A Glorious Remembrance!

Putin and the Generals Awash in Battle Decorations

 What May 9, Means to the Russians

Today the Russians are celebrating Victory in Europe Day, it is an annual Remembrance of the Western Allied Victory over the Fascist Axis forces led by NAZI Germany, on May 8, 1945.  But because it was already the 9th in Soviet Russia – a vast country with 11 time zones – when the Nazi’s unconditionally surrendered, the Russians celebrate on the 9th.  The Russians were invaded by Nazi Germany and her vassals on Sunday June 22, 1941, in an action code named “Operation Barbarossa.”  It was the largest land invasion in history, involving millions of men, 60,000 motorized vehicles and 600, 000 horses.  The invasion forces attacked cross a 1;800 mile front and their objective was to exterminate or enslave the population of that region of Russia and repopulate it with Germans.  It was a policy the Germans called Lebensraum, which meant “living space,” for the superior German “race.”  A policy that was inspired by Hitler’s study of white Americans extermination of Native Americans and enslavement of Black folk.

And by the time they were driven from Russian soil by the Red Army in January 1942, the German onslaught had resulted in the murder of 27 million Russians! A sum nearly  twice the entire population of Afro-Americans at the time.  No people on earth paid a greater price in life and limb than the Russians.    By contrast the US lost about 298,000 soldiers in the European war and 41, 521 soldiers in the Pacific Theater.  Less than 350 thousand combined.  The Germans starved and murdered 3.3 million captured Russian soldiers who were prisoners of war!  Furthermore, while much of Russia lay in ruin from the wanton destruction of Nazi armies, the US did not have a single shot fired on our soil.

The German Blitzkrieg
A Total War on the Russian People

And Miillions of Innocents Perished,,,,,,

Hence it is virtually impossible for the average American to understand how the Russians view the constant expansion of NATO, a 30 nation anti-Russian military alliance, right up to their borders. Even incorporating former republics of the Soviet Union.  A development that the US guaranteed them would not happen when the Russians dismantled the Soviet Union, scrapped the Communist Party, and US Secretary of State Jim Baker cajoled Mikhail Gorbachev into agreeing to the reunification of Germany, a nation that had invaded them twice in the 20th Century.  However, that was in 1991, but Bill Clinton unceremoniously scrapped the deal in 1998, and began the eastward expansion of NATO, an alliance that should have been scrapped since it’s raison d’etre was to “contain the expansion of Soviet Communism.”  The only thing of importance that Trump has been right about was when he said: ”NATO is a dangerous and costly alliance and should be scrapped!”

Since I have written about these complex issues elsewhere, I shall not belabor them here.  Anyone who wishes to read my analysis of the role of NATO in sparking the Ukraine War, a conflict that is leading us closer to nuclear annihilation, can simply go to Playthellscommentaries.wordpress.com and put “Ukraine War” in the search engine and three pieces will come up.  I am completing a fourth piece that will form a quartet that presents a comprehensive picture of my views.

Suffice it to say, that during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the world came very close to destruction as the result of a nuclear war between the US and Soviet Russia.  It was something of a miracle that a catastrophe was avoided, and the two men who had the authority to launch US nuclear weapons was President John F. Kennedy and Robert McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense.  Fortunately, they have shared the vital lessons they learned from having come so close to destroying the world.  Secretary McNamara produced a documentary film about the experience titled “The Fog of War,” and Kennedy expressed his views in a 1963 Commencement address delivered at American University.

Both are available online.  And reduced to its simplest terms they concluded that the best way to avoid a nuclear disaster is to LISTEN to your adversary’s point of view and consider it seriously in the policy decisions you make. I think that is sage advice from two unimpeachable sources, and that’s why I posted this link to Putin’s speech today. It  is imperative that Biden and the architects of his foreign policy listen, pay close attention, and try to understand his point of view.  The fate of the earth might well depend upon it.    See: Putin’s Speech today at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5frNSq76zk



Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

May 10, 2003