Friday, September 19, 2014

What If Our WW II Analogies Are Only Slightly Off?

I've certainly been more than willing to make World War II analogies over the past decade regarding the possibilities that Russian aggression could become overt. But what if Putin's Russia is only playing the role of Italy?

Ukraine's president spoke to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, in light of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

I immediately wondered whether it would do any more good than Haile Selassie's appeal to the League of Nations after Italy stomped on Ethiopia:

I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.

Ukraine hasn't been hit by poison gas (although Russia's other project--Assad of Syria--has repeatedly used it).

But Selassie didn't suffer from Italy's proxies shooting down a civilian plane, either.

But more disturbing than the possibility that the theater of Poroshenko's visit to America will achieve no more than Selassie's appeal for help is the possibility that the analogy is more accurate than we'd like to think.

What if Putin's Russia is playing the role of Italy under Mussolini?

If so, who plays the role of Germany as the real threat to world peace?

With China's military leaders convinced they can win a short and sharp offensive war and with China's people pretty much assuming war with Japan is inevitable, is Japan the "Poland" in Asia that China would strike as China demands their own "Senkaku Corridor" to the western Pacific?

And does Russia also get to play the role of the USSR by agreeing to split Japanese territory with China--with China recognizing Russia's ownership of territory that Russia seized from Japan in world War II?

How I sleep well at night is beyond me.