It seemed fairly clear to me from her experiences that war had in fact been a miserable affair of fear, hunger, threadbare darned clothes, broken windows and insolent officials. And that was a victory, more or less, though my father (who fought in it) was never sure of that.
If anyone really is trying to punish the Russian people for being patriotic, by debauching the rouble, I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible. It was the destruction of the German mark in 1922, and the wipeout of the middle class that resulted, which led directly to Hitler.
Stupid, ill-informed people nowadays like to compare Mr Putin with Hitler. I warn them and you that, if we succeed in overthrowing Mr Putin by unleashing hyper-inflation in Russia, we may find out what a Russian Hitler is really like. And that a war in Europe is anything but fun.
As Hitchins points out, Russia has lost 700,000 square miles of valuable territory since 1989. He forebears from mentioning that every square yard was paid for with Russian blood, Russian military dead of 12m making British & Commonwealth and US dead in WWII of 387,000 and 407,000 respectively look like the result of dilettante sparring. And they were the uncles of those of Hitchins and mine generation in Russia.
If there has been one theme in Raedwald in 2014 it is this; we have more to fear from the idiots, fools, crooks and glory seekers on 'our' side than from those that they vilify. The people of Europe are at last waking to the monstrous threat to peace from the EU, egged on by a particular form of transatlantic stupidity that parrots the word 'appeasement' like a stuck CD.
2014 also marked the 70th and last-commemorated anniversary of Britain's last great act as a world-player; 6th June 1944. This was the last and perhaps the finest British and Commonwealth led victory (the US, despite what Spielberg may depict, being in the minority and the junior party in the invasion itself). After D-Day, the US became ascendant and our retreat from Empire began. As a victory it was a fitting end to the nation's defiance that had seen our island stand alone against Hitler's fury until the Japanese eventually brought the US into the war more than two years in. That my own father commenced active service on Sword beach at dawn on that day is a matter of some pride for me.
Hillary and those like her in north America who today are eager for war are perhaps not so much stupid and ill-informed, as Hitchins would have it, as insulated from any family experience of what living under conditions of warfare was like. The US had it easy in WWII. Their war dead were few for such a large nation, and the war made them all rich. They simply have no idea what war is like - they see through the false eyes of Hollywood, not through the experience of living relatives.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.