by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor
Russian President Vladimir Putin has crossed the Rubicon with his illegal, predatory and brutal invasion of Ukraine. His vicious war is based partly on ill-conceived, debunked and short-lived lies about the victimization of Russian speakers in Ukraine. The question is how many other aspiring little tin-pot dictators and soulless despots will now feel emboldened to emerge from the shadows and follow Putin’s example of achieving a netherworld level of mendacity and devastation.
The savage execution of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine is being played out, minute by minute, before the eyes of an incredulous and fragile world. It behooves us to heed the words of British Science Fiction writer Charles Stross: “Where would dictators be without our compliant amnesia? Make the collective lose its memory, and you can conceal anything.”
Seared in humanity’s collective consciousness are certain hellish episodes that will live in infamy and forever characterize Man’s inhumanity to Man. These memories serve as silent sentinels of the depravity we are capable of as a species. Such an episode in the Second World War (1939-1945), the origins of which can be traced to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany.
Hitler’s Machiavellian tactics included vilifying and dehumanizing certain populations. A striking parallel can be drawn between Hitler’s demagoguery and Putin’s anti-Ukraine rhetoric. Equally sinister is the through-line between Kremlin propaganda and the countless ongoing atrocities being committed against Ukraine and its people by Putin’s invading forces.
Putin’s slash and burn model of exercising deadly power could have dastardly ripple effects across the world at large if not checked and eliminated. To stand by idly would be interpreted as a green light for more of the same. The scene would thus be set for the igniting of countless other conflagrations around the globe. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the heroic, intrepid man of the moment, has demonstrated repeatedly that he is in a battle for the soul of the world.
The future of a rules-based international order is dependent on functional and effective universal democratic governance. Democracy has proven thus far to be the most equitable form of governance and the best guarantee of individual rights and freedoms. Although it is far from perfect, it is underpinned by the rule of law.
The tragic events unfolding in Ukraine are a direct result of Putin’s tyrannical, autocratic leadership, evincing his criminal inclinations and total contempt for the rule of law. He must be held accountable for his unlawful prosecution of an unjust war against Ukraine. He must also be held responsible for the many crimes against humanity taking place in Ukraine. Only then will democracy be able to ensure its viability, by simultaneously employing both defensive and offensive measures to ward off full-on death blows against its continued existence.
I urge the gatekeepers of all democratic nations to draw inspiration and resolve from the brave actions of Ukrainian leaders, and from those admirable, salt-of-the-earth Ukrainians who are in a David and Goliath fight for survival.
The successful outcome of their principled and righteous cause will redound to the long-term benefit of a rules-based international order, and by necessary implication, enhance the stability and advancements of individual nations and global regional blocs.
– Irene Fowler
To read Irene’s new poem The Tyrants’ Apostolic Creed click:
The Tyrants’ Apostolic Creed
by Irene Fowler
They believe in ruinous, savage, death-dealing; Absolute Tyranny
The Father of unspeakable inhumanity
Creator of dystopian hellscapes on earth
And in its most devoted, slavish, sons and scions; lords of depravity
Conceived by evil incarnate
Born of hatred and mayhem
Suffering countless millions, to an existence of crippling misery, torment, and angst
Crucifying blessed human lives, dreams, hopes, freedoms and potential
They descend daily into hell
Grinding the innocent and helpless into fine dust; thwarting any hope of their resurrection in this world
They ascend not into heavenly realms; lacking love, honour or mercy
Seated on iniquitous, earthly thrones of cruel unrighteousness
From whence they deal and judge corruptly; without reason, grace, or charity
Believing themselves to be God
In their unholy, uncatholic, unorthodox universe
Communing with fallen angels
At one with the assembly of vampiric-blood-brethren
Holding fast to the unforgiveness of any, who do not bow or bend the knee
They neither care for, not covet, a glorious, blissful, sacred rebirth
And scorn LIFE EVERLASTING.
© 2022 by Irene Fowler
Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.”
– Abraham Lincoln
“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
– Frederick Douglass
“Any excuse will serve a tyrant.”