On cowardice, civilians at war, and missiles coming much too close to the UN Secretary-General
The decision by the Russian military to launch missiles at Kyiv during a visit by the UN Secretary-General is the kind of plainly outrageous behavior that should escape no condemnation. Attacking Ukraine's capital city is an inexcusable act in the first place, and even worse, targeting a residential apartment building (as Russian forces did) is almost certainly a war crime.
■ But beyond those two offenses against the civilized world, Russia's military attacked a city where the UN's top diplomat had gone on a publicly announced visit. It wasn't a secret mission. Antonio Guterres had gone to Kyiv following a meeting in Moscow with Vladimir Putin. And the entire UN trip was conducted to arrange for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, a town already literally half-obliterated by Russian assault.
■ Anyone still making apologies for the invasion of Ukraine or playing cowardly games of "whataboutism" with the conduct of Ukraine's defense needs to acknowledge how dreadfully wrong they have been. If the leader of the United Nations cannot enter a capital city to arrange for the evacuation of civilians from a war-torn area without itself coming under bombardment, then the country dropping the bombs should be suspended indefinitely from any benefits of the community of nations.
■ There are too many layers of self-evident evil embedded in the Kremlin's behavior to afford any room for excuse: Depriving children of basic necessities. Holding noncombatants under siege for weeks. And now, aiming weapons "shockingly" close to the representatives of the world's organized body for resolving disputes -- who had shown up for the express purpose of relieving the suffering of those innocents.
■ Giving the bully a veto is a certain way to dismantle a peaceful world order, and the civilized nations of the world are justified in remaining resolute against that bully -- by isolating it, depriving it of the resources it converts into warfare, and providing abundant support to the defenders.