MOSCOW -- In general, a medieval spirit reigns, with its internecine wars and in which the only great strategy, if one exists at all, is to indulge the passion for blood. This desire to repay the enemy a hundredfold -- even if he is yesterday's neighbor or friend -- is often mixed with religious fanaticism or blind nationalism.
MOSCOW -- At the root of all this monstrous and bloody story is the fact that the West lied to Moscow 25 years ago when it said it would not expand NATO even one inch to the east if the Soviet Union agreed to the unification of Germany. The West really did take full advantage of its opportunity to violate the balance of power in the world and must now busy itself with overcoming the negative consequences.
Ordinary citizens remain calm because of the simple fact that they typically do not know the full picture -- nor do they try to know it. It is easier to live that way. Just the same, it is time to wake up and recognize what is happening. This is no Hollywood blockbuster unfolding outside our windows, but a force majeure of international proportions. True, it is not the first that the world has experienced, but knowing what hardships previous conflicts have brought to mankind should motivate us to try to prevent any more from occurring.
If you ask me, Obama's action on Cuba was a master stroke, and full of foresight. He has undercut Putin's ability to use Cuba as a pressure point against the U.S. going forward and has, in a single action, transformed a net negative for the U.S. and Cuba into a net positive for its government, people, and businesses.