Springtime for Hitler

For as long as I have been alive – 71 years so far – the touchstone for ‘evil’ has been Adolph Hitler. He has been the default reference point for the very worst of human beings. When gauging villainy of any kind, but particularly the murderous variety, Hitler was always the comparator. To say that something or someone is ‘worse than Hitler’ was to resort to hyperbole in an effort to describe something really bad. Crimes of great heinousness could be rendered almost socially acceptable by deploying a comparison with Hitler. The worst of totalitarian dictators could always adorn their CVs with the words ‘not as bad as Hitler’. Wee Adolph was the ultimate bad bastard. Those days may be over.

Fuhrer fans (there are more than you’d like to suppose) are in for a bit of good news. Those who pine for the days when the trains ran on time even if you couldn’t get on one because they were filled with Jews, Slavs, Gypsies and other ‘sub-humans’ headed for the countryside and nice breath of Zyklon B, may have cause to celebrate. The ugly face of Fascism is about to get a makeover. At last! It’s Springtime for Hitler!

After nearly ninety years, Adolph Hitler looks set to be toppled from the top spot in the bad-guy charts by some Russian upstart who wouldn’t know what a real genocide was supposing it dared to dream about biting his buns of steel. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is the new numero uno. His latest venture – provisionally titled I Invaded Ukraine And All I Got Is This Reputation As A Mad Bastard – looks like the kind of thing that might hog the number one slot longer than Wet Wet Wet. As imperialist military adventures go, the Russian invasion of Ukraine looks utterly insane. Hitler did lots of insane stuff. But mostly after he went insane. Putin has shown no signs of insanity. Or at least, no more than any other world leader. They tend to be quirky types. If he’s launched this war whilst being of sound mind, he must be aff his heid.

There’s no way to say this without it being taken the wrong way, but Hitler had his reasons. He had something to gain from his military aggression. From his perspective, invading Poland, Belgium, Netherlands etc. all made perfect sense. The Eastern Front not so much. But you take my point. Without being any kind of apologist for him, it is possible to allow that Hitler’s actions made some kind of sense. Putin’s make no sense at all. It makes no sense even from Russia’s national perspective. It makes no sense even from his own personal perspective. There is no win here. There is no outcome that can be presented as benefitting either Russia or Putin. It is ‘anti-sense’. Not only does it lack any internal logic, it actually sucks the sense out of everything it touches, like a thermobaric bomb sucking the air out of a child’s lungs. If this blog post ends up making no sense, that’s my excuse. It has come in contact with Putin’s anti-sense. It didn’t stand a chance. Just like that child suffocating in the blast zone of a vacuum bomb.

Come to think of it, those thermobaric devices work well as a metaphor for this whole episode. Made by monsters for monsters, these weapons are truly monstrous. They turn the very air that we breathe into a toxic, flammable fog – then set it alight. You may have seen a demonstration of what happens when you sieve flour in close proximity to a naked flame – say, a lighted ring on a gas cooker. When the cloud of flour particles suspended in the air meets the heat source, the entire cloud ignites in an instant. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Now, imagine that gas ring is the size of one of the statues in Freedom Square (George Square) in Glasgow and the cloud of flour is instead a mist of a gasoline-like substance big enough to cover the square. The blast area would be huge. Everyone in Freedom Square would be vaporised. And they’d be the lucky ones. When detonated, the device sucks the oxygen out of the surrounding air to feed the voracious fire. Everybody inside Queen Street Station would suffocate. A similar fate would befall people walking on any of the surrounding streets.

Blast area of thermobaric bomb

Delivered by rocket or artillery, three or four of these devices could completely destroy central Glasgow. That’s what they are for. Whoever uses such instruments does so from a desire to kill as many people as possible and destroy the entire built environment over a large swathe of any city. There are reliable reports of Putin’s forces using thermobaric bombs against the people of Ukraine’s main cities. There is no forgiveness for such a crime. Not ever.

There is no way back now for Putin. He is the new Hitler. The epitome of callous, malevolent immorality. He makes Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein look like good choices for childminders. He has nothing to lose. And that is the scariest thing of all. Even knowing that there is no win here, if Putin believes that all he stood to lose has already been lost then he has nothing to gain from being reasonable. If he was mad enough to launch this war in the first place then he is probably mad enough to think that the best outcome for him is the complete destruction and subjugation of Ukraine. He could hardly be despised any more. And he might even win over some of those Fuhrer fans. If you can’t be famous for your humanity, the next best thing is to be infamous for your brutality.

This is not to suggest that we should give up hope for Ukraine. It means only that finding a way to restore peace is horrendously difficult. Putin must be convinced that he does, in fact, have something of value to lose if he continues. Or people close to him might be persuaded that there’s something more that can be taken from them if Putin is not taken out of the equation. At the same time, Putin himself must be persuaded that there is something to be gained from desisting. Bearing in mind that Ukraine will settle for nothing less than total withdrawal and massive reparations, what ‘compromise’ can be offered that won’t be branded appeasement?

Nato can’t even impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine because to do so would risk direct confrontation with Russian forces. Given that confronting Russian forces is Nato’s entire job description, what is the point of the alliance?

The truth is that only Putin will decide how this proceeds and how it ends. Putin or his successor. Ken whit ah mean?



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7 thoughts on “Springtime for Hitler

  1. Hmmm… yes, I see what you mean. However, apparently, if left to themselves, most children and young people will grow out of this very transient dysphoria which almost all teens suffer from at some point. I believe that the ever-sensible Swedes have now banned any hormones or surgery for under 18s. I remember being utterly convinced that I had one eye much lower down than the other, almost on my cheek, like Quasimodo, and it took a couple of years for me to get past that. What makes it more enduring is adult intervention and validation. I was told not to be silly and go and do the pots and pans in the sink. I really would not like to be a parent or professional who had validated this stuff, when my child eventually grew up and realized that I had indulged a transient dysphoria by allowing him/her to cut bits off his/her body and had allowed puberty blockers to destroy his/her life. Truly horrible.

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  2. In the hope of not “provoking” Russia, NATO chose to leave Ukraine to itself.
    But we see how that still didn’t stop Russia.
    In fact, with every insistence by UK, USA and the rest, they would not go into Ukraine to prevent Russia attacking, it gave full encouragement to Putin to launch all out war nazi style regardless.
    If NATO had any presence in Ukraine, do we think Putin really, really would have set this war off?
    So we see, in trying to appease him, in has had the opposite effect to that hoped for.

    This is history repeating all over again.
    Just as in 1938, when the Allies gave Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to Hitler in the hope of avoiding all out confrontation with him, they ended up not having “Peace in our time” and got full scale war the next year!
    One of the most unfortunate things about that, was had the Allies confronted Hitler at that time, with a blank refusal of his demands, World War Two might just have been averted, or it could have been a lot less destructive, and perhaps not as long. Hitler could well have been defeated sooner.
    For the Czechs had the most massive defences built around their borders with Germany, and had they fought with the Germans at that time, it would have been a disaster for Germany, and made them very much a weaker force.
    As it was, they simply walked, no, rather, were allowed to walk right into Czechoslovakia, and continue on.
    Thus, the 1939 outcome was inevitable. For Hitler promised he wouldn’t take over the rest of Czechoslovakia, but he did
    And so we see it play out today.

    Putin was promising he had no intentions of going to war with Ukraine, all the while still making ominous threats to the country, and was giving those assurances to World Presidents to their very faces, but it was always as USA had predicted, he had his troops massed, and for what other reason?
    And again, the West, didn’t do too much to help the country about to be invaded.
    And just as in 1939, many Polish folks couldn’t imagine Hitler actually going into their country ’till it was too late to react, so too we saw the incredulity of many in Ukraine regards Russian intentions. Tho, there was obvious concerns.
    I wonder tho, the actual timing of the invasion.
    I wonder perhaps if Putin saw that when the Ukrainians did start to take it very seriously, and start issuing arms to everyone of fighting age, he chose to go in, to prevent them being more prepared than was good for Russian troops?
    Maybe such steps should have been taken earlier?
    At any rate, NATO insistence it would not intervene was a clear signal to Putin.
    But alas for NATO and Europe, NATO will get dragged into this conflict.
    At present, I can’t see how it can avoid it, the way Putin is talking, with his dark threats of war already more or less being declared over the various sanctions imposed on Russia.
    He was not quite expecting that. He,and many others in Russia were clearly taken aback at the swiftness, and severity of them. And so he’s in a big bad huff! And he’s lashing out in all directions now.
    I have no time for those who love to claim as Putin does, that Russia had concerns over its security regards NATO expansion, etc.
    Or that Ukraine should never be in either NATO or EU, as this would upset Russia.
    Well, that’s got nothing to do with Russia. And the West should have been more forceful on those points.
    The West, however, has made a very big mistake in not defending Ukraine earlier.

    As to Putin himself, he thinks he can win this new war by doing what he did in other places, by destroying entire cities. He has always gotten away with it before. Thinks he will get away with it again. The West being too timorous before, he sees them being timorous today. What has he to lose in his mind, seems to be nothing.
    It is the West that has everything to lose from his viewpoint.
    The difference here, is that this time Ukrainia is not going sit back and let him take over their country.
    Putin might well miscalculate, just as Hitler did, and lead to his downfall.
    But that downfall might not happen as soon as we would like, or is necessary to avoid this escalating.
    It remains to be seen how the Russians themselves will react.

    As for bad guys in the past, one Henry Tudor the Eighth of England, comes to mind!.
    The wonder is, that the English still give him a glory he doesn’t deserve, rather than condemn him as the most evil of tyrants. Perhaps the most monstrous Monarch England ever had.
    The English still don’t want to accept that reality. Cromwell was bad, very bad, but Henry Tudor was much more worse!!

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  3. If you watch the evening news in the Russian Fed you get told that the Ukranian (Jewish) Nazis are bombing themselves because the USA government told them to, and there isn’t a war. You don’t get any other news because it’s banned, on fear of penal servitude. For ten years. For real.

    Alex Salmond and Tasmina Ahmed Shiek have been helping to legitimise that kind of reporting by rub-off all through the invasions of Donbas, Crimea, and Georgia, but Alex has figured out that now his ego is in big trouble and the resumption of his Russian broadcasting career, or any career, even in crude sexist stand-up comedy, is awaiting the completion of the invasion or something nebulus that he can’t bring himself to bother detailing.

    He used to be the First Minister of Scotland! Thankfully, he resigned, or he would still be the First Minister of Scotland, still looking as worrysome as Jimmy Saville in a fireside wingchair on a tartan carpet, but without any public complaints and criminal charges.

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  4. Peter, the Russians since at least the 18th century when their Commander in Chief was the German Scot Barclay De Tolly have been paranoid about their western borders. Putin is not bad, evil, vexatious or otherwise he is a politician following in the footsteps of Russia politicians for generations. The Finns under the scion of a Dundonian, President Mannerheim knew and appreciated the Russian concerns and refused to allow the Finns to move beyond their borders during WWII.

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    1. Oh, I see ………. So because the Russians have been paranoid the past few Centuries, we have to appease Pres.Putin???
      And sorry, but slaughtering all these civilians, and making false promises of safe passage, only to then bomb the fleeing civilians, isn’t being “evil”?
      Most of us think it is being downright satanic!

      The only concern Putin had with NATO was it stopping him reinventing his beloved Soviet Union.
      Putin wants to control every other country that used to be under direct Soviet rule.
      That is not a concern of Russia’s Borders.
      That is Russian imperialism, and NATO was getting in the way of it.
      So he invented various excuses.

      He’s gone into Eastern Ukraine much the same as Hitler before him took over western Czechoslovakia, then onto the rest of that country, and coerced Austria, and so onto the Polish invasion, which be it noted, Russia also took part in.
      Putin clearly figured that if he had some little war on the go in the east, it would stall any NATO alliance with Ukraine to prevent Ukraine going into NATO. and to avoid NATO conflict with Russia.
      That is actually my reading of his actions in that bit of the country, as NATO was trying to avoid direct conflict with Russia. That would be hard to do, if a small scale but deadly war was raging right next to them.
      The “Breakaway” fighters were simply being used by Putin to that purpose.
      NATO unfortunately fell for it, and so, chose not to help Ukraine.
      Well, we see the disastrous folly of that mistake today.
      Anyone who likes to claim Russia had “security concerns” has allowed themselves to be fooled
      No one was a threat to Russia.
      This present war is entirely an invention of Pres. Putin.
      He alone and his regime are responsible.
      The comparisons with Hitler are justified.

      Ukraine wants to be a free Democratic country, but because Russia thinks otherwise, we have to go with that?
      I am reminded of some dude in London, England ,telling Scotland it can’t ever be Independent!

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