Posted BY: Jared Peterson

I am responding to “Ukraine and the Unlearned Lesson of History,” by Jacob Fraden. published in AT 1/31/23.

I’ll start with the author’s contention that Russia’s war against Napoleonic France was one of its wars “of aggression.”  On June 24, 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia with an army of 650,000, approximately the 12th European county to receive the French tyrant’s military attention. Who was the aggressor here?  Tsar Alexander, I was a hero at the Congress of Vienna, for crushing that invasion and breaking the French chronic aggressor’s back once and for all.


And most of Christian Europe had the sense to be grateful to Russia for driving the hated Turkish muslim conqueror and oppressor out of the Balkans and other parts of Europe. As to Russia’s wars with the Swedes, Lithuanians, Poles and Germans (13th through early 17th centuries), for much of that time those four, not Russia, were the aggressors. In fact, the Poles and Lithuanians burned Moscow in the early 17th century. And yes, in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries Russia expanded eastward through Siberia and Asia, absorbing territory thinly populated by backward peoples. Who, of all people, are we Americans to fault Russia for THAT? Go to the blackboard, and write MANIFEST DESTINY 100 times.

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