A number of writers and bloggers, myself included, have noted the similarities of our current events to those just prior to World War I. If you take a step back and look at the underlying issues, our times also mirror events during the 1930s just before World War II.
Putin wants to restore Russia to its former USSR status. While the former USSR was nominally Communist, it was governed by a closed group, a political party that operated as an oligarchy. Hitler, like Putin after him, wanted to restore Germany to the status it held before World War I with its world-wide empire. Germany, like the USSR, was nominally socialist but was governed by an oligarchy masquerading as the National Socialist Workers Party, the Nazis.
Hitler took the Rhineland breaking Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact in 1936. The Rhineland was a demilitarized zone in western Germany, that created a buffer between isolating Germany from Belgium and France.
The Treaty of Versailles, signed in July 1919–eight months after the guns fell silent in World War I–called for stiff war reparation payments and other punishing peace terms for defeated Germany. Having been forced to sign the treaty, the German delegation to the peace conference indicated its attitude by breaking the ceremonial pen. As dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s military forces were reduced to insignificance and the Rhineland was to be demilitarized.
In 1925, at the conclusion of a European peace conference held in Switzerland, the Locarno Pact was signed, reaffirming the national boundaries decided by the Treaty of Versailles and approving the German entry into the League of Nations. The so-called “spirit of Locarno” symbolized hopes for an era of European peace and goodwill, and by 1930 German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann had negotiated the removal of the last Allied troops in the demilitarized Rhineland. — History.com.
Two years later in march of 1938, Hitler annexed Austria into the growing German Empire. The Anschluss, as it was called, is exactly like the annexation of Crimea into Putin’s resurgent Russian Empire.
Before the end of 1938, Hitler, through political maneuverings, absorbed the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia when Neville Chamberlain of Britain and Édouard Daladier of France refused to intervene.
I should note that Russian armored forces has entered the Ukraine and the Ukraine is left defenseless after the US and NATO have refused to honor security agreements between them and the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine says Russian forces cross border in tanks, armored vehicles
KIEV — Ukraine charged that Russian forces crossed into eastern Ukraine early Monday in military vehicles, including tanks, as Russia vowed to send a second humanitarian aid convoy into the country this week to deliver emergency supplies to areas held by pro-Moscow separatists.
Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russian military vehicles with the insignia of the separatists’ self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic “violated the state border of Ukraine” near Novoazovsk in the southern part of Donetsk region.
It was the latest, and one of the most forceful, accusations from Kiev that Russia has been directly supplying weapons, personnel and other assistance to the separatists fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine.
Lysenko said at least 10 tanks, two armored vehicles and two trucks from russia crossed into Ukrainian territory at 5:20 a.m. Monday, potentially bound for the key port city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. The highway leading to Mariupol is currently under control of the Ukrainian military, he said.
The Russian military vehicles flying rebel flags moved toward the village of Shcherbak, where they engaged in battle with soldiers of a Ukrainian border unit, Lysenko said in a briefing Monday. He said the Ukrainian forces then called for reinforcements and managed to stop the advance of the convoy just outside the villages of Shcherbak and Markyne. The villages are north of the larger town of Novoazovsk, about five miles from the Russian border.
The rest of the article can be found here, at the Washington Post website.
The first question is if Putin’s incursion into the Ukraine is like that of Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. The difference is that in 1939, Britain and France actually honored their treaties with Poland. Today, after Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine, Obama couldn’t be bothered and is playing golf somewhere and the EU nations and NATO have emasculated themselves by depending on the US military to provide their defense. The similarities between today and the open scenes of World War II are astounding.
On the other side of the world, similar scenes are playing. In the 1930s, Imperial Japan invaded China in a quest for natural resources. As an island nation, Japan had few, if any, resources needed for an industrialized society. It lacked oil, iron and coal. China and the territory around the South China Sea, Indo-China, the Philippines, and Dutch East Indian Islands, had all those resources in abundance. The problem facing Japan is that the territory belonged to other European powers…until an opportunity arose when those powers became embroiled in war.
Communist China is acting Imperial Japan of the 1930s. China has arbitrarily and in violation of a number of Open Seas treaties, laid claim to much of the South China Sea—and the resources that lay underneath those shallow waters. China started drilling in territory claimed by Vietnam that sparked riots and the movement of Chinese troops to the Vietnamese border.
China has expanded their military and has recently taken to harassing US Navy maritime patrol planes. In 2001, a Chinese fighter colliding with a US Navy EP-3 patrol aircraft causing the US plane to make an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island. China asserted its right to harass aircraft after this latest incident.
China rejects U.S. criticism over jet encounter
(Reuters) – China on Saturday called US criticism of an approach by one of its jets to a US Navy patrol plane off the Chinese coast earlier this week “completely groundless” and said its pilot had maintained a safe distance from the US aircraft.
The strongly-worded statement attributed to Ministry of National Defense spokesman Yang Yujun was a response to a diplomatic complaint the Pentagon filed with Beijing on Friday.
The complaint concerned an August 19 encounter about 215 km (135 miles) east of China’s Hainan Island in which a Chinese fighter jet came within meters (yards) of a US P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane and, the US claimed, performed acrobatic maneuvers around it.In its statement, the Chinese defense ministry said the J-11 jet was conducting routine checks and described the pilot’s actions as professional.The United States’ frequent short-range reconnaissance missions threatened the safety of both militaries, it said.
It urged the US to reduce short-range reconnaissance against China and to respect international law and conventions.
Yes, more and more the world appears to be entering a new stage for conflict, a conflict on the scale of earlier world wars. And, like those earlier wars, the United States and Europe are woefully unprepared for conflict.