“Denazification and militarization.”
Vladimir Putin cites such reasons in his bid to crush a neighbor nation.
Nazism – those frightened masses cramming the exits to Poland. Militarization – those hunting rifles dusted off to confront invading tanks.
“Nazism” in a peaceful democracy with its Jewish president.
At this point, please forgive me for having taken a mental detour. When I heard “Nazi,” for some reason “antifa” came to mind.
Antifa – that menace seeded conspiratorially among the masses cramming American streets demanding racial justice.
Antifa – a superior pretext for pepper balls and rubber bullets in Lafayette Park, for Donald Trump’s demand to send enlisted personnel into the streets of America. (Fortunately, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley resisted.)
Plunderers need a pretext.
Those who rioted in the halls of the U.S. Capitol had one Jan. 6, the biggest lie in American history – a lie so big that history books will assign it capital letters – Big Lie – so big it will need no further explanation.
How many times did squawk jocks at Fox News sprinkle “antifa” into reports of those horrors without a shred of evidence? Countless. It was TV coverage someone of Vladimir Putin's ilk would love.
So, too, with reports of a deadly brown-skinned caravan assaulting our nation from the south – “terrorists,” “anarchists,” MS-13 in its ranks. Not penniless, destitute, hopeless. Not mothers and fathers and their little ones.
As pertains to Ukraine’s subjugation, let’s just say that Putin mouthpiece Dmitry Peskov may well have ceded his role to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and to Trump himself (“genius,” “very savvy”).
A plunderer needs a pretext.
One could say this applies in many red states right now as they roll tanks over voting rights.
The Brennan Center for Justice calls Republican “ballot security” measures, ratcheted up for years, a “solution in search of a problem.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott knows this. As attorney general he attempted to show that voter fraud was rampant. He came up with about as many examples as playoff wins by the Dallas Cowboys this century.
Enter Donald Trump and the Big Lie. Enter Trump’s assault on mail ballots. Ah hah! A pretext!
Pursuant, as governor, Abbott signed a law that has caused massive delays in the delivery of mail ballots for primary elections. It’s completely pointless. It’s confusing, and it’s motivated entirely by a Big Lie.
Among Republican targets in this offensive are those evil things called ballot drop boxes – made of metal, secured from the elements and thievery. Too many of them. Too much convenience. Drive-through voting? Oh, no. Convenience is the devil’s playpen. Voting must be more difficult, says the red ministry.
One lie after another after another.
As we observe in horror what prevarications and paranoia have wrought from Russia, one must feel for the Russian troops sent in to kill next of kin and to destroy a historic capital city. For what?
Putin’s forces differ only by degrees from the big-bellied rioters who stormed our Capitol, convinced by their leader of the outright theft of an election – a leader who said he’d march with them to the Capitol and then who retreated to his TV room to clap hands and nosh at the buffet table.
For now we can only hope that in the world’s reaction and in the popular resistance, Ukraine becomes, in the words of commentator Max Boot, the “ulcer for Putin” that Afghanistan was for his predecessors.
So, too, should Americans stand up against the Big Lie and its purveyors, and fight like hell whenever the bogus pretext guides public policy.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: email@example.com.