Noah Millman has an answer to the part of this post where I talk about collaborators:

I’m pretty sure he’s wrong, because that would make Konrad Adenauer a traitor.

As a general rule, I think my red line dividing patriots from traitors holds up quite well, and I would maintain as part of the general rule that it really doesn’t matter why the invader is there. One might be able to find rare occasions when the latter part of this rule doesn’t apply, but the rarity of it should tell us something. Collaborating with an invader is as clear an example of betrayal of one’s country as I can imagine, because whatever objections one may have to the regime or constitution prevailing in one’s country part of any patriotic duty is to oppose foreign invasion. The people who conspired with a foreign prince in 1688 to overthrow their king were traitors on every level; the people who resisted them were the opposite. We applaud the former because we largely share their politics, or at least we share more of their politics than we do those of James II, and so most of us approve of past treasonous acts when they are committed for the “right” reasons.

Venizelos turned against his king and plunged his country into an unnecessary war with the backing of foreign powers to advance a nationalist territorial agenda. I don’t see how anyone could fairly call him a patriot. He welcomed foreign troops into his country to force the abdication and exile of the legitimate head of state in a blatant power play to pursue his own agenda and the wartime goals of foreign empires. He was certainly a nationalist and a political liberal, who believed he was justified in his betrayals on the grounds of possibly regaining historically Greek territories and resisting the decisions of the monarch, but everything he did from 1916-1919 was nothing but an extended betrayal of his country facilitated by foreign backing. It requires the embrace of an ideology or at the very least a religious or confessional politics to make such betrayals seem like virtuous and noble acts.

I think it is telling that Noah has to resort to the fairly atypical example of post-WWII West Germany to make a counter-argument. It is much more common for collaborationist regimes to be like that of Quisling, Horthy and Rallis in the basic alignment of a relatively small clique of collaborationist politicians and officers with the occupier against a large part of the population, which is then subjected to reprisals and punishments by the occupying forces working in tandem with collaborationist security forces. Noah would presumably not say the same thing about Walter Ulbricht, but then that might be because Ulbricht is a far more typical example of someone collaborating with an invader (in this case because of ideological affinity) than Adenauer could have ever been. Part of this does depend on the specific circumstances of the Allied invasion of Germany and the postwar settlement, but this would require us to acknowledge the rather exceptional nature of this settlement that distinguishes it significantly from just about every other occupation regime, which I think weakens the force of Noah’s reply considerably.

I suspect that if we worked our way through all the relevant cases in the modern era from the French creation of satellite revolutionary regimes in the 1790s to today, the examples of collaborators who might still qualify as patriots would be exceedingly few and the exceptional nature of their cases would confirm the general rule. Quisling has entered our language as a shorthand to describe collaborators; Adenaueur’s career was one of only a few of its kind, and we do not usually come across collaborators who prompt us to say, “Oh, so-and-so is a real adenauer.”