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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Ukraine: current crisis mirrors start to World War II

I have to question if columnist Trudy Rubin grasps the historical context of the current situation in Eastern Europe [“Reality check on Crimea,” Opinion, March 8].

In the late 1930s, Hitler was merrily picking off one nation after the next with the excuse that he was protecting the “rights” of German populations in the Ruhr, Austria, The Sudetenland, and finally Western Poland. Every time he got away with it, it encouraged him to up the ante.

Today, Vladimir Putin is doing the exact same thing in Eastern Europe. First South Ossetia in Georgia in 2008. Today Crimea. Tomorrow (or next week, or maybe next year) southeast Ukraine.

The trouble is aggressive bullies are never satisfied with what they have already taken. They push until they step over the line. Hitler did it … Putin will. And it is not what the United States does or does not do. Every former Soviet republic is looking at their own Russian minority and thinking, “Are we next?”

This is the most dangerous international crisis since the end of the Cold War. Not a “new Cold War,” but much closer to what was faced in Europe in 1939. For anyone with a real historical perspective these current events are very alarming.

Gerald D. Cline Jr., Kent

Comments | Topics: Adolf Hitler, Eastern Europ, Gerald D. Cline Jr.

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