Parade’s end

Last week the British Embassy announced that British, French and American troops would march with Russian soldiers on Red Square to mark the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Brits said in a statement that the parade may mark the first time British troops have marched in Red Square; I believe the same observation applies to the American troops that will join the parade.
The AP helpfully explains that Victory Day is Russia’s most important secular holiday. It adds that the Kremlin plans a larger parade than usual this year, with good reason. The Kremlin will be celebrating the addition of the British, French and American troops.
Given his detestation of the Brits, Barack Obama must have agonized about dispatching American troops to join them in Red Square. Nevertheless, the opportunity to march with a dictator hostile to the United States proved irresistible in the end. If only the Israelis had gotten there first, perhaps Obama would have begged off.
I’m not sure what explains the Brits’ move to join the parade. Alluding to the role that circumstances played in the wartime alliance with Stalin, Churchill famously observed that If Hitler invaded hell he would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. Circumstances do not excuse, let alone dictate, any such compliment to the Putin regime. Quite the contrary.
Kim Zigfeld writes that when she read the news, “I was ashamed to call myself an American, ashamed to admit that Barack Obama was my president.” Zigfeld’s commentary and indignation deserve your attention.
JOHN adds: The timing is particularly bad in that, for the first time in many years, the City of Moscow is planning on putting up posters of Stalin as part of its Victory Day celebration. So Obama will be able to honor not only the would-be dictator Putin, but the real thing.

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