It was an unexpected and chilling moment. As is my wont, as I made supper Monday night I had on in the background the Japanese international television station, NHK. The program was about learning the Japanese language by reading the news.
After seven months of horrifying war, the last few weeks have been inspiring as the Ukrainian Army, with the help of western weapons and local courage that no weapons could provide, have reclaimed swaths of occupied land. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is not one to give in, though, and his speech today makes that point, if anyone was in doubt.
He who sits upon the throne in Revelation has a patent complaint against current events on Earth. “Behold, I make all things new” is how it’s put in Revelation 21:5. There’s another way of looking at it. The notoriously non-revelatory Karl Marx noted that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. As with most everything else (we have no reason to doubt that he spelled his name correctly), Marx was wrong in the particulars, though the general idea, that history repeats itself, has evidence in its support.
It is accurately said that pride goeth before a fall. Please make no mistake: What follows is not written out of pride, nor some desire to say, “See? I told you so.” Quite the opposite. I possess no special gift of prophecy. I have no access to inside information. I guess I have wits enough to survive — made it this far, anyway — but nothing much beyond that. Yet somehow I was able to predict a lot of what has happened in the last year or so.
The phone rings in the White House and Bugout Joe Biden, his pre-existing cowardice now exacerbated by geriatric enfeeblement, answers. White House aides let him answer it himself because it’s the hot line from Russia, and every day at about this time it rings. Biden answers, the voice on the other end, Vladimir Putin, says, “BOO!”, and except for Biden’s attendant having to get him a fresh Depends, no harm is done.
As Vladimir Putin continues his best attempt to impersonate a schoolyard bully albeit with unimaginably horrible weapons at his disposal, the reason for staying back and watching is clear enough. Clear, but wrong. The time has come: we cannot be spectators or a mere supply chain: we must use the weight of NATO to stop by force the humanitarian disaster that is Russia’s unnecessary war.
The scene is a familiar one. Vladimir Putin is at the desk whence he has uttered his increasingly deranged speeches over the last few weeks. An off-camera voice is heard. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, it has been determined that you are impaired in your thinking. You are psikh. Given your advanced age and the unlikelihood of cure, the remedy is to be one with which you are familiar.” Does a flash of panic appear in the former KGB lieutenant colonel’s eyes?
Anyone familiar with the history of the last 100 years or so should be terrified, because they’ll remember that this is how it began last time. We’re not far from saying “if we’d only acted back then.” Right now is the “back then” we’ll be talking about.