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Thursday, March 03, 2022

Lenten Blogging 2022: Day 2

The Russian people did not wake up pokey one morning last week and decide to invade Ukraine.  Neither did the Russian people occupy Poland and impose the Iron Curtain.  The average subject of the emperor didn’t care where Pearl Harbor was if he even knew it existed at all.  The Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland spent decades blowing each other up… why, exactly?  The typical Palestinian when pressed on the matter can not say why he wants to shove every Jewish man woman and child into the sea.

I’m reading stories now about Russian soldiers in the field crying and wanting their mothers.  They didn’t want to be there.  Many of them claim that they didn’t know they were going into Ukraine to begin with.
I’m also reading about the Ukrainians holding Russian soldiers hostage and parading them in front of cameras for social media.  And showing photos of dead Russians.  Some are claiming that doing so violates the Geneva Convention.  To quote Patrick Swayze from Red Dawn: “I’ve never heard of it!”  Swayze then answers his friend’s concern about what makes “us” different from “them”: “BECAUSE WE LIVE HERE!”
It’s hard not to sympathize with the Ukrainians.  They didn’t ask for war.  And war is hell.  Why shouldn’t they reciprocate in kind?  If someone breaks into your house, you have the right to stop them by any means necessary including acts of violence.
But I digress.
All of this and more, did not come about because entire populations simply decided to go to war and wipe out another people.  They instead came about by the machinations of a relatively small minority.  Sometimes not even that much.  Too often it comes down to one man.  One man whose sanity is questionable at best.
(Sometimes I find myself thinking that there would have been peace in the Mid-East a long time ago already, were it not for that idiot Yassir Arafat rallying his people toward hate and violence.)
There have been many such men.  Men who by accident or design have come to control the lives and deaths of millions.  I can tick off a bunch right now: Stalin, Pol Pot, Amin, Kim, and of course Adolf Hitler.
Right now, that man is Vladimir Putin.  Dictator of Russia.  And he is following right along with his predecessors.  The big difference is that Putin has it in his power to destroy the world as we know it.
So the question that’s been running through my mind, the question that has been asked by many before me and will no doubt be asked by many more to come still, is this…
Why do we allow ourselves to follow madmen?  Why do we even tolerate them?
Solzhenitsyn was right.  If the people had only resisted.  If only they had chosen to fight back.  Had decided that they would kill Stalin’s agents when they came instead of cowering in fear.  But instead they played along as the victim.
Why is it so hard to say “no” to lunatics?
When are people like the Russians going to say “enough” and topple the madman controlling their country?