Robert Bennett: An outlook on Russia — Is Putin Hitler?

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  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Re: LDS Lib, Mike R, & 2 bits on page 1

    If the US were to play global supercop & "defend" Crimea; would it surprise anyone if Putin did as JFK did in 1962 re: Cuba?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    He's Hitler if a Republican is in the White House. He's just a "regional power" showing "weakness" if Obama is President. There, that was easy.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    It's not clear what Putin's economic policies are, but Hitler was a socialist, hence his National Socialist Party. Putin is an ultra-nationalist and will act accordingly if the international community allows it. He, just as Hitler did, advances in the presence of weakness. He had little to lose by annexing the Crimea, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  • Man in Charge Chihuahua, 00
    March 25, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    Not Our country not our business. I hope they nuke us if we try anything.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 25, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    Layton, UT

    Isn't that what the Right-wing tried to do - secede from the Union - when Lincoln and Obama won?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 25, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    1994 Budapest Memorandum. The memorandum, signed by then-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, along with Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, and John Major, required that the signatories “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.”
    The agreement doesn’t actually include any security guarantees for Ukraine … or at least not under these circumstances. The signatories are required to “seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine” only in the event of an act of aggression “in which nuclear weapons are used.” As one international law scholar puts it, “It is binding in international law, but that doesn't mean it has any means of enforcement."

    The agreement isn't what the war hawks believe it is.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    dalefar wrote: "Just for the sake of discussion, what is fundamentally wrong with allowing Russians to vote to be part of Russia and allowing Russia to annex the lands populated by favorably voting Russians?"

    The problem is that the vote didn't include the nation in which these people resided. It only included Crimea, but Crimea was a sovereign part of Ukraine, and despite the possibilities of voter intimidation, political briberies and armed forces threatening the people, Ukrainians didn't get a vote in it.

    Imagine if, say a majority of Californians decided they wanted to be Mexico. They were once part of Mexico, and there's a large number of Mexicans in California. So they hold a vote and decide to be part of Mexico... would we just let them go?

    All joking aside... (as I think most of would jokingly say "Good riddance!") we simply wouldn't do it.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    I agree that most hitler comparisons are over the top, but I find it appropriate in this case. Hitler was a real person. I think in our unending potificating hindsight we've made Hitler into the bogey man of all evils, but he started out justifying his actions in much the same ways that Putin is now behaving. It's entirely possible these actions could lead to very serious violence that spreads across the whole world. We cannot be too cautious.

  • UT Brit London, England
    March 25, 2014 1:40 a.m.

    Hey our last illegal action like this had thousands of Iraqi men, women and children dead by now. I think we have one dead Ukrainian soldier dead at the moment. All deaths are tragic but I think I prefer Putin's invasions to ours.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 24, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    @Ignorance Must Be Bliss – “@Tyler D Are you suggesting that "rumors of war" means the US will just hear about war or only get involved illegally whenever we have a republican president?”

    Huh? I’m a liberal and want to scale down our military?

    I don’t understand your question in the context of anything I said. You’re reading way too much into it… I was talking about prophecy across very long periods of time.

  • Ignorance Must Be Bliss Mclean, VA
    March 24, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Sanctions are about the only options until Russian troops move closer into the Ukraine. If that happens, the Crimea referendum would dwarf this potential problem. Most right wing people realize the hole has already been dug. The point is a lot could have been done before the referendum, and before the yellow stripe down the back was not so obvious. Regardless, the real problem will come later. And maybe not even with Russia.

    I am not sure our president cares about anything else but his politcal agenda. Putin is the same way. It seems to me Russians have mixed feelings on Putin. But they definitely get defensive when America is brought into the conversation. Like America is consciously out to get them.

    Some of us have ideals that peace and utopia can come without being willing to defend ourselves and others. Other idealists think being prepared to defend people you know nothing about from bullies might be necessary to keep global long term peace. Not always, but sometimes. I am with this group especially when we have the support of the international community and law. Crazy though how we argue when most Americans want the same thing.

  • Ignorance Must Be Bliss Mclean, VA
    March 24, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    Why the antics in assuming anyone who supports international laws and treaties wants war? If the Ukraine still had nuclear capability Putin would be home watching Dallas reruns right now. It has not been war itself, but the threat of war that has kept super powers from invading others. In the 21st century some people hoped treaties would replace the need for nuclear proliferation.

    What Obama does now sets precedence far beyond Crimea. If this was done without Russian military involvement, this would possibly not be as big of an issue. But now it gives the green light for countries that are actually interested in nation building (not the US by the way) to work the system through referendums and propaganda to gain land. Not to mention the ethnic cleansing that will now ensue to purge areas of potential non-ethnic opposition.

  • Ignorance Must Be Bliss Mclean, VA
    March 24, 2014 4:05 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    I did not know Afghanistan and Iraq are now part of the United States.

    Ukrainian presidential elections are going to be held 25 May. Yanukovych was impeached and the people will be allowed to vote. Regardless, this is an internal government issue. But Putin created a situation where the use of another country's military force is now involved and he is daring the rest of the world to escalate towards war.

    Also, I guess some of us do not know Putin has said he is “considering” running for a fourth term in 2018. Not to mention he changed Russian law back in 2008 to extend Presidential terms to 6 years. So who wants to be the dictator?

    @Tyler D
    Are you suggesting that "rumors of war" means the US will just hear about war or only get involved illegally whenever we have a republican president? I'm trying to understand how a liberal comes to terms with this. If anything it shows their will be a growing need to defend against invaders in the last days. So why would we scale down our military and allow weaker countries to be at the mercy of a stronger invader?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards, with all due respect, you still haven't addressed the issue. So for you it's war? Because Obama has imposed two waves of sanctions, and more is in the works. He is trying to get Europe to take stronger measures. It is moving, but it takes time. So, what are, specifically the other alternatives? All I see is huffing and puffing, and hints at war, but that's the end of it. Please, I beg of you, be specific and don't pontificate.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    It might be interesting to know if Putin would have taken this action if there had not been an overthrow of the then existing leadership in the Ukraine. Any response, of course, is just a guess, but it seems that we philosophically did support that overthrow. The new government in the Ukraine was probably viewed by Putin as hostile, though weak. That gave him both an excuse for action, and some confidence that the new Ukrainian government could not take effective action.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 24, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    The entire world is a market place, where the vendors push and shove to get the most desirable venues while defending that which they have now. Since there are no rules, it is like the Jungle.

    Our situation is like as if we confined all the animals to an area that was shrinking in size due to some global cause. As the area becomes smaller and more crowded, the competition for life becomes much more intense. And much less humane.

    Hitler was not a single individual, he comes along every once in a while. Usually as the result of economic oppression and when a large group of people are ready and willing for any relief.

    Is the statement: "Hitler justified his invasion of Poland by claiming that Polish thugs were beating and killing helpless Germans", any different that some Americans are making about Christians in other nations? Do we have a Hitler somewhere being groomed for America?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 24, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    One big difference... we didn't sign a treaty specifically saying that we would honor Texas as an independent nation and even help protect their borders if they would turn their nuclear weapons over to the United States... and then after we got their weapons we turned around and invaded them taking over their country...

    Big difference.


    The treaty is clearly there... When we ignore it in our comments... it shows what we think about integrity.

    America's integrity is at stake here. We signed a treaty and made a promise. We're not keeping it.

    Russia is also clearly not keeping THEIR part of the agreement (which also shows no integrity).

    And our President wants us to keep making Nuclear disarmament agreements with Russia (when they obviously have no integrity and won't live up to their part of the


    BTW... you said that LDS Liberal, Open Minded Mormon, and airnaut are the same account (but you only get 4 comments). I've counted several topics lately (this one included) where you commented more than 4 times. Integrity is very important if you want people to believe what you say.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 24, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    I'm not a Political Scientist, by I play one on these comment boards --

    Isn't this how Texas became part of the United States?

    1st Declaring Independance from Mexico in 1836,
    and then voting to annex into the United States in 1845?

    Those thinking we should attack Russia for the annexation of Crimea,
    would be like taking the side of Mexico over the annexation of Texas.

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    March 24, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    Mike R. is an entertaining person.

    I love comedy!

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    March 24, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    So bush invades 2 countries killing thousands of Americans and Muslims while Putin annexes (using democracy NOT bombs) a part of Ukraine that voted to be a part of Russia and somehow Putin is compared to Hitler?


    We need some history lessons badly because if this is our mindset then we truly have no idea what is going on. Bush lied, deceived, misled us to invade Iraq just as hitler did to Germans to invade Poland. He murdered people by his actions. Putin has yet to shoot a single missile or detonate a single bomb yet he's compared to Hitler?


  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    March 24, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    Just for the sake of discussion, what is fundamentally wrong with allowing Russians to vote to be part of Russia and allowing Russia to annex the lands populated by favorably voting Russians?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 24, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    So, while we are omparing Putin to Hitler ---

    Ignoring parliment,
    banning homosexuals,
    attacking, invading, and occupying sovereign countries,
    going back to the good 'ole "Glory Days",
    anti illegal-immigration,
    segregating by race or ethnicity,
    seeking to build vast walls to secure borders,
    wearing patriotic flags on street clothes,
    claiming to be the REAL Patriots or REAL Germans/Russians,
    spying on his own citizens.

    Yes --
    I see alot of similarities,
    and I see some of them right here at home in the U.S. of A.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 24, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Putin is the same as Lenin and Uhn. He will rule with blood and terror. Of course I have not looked him in the eye as did President Bush but you can know them by their actions. Take a look at the young Russian athlete as he praises Putin ala Kim Jong Uhn.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 24, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    @Clarissa – “In the end, it won't matter. The Savior will come and all things shall cease. Just as the prophets have predicted: There will be wars and rumors of wars in the Last Days.”

    If you meant this simply because you’re frustrated and not sure what the solution is, OK… we all can relate.

    But I find this sort of thinking deeply troubling and you should too. Even for a religious person, if there’s one lesson history has taught (which includes so far 2000 years without the 2nd Coming) it’s that the world is what we make and it is our responsibility to solve our own problems.

    And doesn’t that square with your own beliefs? Doesn’t God want us to learn, mature, and progress? How do we do that if we don’t take our challenges seriously and just expect to be saved by a cosmic superhero?

    And given the fact that there have always been wars (and rumors of them) throughout recorded history (but less now as a percentage of total population than ever before), I’m not so sure we should be overly impressed by this prediction.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 24, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    Let's see...

    Russia has not launched a single sputnik,
    detonted a single atomic bomb,
    increased military spending or build up,
    taken a single American job,
    has taken America into debts of $Trillions,
    and is no longer COMMUNIST.

    1. Mitt Romney was wrong.
    2. Putin is not our greatest threat.
    3. America's greatest threat and enemy, is WallStreet's closest friend and Allies.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 24, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    "but I remember MANY on your side comparing President Bush to Hitler... and they said that was OK."

    They? Fine, I will condemn what "They" say. And I will condemn "They" who say it is OK.

    I cannot stop "they" from saying or defending what is over-the-top. I can only control what I say. Tell you what. Next time I use a Hitler reference, feel free to call me out.

    "But comparing an American President you disagree with to Hitler is OK... OK I Get it now..."

    No you dont get it. Are you now a mind reader? I am happy to speak out against lots of thing said about Bush. And any personal attacks. I happen to think Bush was a pretty good guy. So much so that I voted for him, once anyway.

    And BTW, I dont have a "side". I have no problem calling out either side.

    Tell you what. Feel free to call me out any time I make a personal attack on a politician.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 24, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    '2 bits -

    "There are other things we could be doing. I've given several lists, ." Yes, but we need something applicable and actually workable.

    And Michael Richards, I'm pretty sure the Crimea is not mentioned at all in the United States Constitution . . . But the Constitution IS pretty specific about providing for and promoting the General Welfare of Americans.

    Obviously, the Constitution is inconsistent with your prejudices Michael, but it still takes precedence over them. So you might as well get used to it.

    Basically what we have here is a bunch of right wingers with limitless complaints but with NO viable solutions . . . AS USUAL.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    March 24, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    The one thing I worry about is how Putin will treat the people of his country and the ones he has invaded. We turned a blind eye about the Holocaust. I don't know Putin well enough, but I believe he has done some very bad things. In the end, it won't matter. The Savior will come and all things shall cease. Just as the prophets have predicted: There will be wars and rumors of wars in the Last Days.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 24, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Mike Richards,
    To some people, laws, treaties, constitution, etc, are like the pirate's code... "the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules"...

    Once a document like one of these gets a little old (the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, pledging to respect Ukraine territorial integrity, being what... 20 years old now... probably doesn't matter anymore). Heck the Constitution is so old and obsolete they don't feel a need to follow it anymore! Why would they respect any of these old treaties we signed?


    For all the people jumping to the conclusion that "If you don't like what Obama's doing, you want all out war"... I'd ask you to be a little less presumptive and judgmental. Just because you don't like what we are doing (which isn't exactly working)... does NOT mean you want all out war.

    There are other things we could be doing. I've given several lists, I've seen other Conservatives on TV and this opinion page provide lists... so the leap to "You just WANT WAR"... is not justified (IMO).

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 24, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    Article II, Section 2: "He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, . . . "

    Article VI: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . "

    Article I, Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence . . ."


    It's all there if you care to take the time to read it.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 24, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    It’s always interesting to read the comments on stories like this – gives you a real sense of what color glasses people are wearing when they look at the world.

    My glasses must be black, because the biggest takeaway I got from this article is that nothing good ever comes from nations who get rich solely by selling natural resources.

    No doubt it will bring about a whole new set of problems, but I long for the day when we finally develop a cheap, clean & portable energy source (which virtually all scientists agree is only a matter of time before the Sun fills this role), and we can relegate these petro-thugs to the dustbin of history.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 24, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    JoeBlow Far East USA,
    Re When are politicians going to learn NOT to play the "Hitler" card?...

    So Bennett is terrible for making a Hitler comparison... I agree... but I remember MANY on your side comparing President Bush to Hitler... and they said that was OK. They actually said it was their "Duty" to do it!

    So comparing Putlin to Hitler gets your goat. But comparing an American President you disagree with to Hitler is OK... OK I Get it now...


    I agree all the Hitler comparisons are a bit much. You don't have to be Hitler to get our attention. Putin and his ambitions are quite enough without mixing in all the Hitler angles.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 24, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Once the domain of glenn beck, now everyone can play the hitler card.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 24, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Does Putin need to be Hitler? Isn't Putin being Putin bad enough?

    Hitler was bad, but he's not the only really really bad leader they've had in the Socialist movement. There's been a bunch of them. I'll get the list if you can't remember.

    I don't think we need to make Putin into Hitler before we decide we need to pay attention to him.


    I think our administration (not just this one) and our people ignored him for a long time. Our politicians told us it was time to dismantle our military and our nuclear arsenal. We were so confident we were alone as the only economic and military super-power in the world. Well... look at how quickly that all can change when you get all full of yourself!

    I wonder if President Obama's having second thoughts about how he viewed Putin early on.

    I suspect he does.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Pull out the "Constitition" and please show us all where it says the United States has a Military obligation to attack Russia over Crimea?

    Talk about Trampling the Constitution.

    BTW -- When/How are we going to pay for the last invasions?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 24, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Mike Richards:

    Rudy Giuliani on Putin:

    "Putin decides what he wants to do and does it in half a day, right?...He makes a decision and executes it quickly. Then everybody reacts. That's what you call a leader. President Obama, he's got to think about it. He's got to go over it again. He's got to talk to more people about it"

    Any excuse to bash Obama, right?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 24, 2014 8:52 a.m.


    Do you keep your commitments? When you "shake" on a "deal", do you back away from your "oath" just because you don't want to be involved?

    Everyday, every one of us keeps the commitments that we have made. We expect others to keep their commitments.

    Putin knew that Obama would do nothing if the Ukraine were attacked. He KNEW Obama's character.

    We know Obama's character. His followers excuse him. They tell us that their personal security and personal welfare are more important that keeping commitments. They tell us that the Ukraine couldn't really expect us to honor a treaty when so many of us are pounding on the government's door for our daily bread. To Obama and his followers, the fate of the Ukraine is less important than extending welfare lines in the USA.

    Putin would not have risked his military or his country's wealth if Obama were the kind of person that kept commitments. Obama's lack of responsibility allowed Putin to walk right in and take over a country with almost no opposition. Putin will continue to march forward as fast as Obama retreats.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    The Cold War need never have been. With the death of Stalin the USSR began to change, which accelerated in time. But anti-socialist hysteria (still with us) and the saber rattling of Harry Truman ignited and kept the Cold War stoked in the west - threatening Russia. BTW, Senator Bennett seems to have forgotten the U.S. led invasion of Russia following WWI - much of Russia's paranoid personality goes back to that.

    There are interests inside of the United States and Russia which want the Cold War back. Here we go again.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards, let's be clear. You are as obvious as it comes in advocating war with Russia. If not, then what should Obama have done, and what should he do? Those of you on the right, who despise the President, take shots and huff and puff, but I have yet to see anything of substance on real action except hint at war. I suppose that gives you an emotional release, but the real world can' operate that way.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 24, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    The lies and distortions are flying fast and furious. "Conservatives" have not praised Putin, they have scoriated Obama for not filling his duty to the treaty that the United States has with the Ukraine.

    The "left" wants all tax revenue to be used for social programs, even though not one social program is authorized by the Constitution; however, defense is listed six times in the list of duties for which Congress is required to tax us.

    Bob Bennett accurately described what is happening. Just because Obama has failed (again) to do his duty is no excuse for the liberals to blame Conservatives or to falsely claim that Conservatives support Putin.

    Putin knows that Obama will never do anything except "talk". He called Obama's bluff. Now all that Obama will do is sputter rhetoric against Putin.

    Which is worse, Russia taking the Ukraine or the United States failing to honor a treaty?

  • CPA Howard Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    March 24, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    We should remember Putin was a high ranking member of the KGB, and he want's to rebuild. This man is ruthless and he's not afraid to kill what ever gets in his way. I'm not worried if he's another Hitler, but I'm worried he's another Stalin. If Stalin had not been a member of the winning team in WWII, he would be be remembered as the one who killed the most jewish people. In order to get his way Stalin murdered and starved millions of his own people; and one of the hardest hit areas was the Ukraine. I fear history will repeat its self and we have leaders like Chamberlin and Baldwin who believe they can sign agreements with killers and the killers will abide by the agreements. History has taught us killers will only follow the agreements as long as they help them; and they stop benfiting them tney will ignore them.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:05 a.m.


    We invade an occupy Afghanistan AND Iraq,
    We threaten Iran, Libya and Syria, and now Russia.

    And you have the audacity to call Putin names?

    Who are your people,
    and where have you been for the last 14 years?

    Seriously! Unbelieveable!

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 24, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    Joe, who would you like Putin's Hitler-like actions compared to? Mother Teresa?

    I don't think so.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 24, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    I am sorry.... I am no Putin apologist, nor am I a Bush basher.... but.... really? Putin takes back Crimea under the most of dubious excuses... and the US has the male parts enough to start calling him names. The nation that launched a 12 preventive war - resulting in deaths tolling over 100, a country that really presented no strategic threat to ourselves, and we are now crying foul. We are comparing Putin to Hitler? How many foreign nations over the last 20 years have we taken direct action in?

    Now that said, we eventually went home, or are trying to go home. Do I think Russian troops are going home? No. But I do feel we will have an equal NATO presence in Ukraine before all is said and done.

    So yes, we need to push back on Putin as hard as a we- even by arming the Ukraine. But he is no way close to a Hitler. He is more like Bush II - and we and the west are in Russia's version of the axis of evil.

  • G-Day-M8 WVC, UT
    March 24, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    The irony in Bob's article is astounding.

    If he included the obama administration, his comments would be right on.

    Bob never mentions that it was US interference in Ukraine that ousted Russian friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and inserted Neo-Nazi Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov.

    John McCain, John Kerry, Victoria Nuland, Joe Biden and others were all front and center orchestrating Ukraine's regime change and all the while they change the narrative to that of "it's all Putin's fault.

    The morphing of history is going on before history itself happens. Talk about a well orchestrated propaganda machine. It's all over this article.

  • benbookworm Fresno, CA
    March 24, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    Don't forget: just before WWII, there was an Olympic Games that many nations threatened to boycott for things akin to terrorism. And what just happened in Sochi?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 24, 2014 5:53 a.m.

    When are politicians going to learn NOT to play the "Hitler" card?

    Bennett compares Putin to Hitler and many conservatives praise Putin's decisiveness.

    Maybe, hopefully, someday, Americans will put America ahead of partisan party politics.
    One can only hope.

  • grounded and rooted China, 00
    March 24, 2014 4:52 a.m.

    Thanks for this article. It helped me to better understand the situation.