The American primary system for the nomination of presidential and congressional candidates, a system never mentioned in the constitution, has allowed populist anger to be exploited into a veto on foreign policy. Primaries, as they have evolved with the assistance of social media, have become an exercise that grants extraordinary electoral power to the dissatisfied and to the extremes.
If to live is to suffer, as Tolstoy understood so well, then to persevere is to find meaning in one's suffering. Does hardship make us beasts, Tolstoy asks, or better human beings? Do we continually focus on getting what we think we want, or on making something meaningful out of what we have, no matter how miniscule or shabby it might seem?
MOSCOW -- European security is now inseparable from the crumbling Middle East developments, something that poses problems and dictates actions, something almost impossible to control. For Russia, it may mean that its operation in Syria, if not a new model to follow, will make much more sense to many in the West.
Putin is trying to burnish his credentials as an international tough guy in Syria, fighting ISIS, or at least appearing to do so. In reality, he seems to be directing bombs against dictator Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered opposition these days. He's doing it, because that's just about all he can do these days.