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Vladimir Putin says the West is an “empire of lies.” If this is so, a lot of them sprang from Putin’s thought police and Internet trolls. Even Putin’s top diplomat, the leaden-faced Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, blamed a Ukrainian maternity hospital’s bombing on “Nazis.”
A jealous Donald Trump is in awe at Putin’s power to stifle the truth. Trump can only call factual reporting “fake news.” Putin controls the press. There is no Ukrainian invasion. Anyone who says otherwise will spend 15 years in prison. God only knows what they would get if they reported the gross incompetence of their corrupt military.
Putin even sent in mobile crematoriums to hide the Russian dead from his people. But incompetence can only be hidden for so long. Now Putin has been forced to wave nuclear weapons in the face of every Earthling whether animal, vegetable or artificial intelligence.
Their use would leave even his erstwhile ally China a smoldering ruin.
The Ukraine Adventure is not Putin’s first genocidal war. His first in the 1990’s leveled the rebellious Chechen Province. Hardly an apartment building was left standing. After his drug soaked celebration of peace at the Sochi Olympics he attacked the nation of Georgia. Then he pried the Crimea away from the Ukraine.
Then he experimented with thermobaric bombs to kill uncounted thousands in Syria’s civil war. He has spent the last decade nibbling away at the Ukraine. But the nation Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected to lead is the size of France with 44 million people not tiny Chechnya’s one million.
I began writing this column as a world-wide performance of Ludwig von Beethoven’s masterpiece the Ninth Symphony was playing to honor the people of the Ukraine.
Beethoven once imagined that Napoleon was bringing freedom to the people of Europe. He was profoundly angry to see that Bonaparte simply wanted to build an empire.
The next European revolution brought about the Soviet Union, a “worker’s paradise,” to end the evils of capitalism. But Stalin brought only death.
Hitler didn’t promise a better world just a pure German empire.
Putin is following in his predecessors’ footsteps with no sham claim to make a better world. He, like the “Aryan” Hitler, only wants a bigger empire for Russians.
Now that this future seems to be slipping through his fingers he seems driven by a motive no more compelling than, “If I can’t have her no one can.” Flattened maternity wards testify to his fury.
Putin can flatten much more than the Ukraine. Long after the 1962 Missile Crisis and the fall of the Iron Curtain a Russian general told an American counterpart how Russia could have flattened America with just nine nuclear-tipped missiles. Russia would go on to build 10,000 of them. Putin still has 6,000.
Former Republican presidential candidate Reverend Pat Robertson recently spoke for God telling his television audience that it’s God’s plan to let Putin destroy Earth. He’s more articulate than Trump and saner than a lot of other Republicans.
Some believe that Donald Trump is an Old Testament king. Others believe Hillary Clinton organized a ring of pedophiles at a pizzeria. Others want a race war.
All of these and more believe everything Donald Trump says and some, like Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, are quoted on Putin’s Russian television.
Though I am an agnostic I have often sung a hymn based on the Ninth Symphony’s final movement at my church. The hymn’s lyrics seem appropriate to the moment:
Joyful, joyful, we adore You,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before You,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
All Your works with joy surround You,
Earth and heav’n reflect Your rays,
Stars and angels sing around You,
Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Praising You eternally!
Always giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living,
Ocean-depth of happy rest!
Loving Father, Christ our Brother,
Let Your light upon us shine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
God’s own love is reigning o’er us,
Joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life.
God bless the Ukraine.
Everything Harry writes that is not about the imminent destruction of Earth as we knew it is superfluous. But, he does prattle on at lincolndemocrat.com.