There are degrees of evil, and whatever evils Vladimir Putin has committed, they don’t match what his Soviet predecessors did. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce,” a saying attributed to Karl Marx, comes to mind in this time of Trump.
To those of us raised in the Truman era, when the Red Army was imposing its bloody Bolshevik rule on half of Europe, and NATO was needed to keep Stalin’s armies from the Channel, the threat seemed infinitely more serious. And so it was.
There were real traitors in that time.
Alger Hiss, a top State Department aide, at FDR’s side at Yalta, was exposed as a Stalinist spy by Congressman Richard Nixon. Harry Dexter White, No. 2 at Treasury, Laurence Duggan at State, and White House aide Lauchlin Currie were all exposed as spies. Then there was the Rosenberg spy ring that gave Stalin the secrets of the atom bomb.
Who do we have today to match Hiss and the Rosenbergs? A 29-year-old redheaded Russian Annie Oakley named Maria Butina, accused of infiltrating the National Rifle Association and the National Prayer Breakfast.
Is Putin’s Russia really a reincarnation of Stalin’s Soviet Union? Is Russia a threat of similar magnitude?
Russia is “our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” thundered Mitt Romney in 2012, now cited as a sage by liberals who used to castigate Republicans for any skepticism of detente during the Cold War.
Perhaps it is time to contrast the USSR of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev with the Russia of Vladimir Putin.
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By the beginning of Reagan’s tenure in 1981, 400,000 Red Army troops were in Central Europe, occupying the eastern bank of the Elbe.
West Berlin was surrounded by Russian troops. East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria were all ruled by Moscow’s puppets. All belonged to a Warsaw Pact created to fight NATO. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine were inside the USSR.
To continue reading: Is Putin’s Russia an ‘Evil Empire’?