Monday, March 17, 2014

Russian Crimea Vote - History Repeats Itself

The Russian vote in Crimea over the weekend has an exact historical antecedent.
On February 27, Vlad Putin ordered his troops to take possession of various key points on the Crimean peninsula. On March 16, with his forces in firm control over the territory, Putin held a referendum to justify the takeover. People who might have voted against Putin were threatened and intimidated into silence. The result of the vote was 96% in favor of the takeover, according to CNN.
On March 12, 1938, Hitler ordered his troops to march into Austria and take possession of that German speaking country (the Anschluss or Union). After taking control of the nation Hitler set about justifying the takeover by holding a referendum. Jews, communists, and others who might have objected to the takeover were arrested and shipped to concentration camps in Germany or otherwise intimidated by the Gestapo. On April 10, Austrians voted on the German takeover, the result of the vote was 99% in favor.

In both instances the votes were held at the point of bayonets although they certainly would have been approved without intimidation just not with such impressively overwhelming numbers.

As pointed out by this writer, this is not Godwin's Law but an amazingly similar historical parallel. It is almost as if Putin wants to take the mantle of Worst Vlad in History away from Vlad Tepes.

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