“In Russian-occupied Kherson, satellite imagery that showed the digging of hundreds of fresh grave plots held haunting symbolism of the fate of civilians there.” — News itemThat about sums it up, doesn’t it? A humanity so advanced that we can detect and count 6-by-3-foot graves from outer space. But at the same time, a species so degraded that we’re also doing the random killing that requires the graves. Quite a range of behavior to wrap our heads around on the Monday after Easter.
And I shouldn’t even address how the same news organization, The Washington Post, that can share such important news is also able, in doing so, to disgorge a phrase like “held haunting symbolism of the fate of civilians there.”
Symbolism? A grave isn’t a symbol of their fate, it is their fate. (Let’s re-write that sentence into something less passive, shall we? “Satellite imagery showed hundreds of freshly-dug graves in Russian-occupied Kherson, an ominous indication of the fate of civilians there.” More accurate and four words shorter.)
Having plucked out “haunting,” we can save that word to apply to the Russian demand that the United States stop supplying weapons to Ukraine. And even then, it’s premature. We’re not “haunted” yet by the formal diplomatic note — how 19th century of them! — the Russians sent last week warning the United States to stop giving the Ukrainians the weapons they are using to kick their ass. Not haunted, only worried.
That Russian demand seems the most salient fact in the whole churning, confusing awful horror of the war in recent weeks. What to make of it?
Empty threat? Given the ease with which Russians lie, we can take some reassurance that if they are saying they’re going to do some vague unwelcome thing — ”unpredictable consequences” is the term they actually brandished — there’s a good chance they won’t do anything.
Or is it the sort of justification the Russians like to float prior to their awful acts? A kind of prior authorization they seem to think takes the sting out of unprovoked evil. Their thinking is: We can randomly kill thousands of civilians in the country next door if we first claim we’re liberating them from Nazis and they aren’t a real country anyway.
Is the United States heading toward war? It seems a very real possibility. Some arms convoy in Poland will be hit, and the gears of general conflagration will start to turn. It’ll all seem inevitable, afterward. Then we can be haunted aplenty.
To continue reading, click here.