Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A somber reminder

Last month, I wrote about NATO's takeover of Montenegro as part of the alliance's moves to encircle Russia, arguing that the logical end of this sort of behavior was a "Barbarossa II" invasion. Well, today is the 75th anniversary of the original "Barbarossa,"  which - while spearheaded by Nazi Germany - involved legions of their European "allies and partners."

If that sounds familiar, that's because it is.

Let's not mince words here, folks. In the West - well, the US, specifically - 75 years is a long time and war has become something that happens elsewhere, to other people. Sure, some American soldiers get killed or maimed or driven insane, but those are "heroes defending our freedoms and way of life" and hey, what's Kim Kardashian doing today?

In Russia, there is no family that was not touched by the war that began with an invasion of their country 75 years ago this day, and went on for 1,418 days to claim the lives of 26.6 million. No wonder the Russians remember.

There is a Russian saying, attributed to Prince Aleksander Nevsky of Novgorod: "Whoever comes to us with a sword, will perish by the sword." He put those words in practice in 1242, defeating the Teutonic Knights in the Battle on the Ice.

Many have since tried taking Russia at sword- and gun-point - the Swedish Empire, Grand Duchy Poland-Lithuania, Napoleon's Grande Armee and Hitler's "Anti-Bolshevik Coalition" are just a few examples. All of them not only failed, but their empires perished in the attempt.

There's a lesson there, for those willing and able to learn.

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