Reductio ad Hillaryum

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and From Mainline to Sideline. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Reason and many other publications.


9430680Hillary Clinton has waded into the Ukrainian crisis by invoking history. Referring to Vladimir Putin’s plans to provide passports to Russians outside the nation’s borders, she said:

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ‘30s.”

 

She continued:

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.

The former First Lady, a likely presidential candidate in 2016, is right about Hitler’s tactics but she ignores the “back in the ’30s” history most applicable to Ukraine. The shot-caller back then was Joseph Stalin, and he set out to crush all vestiges of Ukrainian nationalism, as Russian tyrants had done for ages. Stalin had a different plan — known as genocide.

In his forced collectivization campaign, Stalin raised Ukraine’s grain procurement quotas by 44 percent. That meant that there would not be enough grain to feed the people, but to make sure, Stalin also deployed regular troops and secret police units in a merciless war of attrition. And that condemned millions to death by starvation. That is genocide by any standard, but for Stalin it was a big success. As one of his commanders said, it showed the Ukrainians “who is the master here.”

That’s what Stalin did “back in the ’30s” but Hillary Clinton ignored it entirely. Neither did she mention that in 1939 Stalin signed a pact with Hitler, and that the two dictators jointly invaded Poland. Poles remember that, and Ukrainians remember Stalin all too well, unlike American politicians.

Back in the 1930s Americans were not well informed about Stalinist genocide because of deliberate deception by Walter Duranty of the New York Times. At the very time Stalin was starving millions to death Duranty wrote that the Ukraine was a veritable cornucopia, flowing with milk and honey. In Duranty’s narrative famine was impossible under the scientific, planned economy of the USSR and the wise leadership of Stalin. 

Duranty was fond of saying, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs” and “I put my money on Stalin.” Something similar is going on now.

Vladimir Putin laments the demise of the USSR and on his watch Stalin has been experiencing a revival. During the recent winter Olympics at Sochi, where Stalin’s villa has been carefully maintained, a Russian student told NBC that “Stalin took Russia to next level.”

Putin doubtless believes that and, as Hillary Clinton also said, Putin “believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness,” including control of former Soviet Union countries. “When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.”

That is true and imperialism is the highest stage of Putinism. Hillary Clinton won’t stop it by talking about Hitler. President Obama won’t stop it by essentially giving Putin everything he wants. And leftist Democrats like Dennis Kucinich won’t stop it by blaming the Ukraine crisis on the United States. That’s why in Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, everybody is so nervous.

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  • Moa

    Actually, during the Russio-Georgian war of 2008 two Russian BTR armored personnel carriers were captured carrying pre-stamped passports for ethnic Russians who were actually Georgian citizens. Looks like Putin is going to try the same trick again – and then use aggression claiming that he’s “protecting Russian citizens – just look at their passports!!!!!”

    Imagine if Mexico started issuing passports to Texans, and then used the fact that there are so many Mexican passports there that they are merely “protecting their citizens” when they invade and annex the territory.

    The fact that the citizens are ethnically Russian and feel affinity for the Old Country is moot. If they live permanently in the Ukraine and have Ukrainian citizenship (before this Russian passport skullduggery) then they are TRAITORS if they aid the Russian invasion. If you want to be a Russian subject, go live in Russia. Do not unilaterally and treacherously try and become part of another country (while ignoring the Ukrainian citizens of the territory, eg. around 42% of citizens in the Crimea are ethnic Ukrainians).

    • Bamaguje

      “The fact that the citizens are ethnically Russian and feel affinity for the Old Country is moot” – Moa.

      Really??
      Israel’s “law of return” encourages Jews all over the world to identify with the Jewish nation, but ethnic Russians in Ukraine shouldn’t identify with neighbouring mother Russia?
      ….Even though the parts of Ukraine heavily populated by Russians (Crimea, East Ukraine) were actually part of Russia until former Soviet leader Khrushchev merged them with Ukraine in 1954 in a gesture of friendship between the 2 peoples.
      With the break up of USSR, Russian parts of Ukraine should have reverted back to Russia. Why should Ukraine continue holding onto Russian territory after opting out of Soviet Union?
      If Ukraine along with other Soviet republics were allowed to break out of the former Soviet Union, why shouldn’t ethnic Russians break out of Ukraine.
      Why the double standards?

      By the way Mr Billingsley, Stalin was Georgian, not Russian. It is unfair to blame Russia for Stalin’s atrocities. Many Russians also suffered at the hands of Stalin.

      • Habbgun

        Identifying with Israel doesn’t mean subverting the United States. Your version of being a Russian subverts the Ukraine. In fact one of the things that I am most proud of as a Zionist is that it moves me away from the Jewish Left that is harming America.

        • Bamaguje

          Who is subverting a united Ukraine?
          The riotous Molotov cocktail throwing pro-EU West Ukrainian mobs who forcibly threw out a democratically elected President?
          Or Russian Ukrainians who played by the rules of democracy, but had one of their own thrown out of power by an intolerant anti-Russia mob?

          Democracy is underpinned by the rule of law. If you don’t like an elected government, vote it out in the next election. Not for a riotous mob instigated by the West to forcibly depose a democratically elected leader because NATO eyes Russia’s strategic Crimea peninsula.

          • Habbgun

            If you were Ukrainian would you trust Russia? Would you trust a country that starved your people? I wouldn’t. If the Crimea goes to Russia but Ukraine stays independent we might have to live with that. I would never trust the Russian government. As people I like Russians but their government is garbage. Obama admin is teaching me how that could be.

          • NAHALKIDES

            Wrong – a government cannot claim legitimacy merely because it was elected; it must exist to defend the rights of the people. When a government, any government, elected or not, begins to violate individual rights, it is the right of the people (yes, even a minority) to rise up and overthrow that government, instituting a new government that will safeguard their liberties.

            You might want to read The Declaration of Independence some time.

          • Bamaguje

            Then why haven’t you moved to undemocratically depose Obama who has been trampling on the rights of Americans?
            What are you waiting for?

          • reader

            Tell us what’s so strategic about Crimea peninsula. Russia never put its Black Sea fleet to good use – like ever. All waste. And, how would you use it otherwise? What a bunch of crock.

      • Gee

        So the same laws in Ireland, Germany, Japan and Greece undermine which countries? You are a racist moron

      • Drakken

        You kinda sorta forgot to mention that Stalin moved the borders of the Ukraine west in the first place before Kruchev messed with the borders.

    • Gee

      Texans would eat the Mexican Army for breakfast. The Ukrainians are whining for the US and Eurotrash to fight for them

      • Drakken

        Well since my better half is Ukrainian, the reason the Ukrainians are asking for help is because the US and NATO made the Ukrainians destroy a lot of arms and now they are being left out in the cold to the Russians. Putin knew the west wouldn’t do anything except wring their hands and whine about it.

  • Larry Larkin

    Neglects also to mention that in the 1940s the Soviets moved or killed 16.5 million ethnic Germans from eastern and central Europe. They also moved several million Poles from the east of Poland into Silesia after cleansing it of Germans, and moved eastern Ukrainians into what had been Poland, before replacing them with Russians.
    Thus the whole ethic locality of that part of the world was shoved westward by the USSR at the end of WWII.
    In about the same time frame tens of millions of Hindus and muslims were moved in the Indian sub-continent (ever wondered why India is call India, but the Indus river is in Pakistan).
    Yet the only people who have a “right of return” and are still “refugees” over 60 years later are the fakestinians.

    • Gee

      Don’t forget the Germans in Czechoslovakia too

      • Drakken

        Or East Prussia.

    • mcbee555

      Stalin did a lot of moving entire ethnicities, the present-day Crimean Tatars were shipped out of Crimea by order of Stalin and resettled in Uzbekistan. They were given less than a half-day to gather their belongings and board trains eastward. It wasn’t until about 25 years post WW2 that Crimean Tatars began returning to their original homeland of Crimea.

  • monostor

    Make no mistake, Hillary’s rant is a page from the Left’sBookofDogmas. As long as McCarthy remains un-rehabilitated, Diana West is chastised by faux-conservatives and generally anti-anti-Communism is many times stronger than anti-Communism, Hitler will remain the main villain of history. Any comparison to him stays valid.

  • victoryman

    Hillary “Forgot” the Kulaks quicker than she forgot the “Bimbo eruptions.” Her understanding of history is limited to what is advantageous to he politically as she runs for POTUS. Yes, I know the state run media continues to tease with “IF” she runs. However, anyone with and IQ higher than Mika B.knows she is gearing up – putting the money (People) In place, etc. Lest we forget, she Is a student of Alinsky, as is Obambi. Her campaign will be a simple one………..a “Bumper sticker” campaign stating that, “History says it’s time for a woman and, “I know how to fix health care so it “Works for all.” The unspoken goals…..single payer (Gov’t run) doctors working for the state, “Rationing” by another name, etc. I predict that Jeb Bush will be the nominee – since it’s “His turn,” as it was with Dole, McTraitor and Romney. Jeb is the “Favorite” of the state run media – for obvious reasons. Hillary will beat him like a drum. I can see the ads now……….”Does the country want another bush?” The only question left is who will HIllary pick for VP. Obviously, she will pick someone Hispanic – to sew up that (And the illegal vote.) The only thing left is………..who?

    • Gee

      I notice that she jumped all over Sarah Palin when she thought Russia was the enemy and would invade Ukraine

  • emptorpreempted

    Because it’s not even speciously comparable to what Putin is doing?

  • kilfincelt

    The problem with Hilary and others like her is that she has a very distorted view of Communism, history and life under Stalin thanks to her liberal professors.

    I had the good fortune of meeting a woman who had emigrated from Latvia after her country was taken over by Stalin. She said that the first thing the communists did was tell her family how much milk their cow had to produce. I am sure that the cow readily understood what was expected of her even though the amount was unrealistic. Communists and their fellow travelers never let a few facts get in the way of what they believe and do.

    • glpage

      The expectations of the Communists in Latvia sound suspiciously like the left here. Must be that birds of a feather thing.

  • herb benty

    These Democrats avoid any Communist blame because the Democrats are Communist. Start telling the damn truth, it’s okay and necessary.

  • seewithyourowneyes

    My local liberal PBS channel ran a documentary about the Ukrainian famine last year. Lots of talk about bad weather, bad roads, and poor farming methods. Deliberate starvation swept under the rug.
    Similarly, the same channel ran a program about how the Beatles defeated Communism. Seriously. No need for armies when pop music can win the day. Naturally, Reagan’s name was not mentioned once.

  • Gee

    One little problem – the people that overthrew the government in the Ukraine are Neo-Nazis. The US hated when Egypt got rid of the Muslim Brotherhood, but support Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine

    • Larry Larkin

      Care to provide any sort of proof of that?
      It is nothing more than the classic slime from the the bolshevik leftards – if anybody opposes you, for any reason what so ever, they are either nazis or neo-nazis.

  • De Doc

    Actually I thought the same thing when I first heard the reports of Putin’s move into Crimea. Unlike Hillary I didn’t need a team of advisors, researchers and speechwriters to have that info fed to me, because I’m not an ignoramus in history. We can be assured that Ms. Clinton had no notion of the analogy until someone on her paid staff suggested it to her.