CSotD: Was it for this the clay grew tall?

There is a temptation to simply display Morten Morland’s absolutely brilliant commentary on Russian atrocities and shut down for the day. There’s also a temptation to save it for last, to end with a crescendo.

But we have to be wary of temptation; I saw a posting from someone who wished Twitter had a button you could push to stop seeing the photos of murdered civilians in the streets of Bucha, and the desire to look away is admittedly tempting.

But to ignore evil, to turn away, makes you a collaborator.

And to broach the topic requires leading with your best example. Morland’s piece has already been shared among cartoonists with respect and awe, because it so encapsulates the horror: Death itself stands appalled, while a blood-soaked Putin, the dripping scythe still in his hand, pushes past with a belligerent, goose-stepping arrogance that proclaims him the master of final solutions.


Dr. MacLeod asks how many times the world will stand for such things, and there is a frustration in “Never again,” because, as he notes, there always seems to be yet another.

It’s also frustrating because, while there are moments of justice — in both theaters following the Second World War, in Kampuchea after the killing fields, in Bosnia — the phrase “Never again” seems to be invoked as often in search of vengeance as in a search for justice.

My father was at Dachau at the close of the war, using his German language skills to assist with the displaced survivors of that horror. He never spoke directly of what he saw, but he had this observation: He said that he would have thought the shattered inmates, having seen such appalling degradation of humanity, would pledge eternal peace.

But what they wanted was for the Americans to arm them so that they could go down into town and kill Germans.

Understandable, of course, but hardly inspiring.

I’ve also seen, on social media, that Anonymous has (reportedly) found and released the names of the Russian soldiers sent to Ukraine. To begin with, I doubt it. It’s not all that clear that even Moscow has such a list.

More to the point, however, is the pure fairytale idiocy of the notion that holding each of these 180,000 hapless Ivans and Sergeis personally responsible for the atrocities is morally justified or logistically possible.

Putting a flower in the gun barrel of a National Guardsman on the steps of the Pentagon was a meaningful gesture, but anyone who thought it would end the war was as foolish as anyone who thought they could surround the Pentagon and, by chanting, raise it up into the air.

But neither was it sensible to hold each Vietnam vet personally responsible for My Lai.

The difference is that, while some armchair experts are endearingly naive, others are simply contemptible.


Candide, having traveled a world of blood and slaughter, concluded that “We must cultivate our own garden,” and Ted Littleford reminds us that, however much Putin’s inner circle may have deceived him and preserved themselves through toadlicking and groveling, he has had plenty of support on this side of the ocean as well.

What will these latest revelations cause Fox to do? Will they deny the evidence, or will they begin reporting the war as if they had never championed Putin in the first place?

I can guess what they won’t do: Apologize.

I’d put money on it. They’ll either ignore the evidence, or ignore their own roles in it.


Kevin Kallaugher (Counterpoint) notes the informational partnership between Russia and Fox, though, to be fair, he posted this before the photos from Bucha had emerged.

But that does not alter the fact that, while Russia has managed to brainwash a significant portion of its population through, as the bear says, “a toxic diet of bias, misinformation and propaganda,” Fox has also deluded a large number of Americans using the same technique.

At least the Russians aren’t hiding behind the First Amendment and prattling on about “cancel culture” while they burn books, dictate curricula and call for a boycott of a private business for its failure to discriminate against LGBTQ+ and racial minorities.

Again, as Candide noted, we may not be able to create “the best of all possible worlds,” but we must cultivate our own garden.


Honesty is not a difficult process. Michael Ramirez (Creators) accuses the Biden administration of ignoring Ukraine’s military need in favor of trying to get Ukraine to save energy.

There is legitimacy in the question of sending MIGs and of providing advanced, sophisticated weapons system upon which Ukrainians have not been trained.

But it takes 30 seconds to put the lie to the suggestion that Biden has declined to arm Ukraine.

I remember a police investigator cautioning me about a young ne’er-do-well, “If he tells you it’s raining, you’d better look out the window.”

It has had other applications, because the difference between “spin” and a lie involves the failure to do the most basic background search before stating an opinion.

A quick glance out the window revealed that list of what we’re sending Ukraine, and note that the statement is nearly a month old.

On the 30th, Biden spoke directly to Zelensky and, according to the White House:

The leaders discussed how the United States is working around the clock to fulfill the main security assistance requests by Ukraine, the critical effects those weapons have had on the conflict, and continued efforts by the United States with allies and partners to identify additional capabilities to help the Ukrainian military defend its country. 

In his Warsaw speech, Biden spoke of helping all of Europe become independent of Russia’s gas and oil, true, but it’s clear that our military aid to Ukraine is a separate and ongoing process.

Whatever. All that Russia’s American allies took away from that speech was Biden’s adlibbed wish that Putin would no longer be in power.

They called it a “gaffe,” so I guess they disagreed.

A lot has come to light since, and I will be watching to see how the enablers shift focus in light of the horrors we’ve seen.

And thinking of Wilfred Owen, an eyewitness killed in the trenches a week before his generation’s war would end.


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