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At least the neocons and the editorial page of the Washington Post will be happy to hear that Hillary Clinton is in tune with the chickenhawks and their cries of Munich! Sudetenland! and Hitler! on behalf of Ukraine:

Hillary Clinton likened aspects of Russia's involvement in Crimean Ukraine to Nazi Germany during a fundraising event, according to two people present.

Buzzfeed, citing two sources, reported that the former secretary of State said at a fundraiser on Tuesday that Russia's move to start issuing passports in Crimean Ukraine was akin to "population transfers" that happened in Nazi Germany during World War II.

"She compared issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians with ties to Russia with early actions by Nazi Germany before Hitler began invading neighboring countries," Harry Saltzgaver, editor of a chain of newspapers in Long Beach, said.

Saltzgaver and another attendee who asked not to be named said Clinton made the comparison between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hitler, according to Buzzfeed.

"She talked about how what Putin is doing now is similar to what Hitler did, essentially providing these ethnic Russians in the Crimea region access back to Russia..."

Explicit Hitler comparisons bring to mind explicit thoughts of the need for rather extensive world wars. It may not be the best approach for a candidate already tarred with a vote for the Iraq War, especially if she hopes to win the hearts and minds of war-weary US voters in the run-up to 2016.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The comparison is very valid (7+ / 0-)

    particularly when you consider all the other things Putin and his crypto-fascist government are up to. Here, for instance, is Masha Gessen, distinguished journalist and one of Putin's 'enemies' describing what is happening in Russia now on the LGBT front. I believe the term she used, explicitly is "creeping fascism". She is both Russian and American, although I believe she has left Russia at this point.

    One of the things that DID NOT happen in the lead up to World War II was important individuals and actors on the political and social stage throwing fascism in the face of the fascists. Masha Gessen and Hillary Clinton calling a spade a spade is exactly what needs to happen in order to prevent war or, you know, instances of fascism.

    Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

    by linc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:31:31 PM PST

    •  There's no (6+ / 0-)

      "good" side and no "bad" side in this. Hard to say who the fascists are in this case with Right Sector nationalists storming meetings with their bats and hammers and being celebrated for their fascist purity at Stormfront.

      To the extent that the situation doesn't threaten US interests, the US should not be making warlike pronouncements. Working for diplomatic resolutions and supporting democratic developments in Ukraine, yes. Comments like HRC's hardly seem likely to be helpful that way.

      •  I disagree (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, MartyM, cfm, blueyedace2, thomask

        Ukraine has the right to self determination. If Putin wants to allege that he's just protecting Russians then he should provide proof to the world. If Putin is right then the world can talk about intervening but right now there is very much a "good" side and a "bad" side.

        Outside of the predictable neo con chicken hawk cowards could you point to anyone making "warlike pronouncements" in the US?

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:53:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ukraine DOES (11+ / 0-)

          have the right to self-determination. What's not so clear is what role the US has in Ukraine's doing that.

          The problem with Hitler comparisons at this point is that they invite the necessity for early military or other aggressive intervention to prevent wider war down the road. Otherwise what's the point in making that particular comparison?

        •  Half the population of Ukraine WANTS to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          be a part of Russia.  They are ethnic Russian.  Stalin displaced (killed) Ukrainians and moved in Russians.  Like Zionists have done to Palistinians who have been on their lands for thousands of years.

          We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

          by nocynicism on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:07:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And a sizable part of the population of the USA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            wants to secede. You want to let them?

            Frankly those that want to be Russian could just move but even besides this is not how you do it. Russia has no right to do what they are doing

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:17:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Russia is issuing passports so the ethnic Russians (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, marina

              can travel back to Russia?

              Is that what is happening here?

              And Hillary is pissed about that. She calls it "population transfers."

              For now, it's just the Berkut getting passports. Other Ukrainian citizens may be offered passports to asylum later.

              ... the former secretary of State said at a fundraiser on Tuesday that Russia's move to start issuing passports in Crimean Ukraine was akin to "population transfers" that happened in Nazi Germany during World War II.

              "She compared issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians with ties to Russia with early actions by Nazi Germany before Hitler began invading neighboring countries," Harry Saltzgaver, editor of a chain of newspapers in Long Beach, said.

              Hillary presumes Putin will now begin invading neighboring countries on some kind of Russian march across Eurasia?  Uh, yeah...

              One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

              by bronte17 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:49:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well yes to secession (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, nocynicism

              Actually I would love to see the old Confederacy secede!

          •  i'm not sure that's accurate (7+ / 0-)

            while roughly half of ukrainian voters appear to generally favor parties that want to ally ukraine with russia, and while there is a lot of overlap between those voters and ethnic russians + russian-speaking ethnic ukrainians, i'm not sure that we've seen proof that that translates into their support for outright annexation by russia.

            the historical population transfers and ethnic cleansing is correct, though.

          •  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cryonaut, duhban, indie17


            Where is your evidence that half the population of Ukraine wants to be part of Russia?

            I think your claim is pulled out of thin air.  80% of Ukraine's citizens are ethnic Ukrainians and even a lot of the ethnic Russians consider themselves to be Ukrainians, not Russians.

            And after Putin's invasion I think it is pretty safe to say that Ukrainians, in general, now have a far more negative view of Russia, even many of the Ukrainians who may have wanted closer ties with Russia before.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:54:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Russia had been providing billions in aid (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, marina

              to Ukraine... and cut it down. Because of several reasons and corruption was one of them.

              And Ukraine needed many hundreds of billions because it hasn't snapped out of its 3rd recession since the world financial meltdown.

              The issue here seems to be the struggle over incorporating Ukraine with the EU trading block versus the Russian Customs Union (leading to a Eurasian Economic Union modeled on the EU).

              Ukrainian anti-government protesters demanded to know what President Viktor Yanukovych had ceded to seal $15 billion of Russian financial aid and a one-third discount on energy imports.

              Russia will buy Ukrainian state debt this year and next and will cut the price it charges for natural gas to $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters, President Vladimir Putin said after meeting Yanukovych in Moscow yesterday. The two leaders said they didn’t discuss a Russia-led customs union after speculation Ukraine was close to joining riled pro-European demonstrators in Kiev.


              Russia’s intention is “crystal clear,” Yatsenyuk said today on Bloomberg Television. It wants to “restore the Soviet Union, which is called the Customs Union.

              One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

              by bronte17 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:08:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  And if Russia's incursion into Ukraine (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, tomwatson, VeggiElaine

        were merely an isolated event, then I would agree with you. Its one of a series of events indicating the Russian state, in particular Putin, is AOK with neo-fascism.

        Clinton's remark was smart and extremely informed. Can you tell me the one type of political system Russians have always hated more than capitalism? Yep. Fascism.

        Its why LGBT civil rights activists in Russia are constantly chanting "Fascism will not live here!" and such things while being hauled off or being beaten by Putin's jack-booted thugs. Its, I am sure, partly why Masha Gessen, an extremely intelligent and informed former editor of one of Russia's largest media outlets, is so prone to discussing the topic.

        Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

        by linc on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:02:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So, you don't think the Ukraine Parliament (0+ / 0-)

        is the 'good' side here?

        Here's what happened:

        Yanukovych signed the 2/21 agreement.

        On 2/22, Yanukovych publicly refused to sign the return to the 2004 Ukraine Constitution.  This was the very first item listed in the 2/21 agreement, and the 2/21 agreement stated that he had to sign the law returning to the 2004 Constitution within 48 hours.

        So, on that same date, 2/22, after refusing to sign the law to return to the 2004 Constitution, Yanukovych fled Kiev for Eastern Ukraine.

        And that same day, in the evening, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to depose Yanukovych.

        No matter what soft power was utilized by whatever countries that may have aided the uprising in Ukarine, the subsequent actions that I have outlined confirm the direction that the government of Ukraine have decided to go.

        When Russia then deployed military troops, guns, and vehicles to Ukraine, they became the 'bad' guys in terms of your proposed absolutist terms of 'good' and 'bad'.

        And, as widely reported, Putin has denied, and now his representatives have denied, that the deployed troops are Russian.

        So, lying is not 'bad'?

        For me, your statement is like saying that because there were some anarchists involved with OWS, then the entire OWS movement was simply promoting anarchy.

    •  The comparison is ridiculous (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, LeftHandedMan, Lepanto

      Doesn't stand scrutiny, and is insulting to the millions who died at Hitler's hands.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:51:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Usually (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, dhonig, VeggiElaine, linc

    People who cry Godwin understand neither European history nor Godwin's law, for that matter.

    Here the notion that governments should invade areas where there are populations who are ethnically similar to the identified dominant ethnic group of the invading nation state is an incredibly dangerous doctrine, especially where, as here most of Russia's neighbors contain such populations as the result of soviet Russification policies.  Some of these countries are members of NATO.  If you can't spot the interests of the US at stake here, you really ought to think a little harder

  •  not surprised by clinton here (10+ / 0-)

    just disheartened at the party clearing the way for such an awful candidate.

  •  It's good to know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dhonig, tomwatson

    that Hillary hating will grasp at the smallest straws.

    Actually, we already knew that.  But you got the President you wanted in 2008, didn't you?

    •  Obnoxious comment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2, SCFrog

      Barack Obama has been a good president.  I think Hillary will be fine also.  Leave the 2008 primary wars behind.  

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:14:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

      I don't hate HRC in the least. I admire her toughness and fight, which I think might help her do better against the GOP now that Obama has softened them up in his own bend-like-the-willow way. I think she'll do good things re helping raise the status and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries around the world. She may be better on domestic things than Obama is. But I want her to be better than she is on her warlike foreign policy stance. I want her to become aware that while the War Party is still strong and bipartisan in Washington, the people are tired of it and want no more of this reflex toward hawkish international interventionism.

  •  Oddly enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, VeggiElaine

    I find her comparison of Putin's actions in the past several years to Hitler before he started physically invading to be of the rare times a comparison to Hitler is accurate.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:04:05 AM PST

  •  The worst thing about Godwin's Law is that (11+ / 0-)

    people use it to lazily discount any and all comparisons to the Third Reich, no matter how valid or invalid the comparison may be.  Nobody ever really debunks such comparisons with actual analysis anymore, they just shout, "Godwin!", and that's taken as enough to discredit the comparison.

  •  New job requirement for president (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, allenjo, corvo, marina, MrWebster

    "The ability to portray themselves as "war presidents."

  •  The reports are second hand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, skohayes

    So I'll give her a break on this.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:52:40 AM PST

    •  Only in the sense that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, LeftHandedMan

      all reporting is second-hand. There was a reporter at the event who quotes her directly:

      According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, whose reporter attended the event, Clinton told attendees, “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.”

      Saltzgaver said Clinton also offered background about her experience as secretary of state and the current crisis in the region, “both regarding Putin’s attitude of wanting to put Mother Russia back together, and the pressure put on the Ukrainian president not to sign agreements with the European Union,” Saltzgaver said.

      Putin is a man “who believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness,” Clinton said, according to the Press Telegram report. “When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.”

  •  Hillary is burnishing her Tough Guy image (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, LeftHandedMan, MrWebster

    for 2016.

    Next we'll see her stomping around in camouflage pantsuits.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:55:42 AM PST

  •  Has anyone considered the notion that (4+ / 0-)

    provoking Russia could result in nuclear war?

    I find that missing in this conversation.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:05:46 AM PST

    •  I think it's more likely provoking us could lead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to nuclear war since we are the only end user to date.

      The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science. Carl Sagan

      by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:39:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I doubt either the US or Russia (0+ / 0-)

      are even contemplating that scenario, which would be such a huge overreach as to be ridiculous.
      We're not going to have a nuclear war over the Ukraine.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:01:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hillary polls well because everybody knows (0+ / 0-)

    she's not a pacifist.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:19:44 AM PST

  •  this won't hurt Hilalry for 2016 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Won't hurt.  Won't matter.

  •  Umm, no she didn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomwatson, itsjim
    Hillary Clinton likened aspects of Russia's involvement in Crimean Ukraine to Nazi Germany during a fundraising event,
    Godwin applies to internet discussion threads, not political fundraising events.

    The guy must seriously be rolling over in his grave at all the misuse of his law.  

    •  As usual, you seek out the least meaningful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      possible point of disagreement, and then attempt to make hay out of it. Although Godwin's law originally applied explicitly to online conversations, the expression "to go Godwin" is now commonly accepted as making a Nazi analogy in any context.

      You will presumably respond with some sort of inane defense of your original statement, but it will be just that -- an inane defense. There is no defending your statement, because it was just plain stupid.

      Also, I sincerely hope Godwin is not rolling over in his grave, since he isn't dead.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:05:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, thank you for YOUR input (0+ / 0-)

        now that's something that COMPLETELY epitomized meaningfulness!!

        Of course, it if doesn't matter to you, which it obviously doesn't, when people just make shit up, all bets are off really.

        Might as well just go hang out at HuffPost.

      •  I'll defend it. (0+ / 0-)

        Common misuse notwithstanding, Roadbed Guy is correct. Godwin's Law specifically references online discussions in the text of the law itself.

        A better characterization of Clinton's remarks would be Leo Strauss' Reductio ad Hitlerum.

        Brought to you by the Department of Who Gives a Fuck Anyway?

        So endith the trick.

        by itsjim on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:48:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not misuse. It's natural linguistic evolution (0+ / 0-)

          of a colloquialism.

          You will note, by the way, that RG's response was more inane than I could have imagined.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:33:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Doesn't make it right. (0+ / 0-)

            Not to belabor the point, but the analogy fails more than just the form of communication test. The real point of Godwin's Law is that given sufficient time, any [online] discussion will inevitably degrade to the point at which Reductio ad Hitlerum is invoked by one of the parties. Clearly, that is not the case here either. Your defense basically consists of,"everybody does it so it's okay."

            Look, I'm not trying to be a dick about this, and I understand your point about linguistic evolution, but I do take exception to people's propensity for crying, "Godwin!" whenever Hitler's name is mentioned. If I state that "In his 'tramp' films, Charlie Chaplin wore a mustache just like Hitler's," have I gone Godwin?

            It may be time for a new corollary: Any time any comparison is made between contemporary events and Nazis, someone will inevitably play the Godwin card.

            So endith the trick.

            by itsjim on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 05:55:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  It seems to me that issuing Russian passports (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, corvo, MrWebster

    to ethnic Russians is a way of helping defuse a problem. The former Soviet Republics have had difficulties with ethnic Russians who were stranded in their territory after the fall of the USSR. Some of them have been rather hostile to the Russians.
       Allowing the ethnic Russians to get Russian passports and allowing repatriation seems to me to be a good thing, the current Ukrainian situation aside.
       So far, Russia's actions have been limited to Crimea, where Russia has a major naval base and there is a majority Russian population. Their ongoing threat to Ukraine itself derives from the fear that Ukraine will become a military outpost for NATO.
       HRC's comparison to Hitler is over the top, irresponsible rhetoric.
       And I seem to recall that her husband bombed Serbia until it was forced to relinquish the province of Kosovo. Compared to that bit of savagery, Putin is a kitten.

    •  The problem is, we don't know exactly what she (0+ / 0-)

      said -- we only have hearsay, from one or two individuals.

      Personally, I see clear similarities between some of Putin's rhetoric and threats, particularly with respect to Crimea, and the German government's rhetoric and actions with respect to both the Sudeten and the Danzig corridor.

      That this apparently puts me in companionship with some of the most odious dKos promoters of tribalism and empire is more than a little disturbing.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:10:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Two problems with this.

      First, it utterly ignores the accuracy of the Clinton quote - find another example of one nation giving ANOTHER NATION'S citizens passports based upon their ethnic identity. If there isn't one, it's a perfectly valid comparison.

      Second, and even more important, the concept you laud is ridiculous. Do you really think Ireland should have the authority to issue a passport to every American citizen named O'Malley? Or Or the UK to every named Smith? That's utterly inane, reaching toward stupid. The United States issues passports for American citizens. Ukraine issues passports for Ukranian citizens. That's how passports work. You don't get to collect them, like stamps, one for every nationality in your lineage.

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

      by dhonig on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:45:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing to do with WWII, this is WWI, warm water (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ports stuff, why Germany started WWI to defend access to Adriatic ports. Russia is not looking to reassemble an empire, just avoid a shockingly dangerous NATO end game. If there is no Warsaw Pact but there is still a NATO, that is not to contain Russian expansionism, rather to increase Euro expansionism. Germany should tread lightly here.

  •  This headline is innacurate (0+ / 0-)

    Really bad headline writing on this post. HRC hardly went "Godwin" in her comparison, which was limited to tactics on passports and borders.

    Some Hillary haters will stop at nothing - keep digging.

  •  Clinton publicly gave paranoid Putin (0+ / 0-)

    and delusional Republicans the middle finger.

    Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.

    Putin don't get it twisted, you're no match for Clinton.
    Just ask the Republicans?

  •  As a Holocaust historian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I agree the comparison is apt in narrow confines.  Hitler did much the same thing with his annexation of Austria, fwiw.

    I also agree that the knee-jerk, simplistic regurgitation of "Godwin" is both tired and lazy.  I recently made the very educated comparison of our present day NSA capabilities and the Gestapo and even the Stasi.  The comparison stopped there without extrapolating any seriously malicious behavior on the part of our govt.  but the capabilities can not be denied.  The supposition that the govt can, or very well might, in the future, perform serious transgressions, is real.  I was shouted down here despite knowing many members here are intelligent.  The blind and rabid support of all things D have turned some here blind.

  •  Is Hillary Clinton a neocon? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The neocon's favorite analog to justify the Iraqi invasion was the Saddam was in fact an equal to Hitler.  The war mongers really pushed Hitler analogies during that time.

    Does any politician who voted for the Iraq war have any moral standing to even hint at comparing any world leader to Hitler?  So far Putin has not done any "shock and awe" on the Ukrainians as our B-52 bombers did on Iraqis for weeks leading up to the invasion (and which the Nazis did to Stalingrad before entering the city--how is that for a Godwin).  But bring up Hitler?

    I suppose the irony here is that given that  the virulent anti-Semitic Nazi inspired Ukrainian ultra nationalists do have a strong standing in the Ukraine political structure, that it may be the autocrat Putin who is finally the one who stands up to the crazies, and provides safety to Russians and  Ukrainian Jews who may end up fleeing the Ukraine.

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