The New York Times has reported in detail on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assid’s torture prisons. It makes for sickening reading, and it’s sickening that the “civilized world” has allowed this monster to remain in power. After the dissolution of the Soviet empire, it appeared briefly that the community of liberal democracies, with whom it was hoped Russia would align itself, would preserve, adhere to, and spread enlightened norms, and that we would not again witness institutionalized mass atrocities like those that will endure forever as great ugly blots in 20th century history.
The recent solidification of authoritarian regimes in various countries and the emergence of new ones in others give warning that humanity may be sliding toward barbarism. Soulless leaders of some major powers, including, most lamentably, the United States, are so lacking in decency and compassion that they view mass crimes against humanity with indifference.