|"But while they both preached (actually, Stalin preached, and Mao's mouth moved) world domination, they pretty much kept their hegemony to their own people."|
But I think that is kind of the point of Pat's article. They didn't create the same threat because we BEGAN with containment, whereas we basically invited Hitler to invade half of Europe before we responded. Once he did, we rushed in then like we were blitzing a quarterback, while later when the USSR started devouring nations we were satisfied to "contain", though it's aspirations were just as far-reaching..
For instance, Hiroshima, while necessary to end the war, was also a message to Stalin. Soviet troops were pouring into South East Asia, and the real fear was the foiled pre-war communist efforts in Japan would re-ignite and be supported by Soviet might. Think of how the next 30 years might have been different had the Soviet Union controlled Japan as it did, say, Poland.
Our action? A symbolic gesture. Hitler threatens Europe, we annialate him. Communism threatens both Europe and Asia, and we pose frighteningly. We had ample time between our use of nuclear weapons and the USSR's nuclear ability to dicate terms and make sure they were not a future threat. For some reason, we simply opted not to.
Maybe it was to keep a costly cold war going to prop up our military and excuse our covert activities and deployment around the world. Maybe, as Pat would probably think, it was to placate those who were soft on Socialism and who, wrongly, believed that once Stalin was replaced we'd enter into a new era.