Honoring War Criminals

Vladimir Putin Portrait Drawing Illustration April 20,,2020

So, what do you think of Putin honoring the Russian soldiers who committed war crimes— purposely slaughtering civilians, including beheadings and torture—in Bucha, Ukraine?  He praised the 64th Motorized Brigade for “mass heroism and bravery, steadfastness and fortitude” and for “distinguishing itself in military action for the protection of the Fatherland and state interests.” They were awarded the “esteemed honor” of becoming “guards,” becoming the “64th Guard Motorized Brigade.” Whatever, according to Putin, they are heroes, not murderers. 

This goes beyond disinformation and propaganda; it’s a celebration of evil that turns reality on its head until it’s gone.  Putin isn’t just willing to commit atrocities on behalf of conquest; he revels in evil for its own sake.  It’s as if his quest for power is nothing but a convenient ruse for sadism.  Sadism has finally become his ideology, the end all.  And given Putin has the largest stash of nuclear weapons in the world, he literally holds the power to end it all.

I’ve often spoken about the evil “slave power” of the antebellum South and the awful Confederate “cause” for which I was fool enough to die for.  Up until now, at least, I always thought the lords of the “Cotton Kingdom” were the all-time champions of turning reality on its head for their greedy convenience.  In order to justify owning and abusing other human beings for profit they devised an almost infinite number of ridiculous arguments and rationalizations, well encapsulated by the words of my former commander, Robert E. Lee: “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race.”

Even Hitler Tried to Hide His Concentration Camps from the World!

Looking back, there’s some evidence these antebellum slaveholders were at least sane enough to see the evil in their ways.  They vehemently denied that slaves were beaten and whipped, that families were split up and children sold off when it was profitable, and that women were frequently raped as suited their fancy. (They went ballistic when the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin created a sensation in the North for exposing these horrors.) They certainly didn’t send letters to Horace Greeley at the New York Tribune (perhaps the country’s most influential abolitionist and newspaper) bragging about their latest atrocity, and they didn’t hand out medals for abusing slaves.  No, they did everything they could to hide their crimes. 

Putin isn’t trying to restore the Russian empire; he is committing evil because he can and reveling in his sadism for all the world to see.  And unfortunately, because of those nearly 6,000 nuclear weapons under his control, it’s just part of his charm.

Kudos to Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow.

In response to a Republican colleague who called her a “groomer” for standing up against marginalizing the state’s LGBTQ population, McMorrow made a stand against the Republican hatred and bigotry. Defining herself as “a straight, white, Christian, married suburban mom,” she called out the “performative nonsense” of her attacker. “People who are different are not the reason that our roads are in bad shape…or that healthcare costs are too high, or that teachers are leaving the profession,” she said. “We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact they are not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact people’s lives. ”She recalled historical heroes who tried “to right wrongs and fix the injustice in the world,” and went on to say that “each and every single one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history. . . we will not let hate win.”

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