While avowed critics of social engineering at home, most conservatives believe the U.S. government can remake foreign societies abroad. It's a dangerous delusion. In pursuit of their interventionist fantasies, they are prepared to waste scarce financial resources, entangle the U.S. in foreign quarrels, and risk war with nuclear-armed powers.
The overwhelming majority of eastern Ukrainians currently trapped in brutal winter conditions between separatist thugs and the Ukrainian army aren't Ku Klux Klan members, or fat cat bigots who delight in oppressing their ethnic Ukrainian neighbors. They are coal miners and steelworkers and children and pensioners. They are people who've watched their lives be shelled into oblivion by both Kiev's army and paramilitary brigades and Putin's warlords, and who are now isolated in what Amnesty and the UN describe as an unfolding humanitarian crisis. Painting them as a bunch of backward anti-Western hicks is neither progressive, nor tolerant, nor liberal, nor accurate.
It is curious and a bit tragic that as President Obama courageously and wisely acts to temper 50 years of hostility toward Cuba, the U.S., in conjunction with the European Union, is cranking up hostility toward Russia with punitive measures for its adventurism in the Ukraine.
In 2014, Vladimir Putin discovered his inner Trotsky. For what Russia's president is now offering Ukraine is a perverse twist on the formula Trotsky proclaimed during the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk in 1918: "No war, no peace."
Europe is now suffering the same fate, with conservative governments in control and the debtor nations such as Greece still being punished, while Germany flourishes as it protects its own interests rather than that of the EU as a whole
Is the Russian Ruble becoming financial rubble as consequence of targeting by the U.S. and its allies? The dramatic fall in oil prices and commensurate drop in the Russian currency, is this coincidental to broader global economic trends or an orchestrated assault?
Now that Crimea is firmly in the Russian column, it is to be hoped that the Kremlin will provide both peoples with as much local autonomy as possible in line with earlier pledges.
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.
As a fervent food-lover, I am wildly envious of a long-time friend of mine named Jim Miller. If you knew Jim as I do...you would know that he settles only for the finest of everything. And just when he thinks he's found what he was looking for, he searches further for a step above that.
A Russian threat to Bosnia-Hercegovina could mean a rupture of delicate interreligious relations maintained in the country since Dayton. Bosnia is still divided between a "Republic of Serbs" and the "Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina," with the latter comprising Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats.
As it happened, Ali Khamenei, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan were all walking in one of the UN's corridors.
The scent of nationalism was present in the former-Yugoslavia before Vladimir Putin effectively assumed power in Moscow. Already during the early stages of the conflict in Bosnia & Herzegovina, "BiH" solutions were being fashioned in the hope of, well appeasing is perhaps an appropriate term, those leaders in the region but also Moscow who saw feudal nationalism as the vehicle to replace authoritarian communism.
"Putin feels deeply aggrieved by Western actions, and he reacts in a manner that Peter the Great would have understood. It's brutal. But I do not think we face the same phenomenon as the Cold War."
As an American Jewish and an American Muslim leader dedicated to the principle that Muslims and Jews should stand up for each other whenever the rights of members of either community are violated anywhere in the world, we are speaking out together against the ever-intensifying campaign of intimidation against the Crimean Tatars.
This election represents the next step in Ukraine's journey toward a new politics. At least it might.
When the Soviet Union collapsed more than two decades ago, and Ukraine opted for independence, many expected the country to do better than Russia in the years to come. But events turned out differently.