meanwhile, hillary, zbig and many others are using hitler in the 30s to understand putin now, or rather to pursue some propaganda aim that is rather hard to fathom. surely the only possible idea in going all hitler/appeasement is to mobilize europe for war. is that your idea? because if not what you're saying is idiotic. now, it's easy to think that if you want to deal with the present you have to know the past, if you forget it you'll repeat it, you have to learn the lessons of history, and a dozen other cliches. but really history blinds as much as it reveals: some dude on al jazeera was saying putin's stuck in the 30s, but he was himself just doing that 30s hitler thing. people pull out things like 'sudentenland' first of all to establish their credibilitty by bewildering non-historians, and second to have various manipulative propaganda effects. you think if you place what's happening now in 1937 or 1856 you'll understand it. no, you'll just be talking about 1937, and not even that. you'll blind yourself to what is happening in the unique now. you want a slot to stick it in, no matter how badly it fits: you're trying to understand what's happening now a priori without engaging it at all. it's all ideological blinders; it's all digression, distraction, misdirection.