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This has been an interesting thread to read, as both of you stand side by side, shouting down the hallway, and not getting anywhere.

You, rd95 made the casual assertion that "America is as bad a Putin", essentially, because we have done some nasty underhanded shit, and so has he.

kleinbl00 countered with the basic premise that a leader, acting on his own behalf and not in the best interests of his country, is a bad man doing bad things for bad reasons. While a country, doing unsavory things to stop bigger, badder things from happening, is not the same, and drawing an equivalency between the two is not just lazy, it is dangerous.

Using KB's example of Auschwitz: Putin would not have even asked the question as to whether he should stop the atrocities there now, or wait until he could win the battle. He wouldn't have cared one way or the other, because intervening in Auschwitz would not forward his personal agenda.

Churchill, on the other hand, was faced with the moral dilemma of what to do, simply because he is a moral man that wanted the best for everyone. So he had to wrestle with the idea, and make a hard decision.

THIS is where you two keep missing each other. RD keeps trying to abstract the issues above the practical, and KB says you can't do that because that is exactly where the problem rests. One is a philosophical thought experiment about how the world could be different; the other is a practical examination of human nature in history, and trying to predict future actions based on past behaviors.

It's been a fascinating conversation to watch, actually.