Why Now?
Saturday, May 07, 2005
  Bush Steps Into It
Because he doesn't have any personal knowledge of the history of the area, Bush has jumped into the middle of one of the nastiest pieces of 20th century history.

Stalin was afraid of Hitler and asked for a treaty with Britain and France. The treaty was turned down, so Stalin inked a deal with Hitler that cut up the countries bordering the Baltic. The countries given to Stalin by the treaty supported Hitler against Stalin. In the final disposition the Allies gave Stalin control over those areas. Millions of people died as a result of this mess and Bush stepped right into the middle of it.

There are no readily identifiable "good guys", and "my country didn't commit as many atrocities as your country" is not a great rallying cry. When Hitler and Stalin are involved there are no good choices. The area only shows up in nasty ethics exams by sadistic professors, or the conversations of drunken graduate students.

Bush has gone so far as to decry the decision of FDR not to go to war with the Soviet Union after the defeat of the German Armies. The decision not to push the Soviet Union back to its pre-World War II borders was a recognition of the reality that the people of the US would not support further war.

Any review of the limp support for the Korean War would show the folly of suggesting that FDR should have opposed Stalin at the end of World War Two. The Soviets took the brunt of the German violence for years and lost tens of millions of people. The Allies made a number of decisions that cost Soviet lives, and Stalin was paranoid to begin with. Stalin and the Russian weather might have been able to defeat Hitler eventually, and the Allies didn't want to face that possibility.

Remind me again what Condi Rice's specialty is supposed to be.


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