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The British prime minister is taking a page from Dickens' Christmas Carol and calling forth the ghost of a predecessor in the person of Neville Chamberlain.

David Cameron warns of 'appeasing Putin as we did Hitler'

David Cameron has told European leaders that the west risks making similar mistakes in appeasing Vladimir Putin over Ukraine as Britain and France did with Adolf Hitler in the run-up to the second world war.

In a heated debate about the crisis behind closed doors in Brussels on Saturday, the prime minister told an EU summit that Putin had to be stopped from seizing all of Ukraine, according to La Repubblica, the Italian newspaper, which obtained details of the confidential discussion.

Downing Street declined to confirm the prime minister's remarks, but did not contest the accuracy of the report.

Cameron likened the west's dilemma with Putin to the infamous conduct of the British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, with Hitler in Munich in 1938, when Anglo-French appeasement encouraged the Nazi leader to invade Poland the following year, sparking the second world war.

"We run the risk of repeating the mistakes made in Munich in '38. We cannot know what will happen next," Cameron was reported as saying. "This time we cannot meet Putin's demands. He has already taken Crimea and we cannot allow him to take the whole country."

Cameron has been beating the drums for his plan to organize a 7 nation expeditionary force that would go beyond the remit of NATO to defend its member states. He appears to be channeling Maggie Thatcher.

Meanwhile Russia and Ukraine are haggling over some sort of agreement for a cease fire. The Ukrainian government issues proclamations by tweet that then have to be withdrawn.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Godwin's long been gone: (14+ / 0-)

    Hilary Clinton used it already; Putin has used it already; various pundits and regional experts have used it constantly. Everyone is a Nazi to everyone else.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 10:19:13 AM PDT

  •  Cameron is an idiot. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Azazello, ChadmanFL, Lepanto

    Sorry I cant say it any other than that. I saw these remarks of his yesterday and was pissed. So if this is like Munich then what is Cameron going to do about it? Nonwithstanding the bluster, this force isnt going to be sent into the Ukraine. Cameron is not even going to put the banking place London off limits to Russian capital. So he sets up this analogy, apparently not realizing, or not caring, that he´ll only come out as Chamberlain. What a stupid rhetoric.

    I dont like Angela Merkel either - she´s an enabler of conservative policy that has seriously bad effects - but at least, Merkel does not allow herself this kind of stupidity. That is what I find striking about Cameron - not just that his policies are bad, well thats what he´s a Tory for,  but that even the propaganda for it is simply jokeworthy to incompetent.


  •  Goodwin's law isn't invoked when the comparison (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrTerwilliker, FG, Justanothernyer

    is appropriate.  I imagine the Baltic states are thinking the same thing.  

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt." Bertrand Russell I'm very certain that is true. 10−122

    by thestructureguy on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 10:38:38 AM PDT

  •  Well the one good thing I can say about Putin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that he does not appear to be an anti-Semite.

  •  This is the guy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Azazello, ChadmanFL, bananapouch1

    who, when the IS had trapped the Yezidis on the mountain, and when Hollande without hesitation offered military support to the Kurds, and Obama similarly without hesitation sent planes to strike, he publicly excluded a British military response. That didnt hold long but I cant see how he could have caused more damage to Britain´s standing in the region. So he had himself lectured by the Saudis, of all people, about the dangers of the IS. Cameron is painful to watch sometimes.  (No, I won´t mention Juncker!)

  •  well the Falklands helped Maggie, got to be worth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, TomP, PatriciaVa, ChadmanFL

    a shot for Davy boy.

  •  OTH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there is Santayana's famous maxim.

  •  It's deja vu all over again (11+ / 0-)

    Tony Blair, Feb 2003: "A signal of weakness over Iraq is not only wrong in its own terms, show weakness now and no one will ever believe us when we try to show strength in the future. All our history, especially British history, points to this lesson. No one wants conflict even now war could be avoided if Saddam did what he is supposed to do."

    Saddam was supposed to give up his WMD's in order to prevent war. How do you give up something you don't have?

  •  hey, the guy's got a tough election to fight (6+ / 0-)

    next year. And nothing gives you a lift in the polls like a good war.

    The way he talks, you'd think Parliament hadn't almost thrown him out on his ass over the Syria thing.

    He's no Churchill--more like Chamberlain himself.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 11:24:34 AM PDT

  •  Things are considerably changed since Chamberlain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wondering if the Open Skies inspections will be disregarded just as the UNMOVIC reports on Saddam's compliance were.

    British military inspectors to make observation flights over Russia
    September 01

    Ruslan Shishin, an acting head of the Russian National Centre for Reducing Nuclear Threat, said that British inspectors will make observation flights over the territory of Russia between September 1 and 5, flying Swedish reconnaissance aircraft SAAB-340B.

    He added that the flights would be conducted along earlier agreed routes and Russian specialists on board the aircraft will accompany the British inspectors controlling the use of surveillance equipment as well as observation of the treaty’s provisions.
    A group of Russian military inspectors will make observation flights over the territory of Germany within the frames of the Open Skies Treaty starting on Monday, a high-ranking Russian military official said.

    Ruslan Shishin, an acting head of the Russian National Centre for Reducing Nuclear Threat, said that Russian inspectors will make observation flights over the territory of Germany between September 1 and 5, flying Swedish reconnaissance aircraft Antonov An-30B.

    Last weeks Open Skies flights:
    US, Norway to Inspect Russia's Air Space

    MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - A group of US and Norwegian aviation inspectors plan to fly over Russia's and Belarus' territory this week under The Treaty on Open Skies, acting head of the Defense Ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center told journalists Sunday.

    "Between August 25 and August 30 of this year, as part of The Treaty on Open Skies, a joint mission of the United States and Norway will conduct a flight over the territory of a group of member-states [Belarus and Russia] on board an American OC-135B observation aircraft," Ruslan Shishin said.

  •  There are some parallels (3+ / 0-)

    But Putin is not operating under an extremist expansionist ideology, and I doubt he wants to start WWIII. He simply considers Ukraine to be in his influence zone.

    •  Operations by NATO such as the recent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello, Sandino

      Steadfast Jazz on November 2, 2013, have been a direct poke right in the face of Russia.

        •  Except, in the case of NATO, it is an escalation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Azazello

          What we are concerned about here is an increase of tensions that may lead to a wider conflict.

          Besides being one of NATO’s biggest exercises since 2006, Steadfast Jazz is also the first time that the U.S.-led military alliance has established a major presence along Russia’s border with the EU.

          From your link:

          In reality, the route the aircraft were flying wasn't suspect: Russian bombers periodically fly across the Baltic Sea to reach the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, located between Lithuania and Poland.
          For sure the Russian military activity didn’t come unannounced. As said, it was neither the first time nor will be the last to see Moscow’s bombers, fighter jets performing simulated attacks on strategic targets around the world.
          •  LOL, your man Putin is invading and annexing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            charlatan, bananapouch1

            territory in eastern Europe, but it's NATO that is raising tensions?  lololol   Do you actually believe your own bullshit?

            •  Did you even bother to check the date? (0+ / 0-)

              It is all about pushing the Eastern European countries towards a privatized, neoliberal, open market economic system dominated by a "benevolent hegemon". This is an economic war being played out for Ukraine's resources.


              Thursday, October 31, 2013

              Beginning November 2, over 6,000 NATO troops will carry out large-scale exercises in Poland and the Baltic states. It is all part of the alliance’s efforts to launch its much-delayed NATO Response Force next year.
              The exercise is timely. It is taking place just weeks before the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, with the Kremlin openly twisting arms to prevent Ukraine and Moldova from moving closer to the EU. For the Baltic countries, Russia’s behavior amply proves the political and symbolic importance of this NATO exercise.

              It is important for another reason, too.

              Steadfast Jazz takes place against the background of a widening gap between France and Germany over defense and security matters. The question of how Europe’s two most important countries perceive defense and security is significant. It influences Europe’s foreign policy ambitions, and has an impact on NATO.

              France is sending 1,200 troops to Steadfast Jazz, by far the largest contingent. Poland is sending 1,040 soldiers. Even more interesting are the American and German contributions. The United States is sending 160 personnel; Germany is sending 55, according to NATO.

              Do you know the import of the Villnius summit?
              Why the Eastern Partnership Is Crucial for the EU and the West

              Tuesday, September 10, 2013

              While the world is busy trying not to go completely crazy over Syria and Egypt, the EU is quietly having a stab at the wonderful game of geopolitics. That game is taking place in a completely different theater: Eastern Europe.

              Western politicians everywhere should take a close look at how this plays out. Not only are there eminently important issues at stake in countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan. The EU’s Eastern Partnership could also be the blueprint for Western diplomacy in the emerging “nonpolar” world, a disorderly place with a high demand for stability but without a benevolent hegemon that is dominant and good-natured enough to guarantee it.

              The EU’s Eastern Partnership, launched in 2009, is the bloc’s tool for relations with six former Soviet countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The EU’s aim is to move these states toward democracy, the rule of law, and open-market economics, in order to stabilize Europe’s Eastern glacis.

              The fact that all you can respond with are ad hominem attacks tells us that you have no clue as to what is really going on. Good to see that you have dutifully learned your two minutes hate.
              •  So what do you prefer? (0+ / 0-)
                a privatized, neoliberal, open market economic system
                The Eastern European nations (Poland, Baltic states etc) that have followed this model have seen rapid increases in prosperity. Would you prefer the corrupt oligarch economy which Ukraine and Russia have? Or maybe Soviet Communism is the answer?

                I'm wondering whether you wouldn't have been upset that the Berlin Wall fell given that East Germany started moving towards a privatized, neoliberal, open market economic system.

                •  I prefer a balanced system (0+ / 0-)

                  I do not consider what is occurring in the US to be healthy for the world. What the neoliberal policies are doing is increasing the wealth of a very small percentage of the world's population. The US has the greatest "prosperity" in the world but now also has one of the greatest levels of inequality in the developed countries.

                  The Eastern European nations (Poland, Baltic states etc) that have followed this model have seen rapid increases in prosperity.
                  Yes. Prosperity for the country as a whole. But not for a very large percentage of the population. The following is from the World Bank and is typical of most of the Eastern European states. Take note that they depend very much on migration to the Western European states for jobs and income.

                  Many Ukrainians want to join the EU because they hope to freely travel, work and live in Europe. But, can Europe absorb another influx of workers when they currently have such high unemployment themselves?

                  Young, Under-employed, and Poor in Poland
                  February 10, 2014

                  STORY HIGHLIGHTS

                      Unemployment in Poland is about 14 percent; nearly 25 percent among young workers.
                      High unemployment rates and lack of opportunities lead to difficult living conditions and poverty, with some opting to look for jobs outside the country.

                  Almost two million Poles reside abroad for more than three months each year, with about two-thirds living outside the country for more than a year, according to the Poland Statistical Office. Most emigrants are younger than 35, and many come from four of the poorest eastern regions in Poland.

                  Although the country’s economy grew in real terms by 81 percent between 1990 and 2010, gaps between the poorest and wealthiest regions continue to widen. Poverty remains a real issue, especially for families with many children, youth, seniors, and low-income rural households.

                  Would you prefer the corrupt oligarch economy which Ukraine and Russia have?
                  There is considerable difference between the two countries. One of the things that too many here refuse to recognize is that Putin has brought the country from almost bankruptcy to now being listed as a high income country by the World Bank. Rather than discuss the pros and cons of Putin in a rational manner many simply choose to demonize him and thus completely fail to understand what is really going on in Russia and why Putin currently enjoys a popularity rating of 87%.
                  Vladimir Putin - Economic, industrial, and energy policies

                  Under the Putin administration from 2001 to 2007, the economy made real gains of an average 7% per year,[138] making it the 7th largest economy in the world in purchasing power. Russia's nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 6 fold, climbing from 22nd to 10th largest in the world. In 2007, Russia's GDP exceeded that of Russian SFSR in 1990, meaning it overcame the devastating consequences of the 1998 financial crisis and preceding recession in the 1990s.[12]

                  During Putin's eight years in office, industry grew substantially, as did production, construction, real incomes, credit, and the middle class.

                  Or maybe Soviet Communism is the answer?
                  Putin himself has an answer to that: "Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains."

                  The collapse of the Soviet Union was a traumatic and devastating period for many Russians - especially economic.

        •  Did you actually watch the NATO produced video? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lepanto, Azazello

          It describes the new raison d'etre for expanding NATO now that Afghanistan is winding down.

          It's a real eye opener.

  •  It's mostly empty threats, (3+ / 0-)

    And political posturing,

    To pay for the new force, Rasmussen said he expects the alliance’s 28 member states to boost their defense spending. That’s optimistic thinking at a time when southern European economies such as Greece and Spain are struggling and French politics are a mess owing to lagging growth. Ukraine crisis or not, this is hardly an auspicious time to grow military budgets.

    Ultimately, this new NATO force would be little more than a speed bump should Russia mobilize even a fraction of its nearly three million active and reserve troops.

    Cameron has also proposed cutting Russia off of the SWIFT interbank system, which of course, will be a complete no go.
    •  You may want to view the following video produced (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      by NATO. It outlines the current steps being taken by NATO to ensure it remains relevant after the Afghanistan wind-down. Breedlove rationalizes that they must prepare for a future "high intensity conflict" instead of the counter insurgency warfare they have been involved in for the last 12 years.

      •  It's an empty wish list Claudius, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Canada's Harper has been on of the biggest trash talkers, and Canada has been long a cornerstone of NATO,

        In the 60's, Canada had 450 Centurion tanks facing Russia,

        In the late 70's, they were replaced with 250 Leopard I's,

        For Afghanistan, Canada had to borrow Leopard II's from the Germans,

        They can now in theory, deploy a grand total of 98 MBT's.

        To pay for even a fraction of NATO's Wish List, we either need an economic recovery that makes the post WWII recovery look weak in comparison,

        Or the 1% need to adopt the Military.

        The weak Russian sanctions, coupled with austerity, are creating a European lost generation. Serious sanctions will plunge Europe into a depression.

        And then of course, "Winter is Coming".

        •  The video has nothing to do with Harper or Canada (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What it does do is rationalize the need to redefine NATO in terms of protecting Europe from a major military power. It's a pivot away from it's current operations to that more closely aligned to what it was during the height of the cold war.

          •  Since the Wall Came down (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And NATO became irrelevant, it has continually tried, with less and less success, to reinvent it's mission to stay funded.

            It went all R2P in the Balkans,  then anti-terrorism and a "stabilization force" in Afghanistan, then "Airforce Spring" in Libya,

            It's no different than when the SAC tried to reinvent itself as an ICBM mail delivery service.

            There is no money in any of the NATO economies for the heavy weapons they will need to form even a credible force.

            And the taxpayers have no interest in continuing to mortgage the poverty ridden future they have in front of them, to enrich the MIC with boondoggle weapon systems.

            •  I agree. But it is interesting to watch them use (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              the current situation with Russia as a reason to extract more funding. Obama himself is leading the pack with Cameron's nose firmly stuck in his butt pushing him along.

              And the taxpayers have no interest in continuing to mortgage the poverty ridden future they have in front of them, to enrich the MIC with boondoggle weapon systems.
              There's a lot of things governments do despite what their taxpayers desire - especially in foreign policy decisions.

              I wonder what Friday's NATO Summit will bring.

              •  Rants , Raves (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Azazello, Claudius Bombarnac

                Behind doors sober second thoughts,

                And vague commitments to the East about standing tall,

                But the guys meeting, don't control the budgets, and have been, for the past two decades, spending every penny they can, on the MIC, ever larger and larger portions of the budgets,

                But when the only economic plan anybody has had for the past two decades is deregulation, tax cuts and service fee hikes, there just ain't no money.

  •  Another clincher for the veracity of reincarnation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Honestly, poor old Adolf keeps constantly resurfacing on a biennial basis. Just to go back over the last decade:
    Saddam Hussein was Hitler, Ghadaffi was Hitler, Ahmadenijad was Hitler, Assad was Hitler, now Putin is Hitler...

    seeing that I don't believe in reincarnation I find all this a tedious yawn, and Western politicians who constantly invoke Hitler in serious need of new script writers...

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

    by Lepanto on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 02:59:27 PM PDT

  •  A very interesting read from Foreign Affairs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Council of Foreign Affairs is certainly not pro-Putin.

    Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
    The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin

    By John J. Mearsheimer

    According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.

    But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine -- beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 -- were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president -- which he rightly labeled a “coup” -- was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.
    The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process -- a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.

    •  Council of Foreign Affairs is not monolithic, (0+ / 0-)

      they've always had their share of anti-West Chomsky types.  So you sound an article by one of them, so what?

    •  BTW, I liked this from the comments section: (0+ / 0-)
      beorn  reply to blackfeather99 • 5 days ago
      Everyone listen to this guy. America started WW II not Germany. The Americans were responsible for the nazi death camps, and forced Germany to invade Western Europe and Russia so they could reap the economic rewards of the war and reconstruction!!!
      15  • Reply•Share ›
      LOL, beorn has got you guys down cold.
  •  Putin calls his opponents Nazis constantly... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tony Situ

    yet he is the one copying the Sudentland precedent, invading and annexing territory based on claims of past ethnic and linguistic ties. He claims he has "interests" in Ukraine, meaning that if they kick out the President he likes or if they elect one he doesn't, masked men can show up and begin annexing territory to Russia or declaring independent "republics" on part of their territory.

    But, Yanukovich holds the record on going Godwin. He's been calling all his Ukrainian opponents Nazis since at least 2004, when he lost the Presidential election. Yaukovich and Putin have some serious Pot-and-Kettle syndrome.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 05:36:42 PM PDT

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