Happy New Year!!!
Some of us recover.
Some of us ready for some football…
But as we do so…perhaps we must do so with one eye glancing sideways…
or perhaps, is that backward?
Let me explain.
Yesterday morning I had an appointment at the urologists
for a CT scan.
On New Year’s Eve of all day’s…
I had gotten up early, already putting a nicely seasoned Boston Butt on the grill for
an all-day smoking. Bowl games were to begin at noon and the Mayor and the Sheriff
were scheduled to come.
I then readied and headed over to the doctor’s office to be there by 9.
I was surprised at how crowded the waiting room was so early.
Looked like I’d be there a while…sigh.
Backing up our story, before even having gotten up that morning…
sleep had been elusive during the night.
Tossing and turning, unable to stay asleep, at 4:30 in the morning I heard a breaking news alert.
Then an hour later, another alert.
Gees, I knew something bad was taking place someplace in the world…
At 6, hoping not to wake my husband, I finally reached for my glasses to see
what in the heck was exactly going on.
It was the US Embassy in Baghdad…and oddly enough it seems it was the Iranians who
were to blame…UGH!
It was when I was in college that I seem to recall trouble with Iran–going back
to the Carter Administration.
A sense of Deja vu crept over me as I read the story and then of the President offering
a strong and swift response.
What would that look I wondered?
Back then in 1979 ‘college’ students had stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and had taken
52 Americans hostage.
I remember one of my roommates vowing not to shave her legs until
the US Embassy hostages were released
Her personal showing of solidarity…
Her wait would be well over a year.
Those were very tense times in our Country…
We all had quick lesson regarding ayatollahs and what religious regimes looked like.
Before the hostages were released, Reagan would be elected as Carter was
to be a one-term president.
Being from Georgia, I was never a Carter fan…from the time he was Governor to the
time he was elected president.
It would be Reagan who would become the president.
Flash ahead to the waiting room where I sat, oddly enough, waiting on New Year’s eve.
I decided to check the news to see if there was any more regarding the US Embassy…
I spied the following headline, thinking it was a story from a time that once was…
but then I caught the word “tweet” and I knew this seemingly half-century-old story
was actually a current story…as in are you kidding me?!
Russia-Poland row over start of WW2 escalates
And so I read the story…
And then I knew— some things will obviously sadly, and even frighteningly, never change…
Add the fact that Putin, whose father served under Stalin,
is working to resurrect the ghost of Stalin past, is well…certainly disturbing
yet oddly not surprising…
Then throw in the fact that Poland and the ‘Allies’ (aka EU) are now near 80 years
later fussing over who started WWII is only more fodder for my day’s Deja vu…
So happy New Year…but just know that some things will never change…
as history continues repeating itself…
(from the BBC)
A row between Russia and EU countries over the causes of World War Two has escalated,
with a top Russian official condemning the US ambassador to Poland.
Parliament Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said a tweet by Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher was
“insulting” to Russians and Americans.
On Monday she tweeted:
“Dear President Putin, Hitler and Stalin colluded to start WWII.”
President Vladimir Putin says Poland and its allies are distorting history.
During a marathon news conference on 19 December,
the Russian president said it was “totally unacceptable and inaccurate”
to cast equal blame on Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
for the war’s outbreak.
Mr Putin said he had requested Soviet archive documents in order
to write an article on the subject – Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 –
and, in his view, to set the record straight.
He argued that the Western powers and Poland had appeased Hitler’s aggression by letting
him grab Czechoslovakia in 1938.
The Nazi invasion of Poland came just a week after Hitler’s
Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov
had signed a non-aggression pact on 23 August 1939, which stunned the world.
A secret clause in the pact carved up Eastern Europe into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influence,
allowing the two dictators – one fascist, the other communist – to occupy and dismantle Poland.
Ms Mosbacher’s tweet recalled that Poland was a victim of the two dictators.
But Mr Volodin, who is close to Mr Putin, said the US state department ought
to make sure that an ambassador such as Ms Mosbacher had sufficient knowledge
of a country’s history before sending her to work there.
Mr Putin has revived wartime Soviet symbols, and portraits of Stalin are commonly
displayed in Russia now.
In 2020, the 75th anniversary of the Allies’ victory over Nazi Germany
will be marked.
More than 20 million Soviet citizens died in what Russians call the “Great Patriotic War”
after the Nazis invaded the USSR in 1941.
Mr. Putin’s father served in Stalin’s NKVD secret police and was severely wounded in the war in 1942.
President Putin argued that Stalin had tried to forge an anti-Hitler alliance with Britain,
France and Poland, but that the Munich Agreement in 1938 –
dooming Czechoslovakia – had scuppered that plan.
Stalin then had to reach a deal with Hitler, feeling betrayed by the West, he argued.
However, Western historians point out that the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
meant Hitler did not have to fear a clash with the USSR if he invaded Poland,
so giving him the assurance he needed.
Moreover, Stalin then supplied the Nazi war machine with raw materials,
which helped fuel – literally – Hitler’s aggression against Western Europe.
How has this row escalated?
Monday, 30 December:
Besides the tweet by the US ambassador, Germany’s ambassador to Poland – Rolf Nikel –
also wades into the row, tweeting:
“The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact served to prepare the criminal invasion of Nazi Germany
against Poland. The USSR together with Germany participated in this brutal division of Poland.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki issues a statement accusing
Mr. Putin of using the World War Two issue as a means to cover up recent international
setbacks for Russia, such as the sports sanctions imposed over Russian doping.
Mr. Morawiecki says “President Putin has lied about Poland on numerous occasions”.
Poland’s foreign ministry summons the Russian ambassador to protest,
recalling that the war began with the Nazi-Soviet pact,
and that Poland lost about six million citizens in the war.
Earlier, Mr. Putin had scorned Poland and Western powers for appeasing Hitler
and had labelled Poland’s ambassador to Berlin in the 1930s an “anti-Semitic swine”.
A European Parliament resolution – politically significant, but not a law –
urges EU states to “make a clear and principled assessment of the crimes and acts
of aggression perpetrated by the totalitarian communist regimes and the Nazi regime”.
It describes the war as “an immediate result” of the infamous Nazi-Soviet deal in 1939.