Timestamp: The very early afternoon (EST) of Monday March 20, 2023. The timestamp is necessary because many of the events discussed below either have just happened and I am not aware of the outcome(s) or will happen in the future. In some cases, between writing and publishing. They will be historic; just how historic and where in history they will land is yet to be determined. I’m also not naïve enough to believe that immediate reports will be sans a lot of window-dressing and secrets.
For far from the first time, I’m seeing parallels in today’s events and 1930s European history. Considering the history of the planet, the 1930s isn’t that long ago. My fear is that we may not have learned the lessons they taught us.
Then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went down in history as a failure and the word appeasement has became synonymous with him because he caved to a certain infamous dictator who will remain nameless (for this article anyway). He gave said dictator what he thought was a “wiggle” that would placate him. The result – World War II.
In America a substantial minority sided with that said unnamed dictator including a sizeable portion of the DC Republicans (mostly to be opposed to the Democratic president). After Pearl Harbor they quickly changed their tune. (I guess 1/6 wasn’t enough of a wakeup call for many in today’s GOP.)
Later, despite his country being under attack, then UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill remained in London. Can you see the parallels with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy remaining in Kiev and rallying his people? I certainly can.
On Monday March 20 Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The advance reported purpose of the meeting was to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Xi is also slated to talk to Zelenskyy subsequent to the Putin talks.
My guess is that Xi is trying to broker a peace deal. Putin, who is currently getting his butt kicked in Ukraine, will want to save face in order to back down. He illegally seized Crimea a few years back and has long had a Black Sea naval base in Ukraine. At minimum he will want to keep Crimea and the base. Zelenskyy will not and cannot allow that.
Ukraine has more than held its own in the little over a year since Russia invaded and the only reasons it has been able to do so are Zelenskyy’s Churchill like leadership and the Joe Biden led arsenal of democracy actions of the West. Am I the only one seeing an FDR-Biden parallel?
As long as Zelenskyy has Biden’s backing, Ukraine can continue the fight. Unfortunately, that backing is somewhat held hostage by Congressional Republicans. If Zelenskyy were to lose western backing the game is all over but the final buzzer. (Have no doubt that if America backs down all of free Europe will. They are making even deeper sacrifices to support Ukraine and, in the process, defend democracy in what is clearly a proxy war.)
This is a delicate situation despite the historical lessons (some will call them parallels but I think they go much deeper). The role of China (which is huge!) has no direct parallel unless China wants to jump in on Russia’s side which I doubt. (I hope that is more than wishful thinking but I really think China will weight the economic costs. Remember Russia has an economy about the size of Italy’s – nothing compared to the US, UK and the EU).
The main question is will enough of today’s GOP abandon patriotism and democracy for what they perceive to be a political advantage? That will determine where in history the “players” above land.
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