Wednesday, June 29, 2022
June 29, 2022

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Ambrose: Evil wins when left alone


Evil, when it knocks on the door, when it walks in the room, when it surrounds us and smiles at its likely victory, is one of the worst things in life.

Still, we are seeing it in Russian President Vladimir Putin just as in Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler and too many others. As the United States seems to know, the only answers are outrage, analysis, courage, strength and determination even as evil employs any means that suit its ends.

Evil reaches beyond immorality. It is anxious, brutal, endlessly inhumane, without conscience, delivering as much pain as it takes to satisfy the never satisfied.

In Ukraine, Putin is threatening not just democracy, sovereignty, national pride and world order, but attacking maternity wards, schools, crowds in the street and shelters for the homeless.

Let’s get personal for a minute and contemplate a news report about a mass grave containing the bodies of a toddler with shrapnel in her head, a teenage girl missing legs blasted from her body as she played soccer and another slaughtered girl not yet 6 and wearing pajamas decorated with cartoonish drawings of unicorns.

Evil, of course, is forever turning history hellish for the sake of gain and misery.

Consider information on how the ethnically bigoted, power-crazed Ugandan dictator Idi Amin fed some of his 500,000 victims to crocodiles. Contemplate devoutly worshipped Mao Zedong of China, who executed and starved tens of millions to put the enslavement of communism in place. Consult facts to recall how Cambodian Prime Minister Pol Pot ordered babies ripped asunder as a fourth of the population was murdered.

The list of modern-day and long-past evil leaders all over much of the world goes on and on, and one to keep in mind in the context of Russia is Ivan the Terrible of the 16th century.

He was named grand prince of Moscow as a 3-year-old, and, at 16, named himself the first tsar of all Russia, gradually making it an empire and centralizing the government, historical accounts say.

He actually improved Russia in some ways, such as placing merit over birthright in the military.

Challenged by aristocratic oligarchs, however, he had secret guardians out and about, massacring them and others in a reign of terror. He destroyed a whole city as he also went unsuccessfully to war with such other countries as Poland and Sweden.

He enjoyed watching prisoners tortured by ripping out their guts, blinding them and setting them on fire, it is observed, and apparently killed at least two of his eight wives.

Now we come to Putin who glorifies Russia, loves it, notes that it helped destroy Nazism in World War II, saw it come to enormous, imperial power after the war, but then witnessed the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union in 1991.

He doesn’t like communism any more than he likes democracy; a gangster economy has made him superrich and he is pretty much in charge of everything, with free speech punishable not just by prison, but by murders he is suspected of committing.

The country’s population has dwindled as much as its wealth and, like Ivan the Terrible, he wants a supremacist, menacing Russia.

With puny Western response, Russia has taken control of Chechnya, occupies a major portion of Georgia and has annexed the Crimean section of Ukraine, all made independent with the end of the Cold War in 1991.

Putin is seeing his declining country impoverished as much of the world turns against him and supports the wonder of Ukraine, but has still maintained economic relations with self-serving nations and has united with two likewise propelled by evil, China and Iran.

He is now playing games with hypersonic missiles and has more than whispered how his nuclear-armed military could destroy anybody, bringing us to Albert Einstein.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything,” he said.

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