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EDITORIAL: Never Again Yet Again

How many times have we said it? "Never Again." It applies to so many of humanity's darker chapters that it's getting hard to count. Just to name a few: The Holocaust, the Rwanda Genocide, Sarajevo, Aleppo.

None of these has a natural component. They are all rooted in the inhumanity of human beings.

Well, we're in the middle of another "Never Again" thanks to Vladimir Putin, his cronies and henchmen.

A number of years back President George W Bush said he had looked into Putin's eyes and had seen the man's soul.

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Well, the president didn't look long enough, or deep enough. Perhaps the idea was scary for 43. And, in truth, we wouldn't blame him. Any glance at Putin's visage, the individual features and the combined whole, is certain to give anyone the jitters.

Do we see his soul? Do we sense his heart?

No, but we can for sure discern his callousness, his indifference to the suffering of others, his utter lack of empathy. The man is a sociopath and war criminal.

And some Americans think he is a man to admire.

Einstein famously remarked that he had no idea what World War III would be fought with, but he was certain what World War IV would be fought with: sticks and stones.

Well, perhaps we have not arrived yet at World War III. But a glance at the history books will show that there was a lot of malice and evil unleashed upon the world by Hitler before World War II got formally underway.

And, over the past two decades, we have been witness to much malice and evil unleashed by Vladimir Putin, both within Russia and without, from Chechnya to Aleppo in Syria, from Georgia to Ukraine, to streets and hotel rooms and prisons.

Putin is believed to be the hand behind the murders of multiple individuals, politicians, journalists, lawyers.

His regime is now under investigation by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes in Ukraine.

This is not an investigation that should require much overtime on the part of the investigators.

Said investigation, while welcome, is a reminder that Putin has been treated with kid gloves for years. The man is a master when it comes to ducking and weaving and bending truth.

That's all done with now. We are seeing the truth, even if some are still incapable of recognizing it; or unwilling to.

With each passing day the situation in Ukraine grows more dire. The utter cynicism pouring forth from Moscow, including from the mouth of the odious Sergei Lavrov, should be recorded in all its ugly detail.

What has occurred over the past couple of weeks cannot, should not, ever be forgotten. What has occurred over the past twenty plus years as a result of Russian brutality should be restored to present memory.

History might someday tell us that we really were in the grip of world War III in the opening months of 2022.

Only the weapons were not all of the deadly type, that the employment of cyber warfare had become part of the front line arsenal and had been applied for years before the missiles and shells started raining down on Ukrainian cities and their civilian inhabitants.

Perhaps the attack by Russia on the 2016 U.S. elections was a preamble. Perhaps the snuffing out of democracy and a free press in Russia was part of it.

Time alone will tell.

In the meantime, we count the days, each one sadder and grimmer than the day before.

We are witnessing the greatest forced movement of people since World War II, since, indeed, the emptying out of Ireland during and after the Great Hunger.

But those forced movements took place over years. What we are witnessing now is taking place over hours, days.

Never again. But here we go. Again.