Opinion

Putin Is Not The New Hitler

Tucker Carlson found himself compared to the aviation hero and fascist sympathizer Charles Lindbergh Tuesday.

And no, it had nothing to do with trans-Atlantic flights.

It all started when Fox News contributor Ralph Peters took issue with The Daily Caller co-founder asking how Russian President Vladimir Putin is a threat to America’s interests. “You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938 saying ‘Hitler hasn’t attacked us,’” Peters told Carlson. (RELATED: Tucker Chews Out Guest Who Said He Sounds Like A Nazi Apologist)

Unsurprisingly, the Hitler reference infuriated the Fox News host who made the sober assertion, “I don’t think Putin is comparable to Hitler.” Peters disagreed, saying Putin “is as bad as Hitler.”

The two continued fighting over how America should operate in the world, with Carlson demanding answers as to how Russia, Iran and the Assad regime in Syria are serious threats to America. Peters argued that they were, and indicated America should use military options to seek regime change in all three countries.

You would think a cable news analyst openly voicing his support for what amounts to another world war would make people a bit nervous, but you would be grossly mistaken. Peters was hailed by pundits and journalists on Twitter for “shutting down” Tucker’s “subversion.” And it wasn’t just liberals who were celebrating Peters’s war mongering either.

The remarkably unfunny conservative Twitter aggregator Twitchy even said that Peters body-slammed Carlson… because he said the Fox host was the same as a Nazi sympathizer. Hope the conservative tweeters Twitchy used to bolster its bodyslam claim are ready to deploy to Ukraine!

The overwhelming negative reaction to Tucker saying he didn’t think Russia posed a serious threat to the United States from verified Twitter accounts reveals the elite consensus at the moment.

Neoconservatives have still retained their positions of influence in the Beltway in spite of their long record of failures. They haven’t learned anything from the Iraq and Libya debacles, and their ideas still greatly influence the blob of foreign policy think tanks.

So Peters rambling on about Putin being Hitler and how America must seek an expanded conflict against multiple state actors in Syria sounds like powerful truth to the folks who make their living promoting war.

Liberals are also now supportive of this rhetoric because of the lingering anguish of losing the 2016 election. They want to believe Russia stole the election and is secretly controlling the Trump administration. They’re willing to send others to war over the honor of Hillary Rodham Clinton, but not go themselves.

In spite of Donald Trump’s win and past failures at trying to promote liberal democracy in the Middle East, the foreign policy orthodoxy of liberal interventionism still reigns in D.C. And that consensus now how has the aide of a “new Hitler” in Vladimir Putin.

Obviously, Putin — for all his bad deeds and aggressions — is not the new Hitler. He rules over a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic state that seethes with tension. At the elite level, he has to play a balancing act between liberals who want Russia to fully embrace globalism and ethno-nationalists who want a Eurasian empire in conflict with the West. The Russian economy is precarious and the state already has plenty of trouble funding pensions for its own citizens. Also, its military is using equipment that is quite outdated when compared with America’s arsenal.

It’s hard to see the Russian Federation as the new Third Reich with all of its problems and deficiencies. So why is Putin made out to be the new Hitler?

Because the foreign policy blob needs a central villain for its policy proposals. It’s harder to convince a public that still remembers Iraq to go along with another military intervention against some tinpot dictator.

A more convincing case is to say this tinpot dictator is part of some grand global conspiracy — an Axis of Evil you could say — which is led by a mastermind of evil. Someone who is hell-bent on world domination, opposes the values of western elites, resembles a sinister movie villain, and is plotting to take over America with the help of dangerous extremists.

This is the picture painted of Putin by the establishment media, and with the only historical reference point for the American chattering class being World War II, it’s easy to see where the Hitler analogies come in. It’s also remarkably helpful for neocons to satisfy Godwin’s law by smearing anyone who doesn’t further hostilities with Russia as akin to a Nazi apologist.

At least a Lindbergh reference is an upgrade from the extremely overused Neville Chamberlain allusion.

A debate about Russia and how America should approach the largest nation in the world is needed in our country. But what is not necessary is applying World War II comparisons to every problem in the world.

I’m old enough to remember when they were used to get the public to invade Iraq. Look at how well that turned out.

Follow Scott on Twitter and purchase his new book, “No Campus for White Men.”