Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stalin in Virginia

This barely qualifies as a foreign policy topic, but is nonetheless marginally newsworthy.
There is no question that the Soviet Union bore the brunt of Hitler’s war machine and that without them, the war would have gone on for a considerably longer period with it’s outcome in serious doubt. Nevertheless, Stalin was responsible for horrendous acts of terror internally accounting for at least 10 million deaths in Russia and Ukraine alone.

The Soviet Union also was, as is so often overlooked in the former Soviet Union, an ally of Nazi Germany from 1939 until it was attacked in June 1941. The pact with Hitler allowed the Soviets to eliminate the independence of the Baltics and partition Poland with Germany, all part of Stalin’s desire to see the West incinerate so that the Soviet Union would become the most powerful player in Europe. He was not much different from his ally turned enemy in Berlin.
Perhaps a different way could have been found to recognize the significance of the Soviet contribution to defeating Hitler rather than a placing a bust of Stalin at the Virginia memorial.
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