How lies bring wars
Is it coincidence that Repubs are doubling down on alleged depravity of Dems, pedophilia, Q Anon, alleged child sex ring in basement of DC Pizza shop in 2016 used also by Russia now in Ukraine War? Parallels are striking. Why else would Repub Senators allege Judge Jackson soft on sentencing those in possession of child porn? This is Russian playbook used by many members in today's Republican Party. They are seeding rich & fertile soil with innuendo, lies, fear mongering & need to rescue America's innocent children from evil Socialist Dems. Language is also an important weapon to seize power where end justifies the means. Look for Repubs to turn it up a notch or two during summer & fall. And look out for continued attacks on Judge Jackson to divert attention from the Thomases. Repubs have a open line to the Kremlin. And are good students produced by elite universities & law schools just as SS did in 30's & 40's.
Please keep writing this essential information. I am liberal, an 80-year-old, but spent so much of my middle-class life supporting my family. I am SO ill-educated about these histories, and so very appalled. I have bought Hannah Arendt, your "On Tyranny," and "Maus" over the years for my grandson, who is finishing college with a concentration in global politics. These are essential for his survival.
This is one of the saddest and most upsetting posts, Professor Snyder. I dread what is coming. Having just got back from Hungary to Ecuador, I'm gravely concerned about Ukraine and my home country as well, even though the level of strife and suffering is not comparable in the two countries. Having worked with refugees from Afghanistan and after spending almost three years as a volunteer English teacher in Ethiopia (with its civil war only just subsiding), I feel so much pain that I'm almost numb. And I'm just a spectator of what is developing...
"for the children"...."protect the children"...."the other side....." Russians and Republicans.
The war against truth is, in its own way, barbaric. It's as if my neighbor suddenly insisted, repeatedly, that the fresh and soft green leaves of Spring outside my window are actually black and poisonous. But once the outlandish claim is planted and propagated over and over, the reality I encounter every April day is tainted — even if I know it's ridiculous.
Now the cruelties of the battlefield are even more cruel because the brutalized bodies exist in a reality under ceaseless attack. Are they really victims? Did they deserve to die? Are they even dead? The list of twisted lies is ceaseless.
All of this, of course, is beyond horrible for the Ukrainian people. That said, I can't comprehend what it must feel like for the Russian people who know the truth about the war and the false reality the government seeks to force them to inhabit. The weight of shame must be a heavy burden even for those not responsible for its cause.
Everyday brings more heartbreak. Apparently NATO will not do what it did to stop the Serbs from murdering Muslims in the Balkan wars of the mid to late 90's. Then NATO bombed from the air. The Western Alliance seems unable to take that step. There can be no UN blue helmets because Russia vetoes such action by the UN Security Council. Ukraine must win the war Putin has begun. But May 9 looms, as you have written . May 9. Another milestone in both a truth told from the position of unreality and an unreality pushed as truth. The stories coming from Ukrainians who suffered under Russian occupation are horrifying. Just as horrifying as the occupations right after WW2.
Just this morning I posted a piece surprisingly complementary to yours today: https://magusmagnus.substack.com/p/sunflowers?s=w In fact, I mention you and Bloodlands (long time follower of your work).
Other parallels as well: restorative language vs propaganda
A friend whom I met when I worked as a volunteer English teacher in the Amazonian jungle has read this post and had this to say: Incredible article. Fascinating and horrific. Thanks. Hope you are well. Lucy
As usual, excellent essay. Please continue to add bibliographies in the future. I just came across "The Orphanage" and Hiroaki Kuromiya's "Freedom and Terror in the Donbas" a few days ago, and figured I should probably order them. I already have the latter's "Voices of the Dead," and ditto + Georges Mamoulia's "The Eurasian Triangle: Russia, the Caucasus and Japan, 1904-1945." The others I already have/read or are on order. But I do need to reread "The Origins of Totalitarianism." Now I know at long last that I'm on the right track! :) BTW, I could kick myself for missing the thing you did last night that was hosted by Miami U. I was looking for any news I could find on Mariupol, and then saw it was too late to join. I'm also trying to figure out what's happening in Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kherson.
"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." - John 8:44