The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

It is an age-old truism that wars are much easier to start than they are to finish.

A year after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military to invade Ukraine under the false excuse that Ukraine needed to be liberated from neo-Nazi forces, the conflict remains far from over.

As Lawrence Freedman, emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College London wrote this month for Foreign Affairs, Russia now finds itself “caught in a protracted conflict in which it dares not concede defeat even when a path to victory remains elusive.”

Ukraine, meanwhile, has earned respect for its dogged and heroic determination to resist the invasion. Its path to victory, Freedman wrote, “depends on pushing Russian forces back enough to persuade Moscow that it has embarked on a futile war.”

But while the war grinds on with no end in sight, it has already succeeded in changing the world by refocusing the West on truths that matter.

The main lesson is that freedom, as the generation that survived WWII was always quick to say, isn’t free. Regimes that concentrate power in the hands of one person, or even one party, tend to seek power and territory for survival. They care less, if at all, about the ability of their citizens to pursue dreams, much less govern themselves.

The old Cold War struggle between free and oppressive regimes was just a latter-day extension of struggles that had occupied the world since the concept of freedom and democracy first emerged. It hasn’t gone away.

America’s constitutional system of government rests on the radical notion, boldly declared in the Declaration of Independence, of the “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”

By definition, man cannot revoke a God-given right. This notion interrupted millennia of assumptions that humans were subjects to a king or queen, or to a dictator, a political party or any other earthly source.

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