalin went on to murder 20 million of his own people. He further engaged the US in brinksmanship and proxy wars that led to the death of millions more internationally.

Stalin invaded countries (waves to Poland), persecuted/gulaged/murdered his own people and, you know, was Soviet (and a Communist...just like Putin). Hitler also invaded Poland, persecuted/concentration camped/murdered his own people but was NOT Russian (and not a Communist).

I grew up during the Cold War and am totally pissed off that it isn’t being resurrected appropriately. In the 1970s and 80s we didn't need no stinkin' Hitler to make the likes of Putin bad, the shadow of Stalin was more than enough.

Screw Hitler. When it comes to Ukraine, it's Stalin, stupid. Unless, of course, the worm has truly turned and it's Bush...

Poll

Is Putin Stalin or Hitler? You choose.

35%14 votes
10%4 votes
55%22 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hitler had a better brand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, annieli, northsylvania

    than Stalin. It's all about marketing.

    •  also better corporate identity program/pogrom nt (0+ / 0-)

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

      by annieli on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:40:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unless your comment is snark, which I (0+ / 0-)

      would think in questionable taste, it's quite wrong. One can take as emblematic either Churchill's famous defense for aiding Russia and Stalin:

      Despite his intense hatred of the Communists, Churchill had no hesitation in sending aid to Russia and defending Stalin in public. "If Hitler invaded Hell," he once remarked, "I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons."
      Or, the hold Stalin and Stalinist Communism had for so long on so many people on the left.

      Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

      by another American on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:07:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, Stalin wasn't Russian (6+ / 0-)

    but Georgian.  However, once in power he did find it advantageous to use the Russians as the USSR's dominant and even colonizing culture.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:56:00 PM PST

  •  As a young man, Stalin trained (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, Richard Lyon, terremoto

    for the priesthood.  In a way, that's how he ended up, hectoring his people(s) over mountains of corpses to achieve his version of god's reign on earth.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:57:34 PM PST

    •  Yes, and the infrastructure of the gulags was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      originally constructed by the tsars, who were the defenders of the Orthodox faith. So Tsar Josef I merely built on what came before (albeit with new music, architecture and iconography).

      "Disturbances in society are never more fearful than when those who are stirring up the trouble can use the pretext of religion to mask their true designs." -- Denis Diderot

      by terremoto on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:57:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They will side with anyone else over the uppity (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, TakeSake
    Hidden by:
    Mindful Nature

    black man in the white (man's) house

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:58:21 PM PST

  •  Goddamn, this is hot. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl

    "I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch." - A Tribe Called Quest

    by turnover on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:58:41 PM PST

  •  Putin is communist? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, ExpatGirl, exlrrp, corvo, David54

    This is news to me.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:59:34 PM PST

  •  It Has Little To Do W/ Stalin On The Right..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, Meteor Blades, rhauenstein

    It's all about painting the President as a helpless little guy in mom jeans who is feckless, weak, inactive & inattentive.

    The average FOX watcher couldn't pick out a Stalin lookalike in a line up.  They have no idea who he was, what he perpetrated, or what those consequences were.  They have no idea about Crimean, Georgian, Ukranian or Russian history.

    Putin rides a motorcycle, he hunts, he's a man's man.  That's enough for the gun totting, gubmint hating FOX News crowd.
    Bluff, bluster, confrontation & flexing your muscle is all it takes to make them swoon.

  •  Stalin wins (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, btfsilence, 6412093
    And on the Awfulness Scale, after winning WWII Stalin went on to murder 20 million of his own people. He further engaged the US in brinksmanship and proxy wars that led to the death of millions more internationally.
    mostly because he was in power longer and had a larger starting population to reduce. Had Hitler beat Russia, I expect he'd have been happy to kill 20 million Russians too.
  •  Yeah but Stalin had a longer shelf life (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, Meteor Blades, 6412093

    So far, comparisons to either Hitler or Stalin are, lets call it premature, and certainly don't help the situation at all. lets save them for when Putin actually starts killing people, something both H and S did with pleasure and dedication. he's showing who really holds the power and it will be settled on his agenda. No doubt about it.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:05:28 PM PST

  •  The only reason Stalin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, erratic, earicicle

    is not condemned in the harshest possible is that Adolf, Goering, Gobbels, Himmler and the rest of the Nazi gang LOST the WAR. Their enemies broke into in bowels of the sewer and the whole world saw the concentration camps, the ovens, the walking skeletons, the piles of hair, the heaps of pulled teeth to be "mined" for their gold and silver fillings.

    ALL of these and MORE were happening in Siberia, but no one broke into those camps. No one has hunted down the graves without crosses, the collapsed mines full of crushed political prisoners, etc.. Therefore its easier to hide the atrocities and to hide Stalin's crimes.

    Shalom.

    "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

    by WineRev on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:06:34 PM PST

    •  we could afford only one bad guy at a time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl

      So Stalin became Uncle Joe. To the Allies he was the lesser of two evils I guess. Almost a shame one side got to win.

    •  Stalin did his mass murderer the old fashioned way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      Mass starvation. He staved the countryside to feed the cities. That led a far more rapid industrialization of the USSR. That increased industrial capacity was a if not the major factor in the Soviets defeat of Germany.
      Stalin was an evil man but his murderous 5 year plans did save Russia from a fate worse than him. Hitler whose plan for all Slavic people was to kill half and enslave the rest.

    •  I think Stalin has been harshly condemned... (6+ / 0-)

      ...at an increasing pace ever since Khruschev's secret (leaked) speech at the Twentieth Party Congress in 1956, which sharply criticized Stalin for his actions and his attempt to build a cult of personality. (Many U.S. communists left the party after the speech was published in the states.) Khruschev's criticisms of Stalin were limited, of course. Communist ideology was not attacked and the oppression of common citizens was not mentioned. But he opened the door, ever so slightly. Since then, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and Roy Mevedev, to name just a few put a far deeper taint on Stalin. Harsh critics on both the left and outside the Party took risks, but there were more than a few. In 1970, while serving my time for refusing the draft, I read Let History Judge, Medvedev's excoriating criticism of Stalin from a Marxist point of view. You couldn't leave that book without sensing that Stalin was Hitler's equal. And there was more to come.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:41:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  shall we review a little history? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, Zornorph, debedb

    Was it Stalin or Hitler who endorsed and followed the doctrine that major powers had the right to invade neighbors to "protect" minority populations that are ethnically related to the ethnicity of the major power?

    Yes, there are some parallels to STalin also, but if you actually understand history instead of dealing in cheap tropes, you'd understand that this is a far, far more nuanced view than you make it out to be.  I'm sorry you haven't taken the time to actually study it.

    •  In all fairness, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, 6412093

      Hitler didn't have to invade the Sudetenland.  He got it more or less for free.

       

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:12:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Putin and Hitler also share an intel-background, (0+ / 0-)

      Putin from the KGB and Hitler from his time as a military informant.

      "Your diary is a pack of filthy lies." -bronte17

      by Setrak on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:15:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  THe key issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        btfsilence, WineRev

        at stake is the doctrine of a right invade other countries to "protect" co-nationals who reside other countries.

        Under this doctrine, there are endless invasions that would be "legal" if the Hitler-Putin doctrine is accepted as so many here would like to do.  

        •  Well put. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splintersawry, DowneastDem

          Perhaps someone should ask Mr. Putin if the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians have the "right" to invade Russia in order to protect their co-nationals residing in Siberia?

          What? You mean it was the Soviets (and the Czars----of what ethnic background?--- before them) who removed 6% of the Estonian population in one week in 1941 from Estonia to Siberia? Why should that make a difference? Protecting is protecting and invading is invading. (The fact that these "settlements" of ethnic groups were called the Gulag is "unfortunate", yes, Mr. Putin?)  And, well, if the Baltic Invasion Force (or is that the Baltic Co-National Protection Freedom Fighters?) happen to gain control of certain Siberian oil and gas fields to the detriment of Russian interests, well, them's the breaks, right?

          "Protecting co-nationals" is especially reprehensible for Moscow to use as an excuse for its actions in Crimea and vis-a-vis Ukraine. Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev followed the Czarist program of "Russification" and settled 400,000 Russian speaking "settlers" into a country of 1,000,000 (in the case of Estonia) since WW2. (This is a prime reason everybody who got out of the "Prison of Nations" in 1991 with the collapse of the USSR (from Estonia through Ukraine down to the Caucuses and out through the "-stans") get VERY nervous at this reason being evinced by Moscow. All these nations were forced to take in Russian ethnics so that the excuse can be used against each smaller nation in turn.)

          It is the sheerest effrontery and pernicious gall for Mr. Putin to NOW claim "protecting co-nationals."

          Shalom.

          "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

          by WineRev on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:30:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Look. I understand how personal this is for you (0+ / 0-)

      and I am genuinely sorry about the tragedy and sadness your family has faced. I know my history very well and the hyperbole around what is happening in Ukraine at the moment is completely insulting to that history. The situations are 100% not comparable. That may change but, for now, they simply aren't the same.

      •  you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb

        are in no position to tell me to ignore it or ask that I accept your rather ill informed opinions on these matters.

        •  My opinions are hardly ill informed. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, Mindful Nature

          I would wager that they are more informed than most. But my diary was more or less snark based on the Cold War rhetoric I grew up surrounded by.

          At the moment, the US has a choice in how it frames what is happening in the Ukraine. It can compare it to WWII/Hitler or to the former USSR or to Bush/Iraq or to Thatcher/Falklands. There are plenty of choices but each has history behind it.

          Do you truly believe that Putin has just launched a quest for global domination? A quest for ethnic purity for the sake of the Aryan Race? I don't.

          •  You'd never make it (0+ / 0-)

            as a writer for soaps.

          •  Ah, ok (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ExpatGirl

            thank you for your reasoned response.  I don't think that Putin has launched a campaign for global domination either, although he certainly has launched a campaign for regional domination not unlike the Monroe Doctrine, which also had horrendous consequences throughout Latin America.  (there.  I've just compared both Putin and HItler to James Monroe!  :)  ) However,  I'm not sure it is required to adopt all his ideas to be compared to Hitler on some of them

            To be clear, I think that comparisons to nazis are always warranted where any political institution adopts the approaches, techniques, or philosophies of the nazis, whether or not they have adopted all of them.  This is why I think GOdwin's law is so very harmful, because it is very important to understand what the potential consequences of such moves are.  Godwin's law just serves to force us to ignore important lessons from history.

            Now, I think that your question about which historical parallel to draw is a really critical and insightful one.  Obviously, I am focusing on countries that see invasions of neighbors as legitimate as particularly dangerous, especially where the country in question (Russia) pursued a policy for more than a century of establishing Russian minorities in all its neighbors, in part to have friendly fifth columnists in its neighbors.  Under this doctrine, RUssia could find cause to invade all or most of its neighbors, including a number of NATO countries.

            So, yes, drawing attention to this particular political idea and the incredible danger it poses is pretty valuable I think.  I understand though that others might very reasonably think it to be a bad political and diplomatic tactic.

      •  100% not-comparable? (0+ / 0-)

        I would invite you to compare the demands of Konrad Heinlein for autonomy and those of Aksyanov.  Also, compare Putins comments about an "orgy of violence" and repression against Russia speakers as a justification for his invasion with the nazi claims of massacres of Sudenten Germans.

        It takes an incredibly cribbed and strained view to ignore the very obvious comparisons here regarding the mechnaisms and justifications employed.

  •  Why Hitler (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, debedb, Steve in the Library

    While I abhor Hitler/Nazi comparisons, Putin's claim of sending troops to Crimea to safeguard ethnic Russians does resemble Hitler's claims about the Sudetenland.
    That is not to say Putin=Hitler.

  •  It depends on what you want to do (0+ / 0-)

    Hitler comparisons justify war; Stalin comparisons justify not going to war.

    It simply would not do to say Stalin is the worse villain, because we did not defeat him in a war.  He died of old age.

    WWII began when England declared war on Germany for invading Poland.  When the war was over, Poland was under the thumb of Stalin.  A lot of good we did Poland.

    In short, we could have simply had a cold war with Germany instead of the Soviet Union.  And then Hitler would have died of old age.  And then we would have had to find someone else to be the greatest villain ever.

  •  No, Putin is not Hitler or Stalin... (0+ / 0-)

    that being said, since his supporters have spent the past month slandering all of euromaiden as being neo-nazi, i'm not gonna feel much sympathy for him in the comparisons.

  •  Stalin was a worse dictator of his own people (0+ / 0-)

    But Hitler was the one who really wanted to conquer the world.
    Stalin was a murderous tyrant who wanted to rule the regional countries with an iron first. However, he didn't share Lenin and Trotsky's dream of a worldwide revolution (very similar to Fidel and Che).

  •  Putin has been using Hitler's playbook' (0+ / 0-)

    with his annexations of Ossetia, from Georgia, and now the Crimea, can you say "Sudatenland?". The Crimea however was only 'given' to the Ukraine after WWII, by Stalin, and so was never going to be completely 'Ukrainian'. But one note, even during the Soviet era, Ukrainians usually insisted on being called Ukrainians, not Russians.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:43:07 PM PST

  •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

    My favorite part of reading books and watching movies about the 20th century, are the episodes when the Red Army rolls back the Nazis and heads west.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:45:21 PM PST

  •  Apples and oranges IMHO. nt (0+ / 0-)

    We want to build cyber magicians!

    by VelvetElvis on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:57:03 PM PST

  •  Walter O'Malley (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, The Jester, raboof

    A while back, some newpaper columnist made a list of the three worst men of the 20th Century. He said:

    1. Adolph Hitler
    2. Joseph Stalin
    3. Walter O'Malley

    Walter who? He was the guy who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. The newspaper guy who made the list was from New York.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:17:37 PM PST

    •  And there was the joke (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl, Dbug

      "What do you do if you have a gun with two bullets and are in the same room with Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O'Malley?"

      "Shoot O'Malley twice."

      (They got long memories in Brooklyn)

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:31:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How dare you insult Uncle Joe. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl

    I know Uncle Joe, and Putin, you are no Uncle Joe.

    He may have been a monster but he was efficient and competent and effective at what he set out to do. ;)

    This Putin guy is just a wannabe.

    Sometimes I have to admit I envy Uncle Joe his swift and complete ability to just act .... like when I fantasize about what I'd like to do with the American Taliban ... oh how I wish, but alas I too am no Uncle Joe.

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