I think freedom loving people around the world, including most trapped in Vladimir Putin’s atrocious dictatorship, have been appalled by his sending the Russian army into Ukraine. I have also been horrified to see certain elements of the American body politic side with Mr. Putin. By so doing, they have disowned their own freedom and the most basic of American ideals.
Sadly, it’s nothing new. When another monster, Adolf Hitler, was rising to power, too many Americans were attracted to his authoritarianism and racism. Among them was one of America’s most famous heroes, Charles Lindbergh, who argued that Hitler was “no Xerxes of Genghis Khan” but rather a European and so deserved to be respected as such. I won’t even go into the depths of racism implied by Lindbergh’s stance. Suffice to say that, like the modern apologists for Putin, he had no respect for the United States of America and what this country stands for. Until he eventually repudiated his support for Hitler, he was a traitor to freedom and, once we went to war against Hitler, also to his country. Those voicing support for Putin right now are traitors to freedom and the great ideals of their country.
The great American testament, the Declaration of Independence, states, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
To support dictators is to deny that testament and therefore to say that you are a traitor to it and to the cause of human freedom. It’s that simple. It has always been that simple, ever since those immortal words were written down by a group of uneasy, determined men who sought to be free of what they had come to regard as an imperial tyranny.
As far as the visitors are concerned, I have no idea what they think. As far as I can tell, their main interest is human survival. I say that because they have consistently indicated their concern about nuclear weapons by appearing at missile sites in the US and Russia and possibly other places, and they have left a message that our environment is in peril in the testimony of witnesses.
We are in a very, very dangerous situation right now, and every single human being who is on the side of freedom must speak out and, insofar as possible, must act. I can’t go to Ukraine and fight, but I would if I could. I can certainly speak out, and I think that we all should, and indeed, must.
Mr. Putin’s personality follows a familiar pattern: an obsession with his own safety and a complete indifference to the lives of others. Thus you see these pictures of him sitting a ridiculously long tables to keep distance between himself and others. But he doesn’t give a penny for the lives of his own soldiers, let alone the people he is pointlessly murdering in Ukraine. Hitler was like that. So was Napoleon.
NATO was no threat to Russia. Nor was Ukraine. Putin is very like the other dictators: he has a wish to kill others while keeping himself safe. He is, in short, a serial killer with political power. And he will not stop, no more than Hitler did, who had a similar mental illness. This is why there is another very serious worry here: it is nuclear escalation.
If his army remains bogged down, he is going to be tempted to use the tactical nuclear weapons in his arsenal. If that happens, then the same sort of unintended consequences are liable to unfold as happened in July and August of 1914 when the world unexpectedly ended up at war after Austria sent a punitive expedition into the Balkans to avenge the assassination of the heir to their crown.
The difference this time would be stark: instead of millions of lives being pitifully and pointlessly thrown away over a period of years, billions of them and entire civilizations would be at peril of being destroyed in an instant.
The fact that Vladimir Putin is willing to not only destroy the lives and freedom of innocent people in the Ukraine, but to risk even the remote possibility of such an outcome tells me that he is a truly twisted and profoundly corrupt human being.
It is my fondest wish and prayer that his soul somehow finds its way to redemption. But how? He has twisted the knife in his own heart, as have all who support him. Sin is denial of the right to thrive. Therefore, it is sinful to hate freedom and work against it, not to mention taking the lives of others, and the more so in pursuit of bizarre and meaningless goals.
Let’s all pray for the struggling people of Ukraine, for the poor Russian conscripts being thrown away like worthless rags, and for all the world, that we may be safe, and freedom prevail in every corner of every land.
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