I've been more than a little surprised at the rehashed Cold War propaganda that's been circulated in the mainstream media ... and totally shocked at some of the people I know who've bought into that "Putin is the new Stalin" bullshit.
As though the
Crimea re-annexation represents anything like a threat to Europe or,
even more ridiculous, to the United States. For what it's worth, Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783,
well before the US used force to annex territories that belonged to
Mexico and attempted to do the same in Canada (what do you think was
meant by Fifty-four Forty or Fight! ?)
After World War
II, the government of Canada (under Prime Minister Mackenzie King)
viewed Stalin's government of Russia as a very unpleasant regime; but
not directly dangerous to anyone else; particularly not to Canada.
Canadian diplomats argued that Stalin's primary interest was the
preservation of Communist rule in Russia and the reconstruction of a
shattered economy and a society devastated by war. Russia lost twenty million people in World War II, a death toll far higher than any other country, allied or axis.
Russia wasn't focused on expanding ... but the West needed a new enemy; a new monster to slay; and the commies were it.
Russian Empire was greatly expanded during World War II, not by
conquest, but when Soviet control of Eastern Europe was signed, sealed,
and delivered into Moscow’s hands by Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta. The
fact is, a broken Russia did not exit World War II with plans for
increasing its territorial control; Russia's focus was on trying to
rebuild its economy (and, of course, to demonstrate the superiority of
communism over western-style capitalism). That is why, in our lifetimes,
since their great victory over German military aggression in World War
II, the Soviets have been quite conservative in their military policy.
That policy has been predominately defensive. Russia's only use of
military power has been to defend their territory in the Communist bloc,
or to defend their allies against foreign invaders; not to extend their
with the military policy of the United States. How many sovereign
countries have been attacked by the US since 1945? Hell, I would count
the number just since 2001 as seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan,
Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Uganda. That is four more countries, under
President Obama, I believe, than under his predecessor ... so the number
effectively doubled after Americans elected a "peace president."
The threat isn't an expansionist Russia ... it's a Russia that blocks
American expansionism. Vladimir Putin is the enemy because he's the
only world leader with the gonads to speak against a US foreign policy
of aggression, invasion, and conquest.