So when analyzing countries' behavior internationally, and especially that of the United States, we must descend past the usually high-flying rhetoric associated with military action and face the reality that other, deeper reasons for attacking other countries might exist.
It's time for leftist intellectuals and activists to conduct a serious re-assessment and rethink of their movement. To do otherwise could relegate the left to irrelevance or, even worse, ridicule and embarrassment for some time to come.
Formalist, familiar, mythological, personal, universal, historical and emotional -- hers is not the only undiscovered history playing out in these prints.
Americans aren't in the minority when it comes to stuffing their faces full of food in the name of celebration.
The real problem is actually the administration's over-engagement in this case -- as in meddling in the affairs of another state and trying to rearrange its domestic political machinery to suit Washington's agenda.
To what degree could Putin, or those acting upon his direction, be encouraged to consider the rule of law in their actions in Crimea and beyond and no longer be confident in their impunity?
I don't pretend to understand the many political forces at play in the Ukraine, but I would like to comment on the gnarly questions it raises about oppression, liberation, power, and God. When oppression is on the march, good people ask, "Where is God?"
The crisis in Ukraine has brought attention not only to the military influence that Vladimir Putin can exert, but also upon the influence that Russian natural gas can wield.
It is not enough to merely understand the significance of Russia's latest "initiative." It is, however, essential to understand the nature of the present regime in Russia.
Some tourist visa applications are easy -- an Australian visa, for example, can be acquired in a few minutes via the Internet. Others, however, can take weeks, if not months, to procure.
There are fundamental legal and political differences between the internationally sanctioned process, which culminated in Kosovo's independence, and Russia's land-grab in Crimea. Kosovo's independence is based on international law; Russia's annexation of Crimea is not.
There is no doubt that Russian militarized bullying can lead to the de facto division of Ukraine, an event that would be of grave long-term consequences not only for Russia and Ukraine but for the world. The practical question is whether international law can still function to stop this from occurring. In my view, the answer is yes.
Territorial and political expansion are apparently in the DNA of the Russian state. Russia has for centuries been a danger to its neighbors, and continues to be.
Crimea has much to offer the traveller, whatever his/her predilection -- once Russian President Putin reins in his current imperialist caper.
These carefully crafted phrases are wonderfully vague and non-specific. But really, it is not very different from little children dissing each other on the playground. Whereas children are much better at saying what they really mean, "diplo-speak" can have 50 shades of meaning.
It is highly unlikely that the Western governments will seek to use energy commerce with Russia as an instrument of leverage with Russia. The cost-benefit calculations that lead to devalue that tactic conceivably could change were the crisis to deepen.