"Ukraine? What about Benghazi?" ...
Ukraine erupted in crisis during the past week, as Russia's Vladimir Putin essentially grabbed Crimea in his own hissy fit. President Obama, of course, has very limited options for dealing with Russia.
Vladimir Putin's actions in Crimea are perilously close to tearing up rules that have kept us "the peoples of the world from the scourge of war."
President Vladimir Putin is confident that Crimea's current population -- which is 60 percent ethnic Russian -- will vote to join Russia. But as presently planned, the referendum will disenfranchise more than 1 million Tartars who have a right to participate.
It has, of course, suddenly become more difficult to deal with LGBT rights in Russia, and the community and their friends understand that. But it has also become even more difficult to be an LGBT person in that country.
The United States has proved itself essential to mobilizing the political pressures most persuasive to Putin, and Secretary of State John Kerry is managing the diplomacy with admirable firmness and nuance. But this is really a European affair.
Secretary of Defense Hagel's plan to reduce the military and the Russian attack in Crimea have raised the volume of the debate about the nature of the armed forces needed to meet America's security threats in the post Afghanistan War era. Yet one topic is conspicuously missing -- ideas.
I've read and heard so many accusations against the LGBT community by the religious right that I've now come to the conclusion that these folks are just sloppy with what they say. Seriously, it's as if they don't care that eventually someone will demonstrate how incoherent their claims are.
"What nobody made clear to me was how difficult it might be to actually have children if I waited too long. At age 39, no husband in sight, I decided to conceive on my own. Somehow that decision sent a message to the universe because my husband showed up a few weeks later."
Recalling the title of the Beatles' song of the 1960's, "Back in the USSR," serves to remind us that something very different is now taking place in Russia.
Much depends on Russia's motives, in particular whether it is seeking to keep the peace, as it claims, or if it has an aggressive, expansionist objective.
Russia did not yet lose all its cards in Ukraine, and will not be on the retreat just yet in Syria, as a result of the setback it suffered in the afte...
Regardless of whether one thinks this is a wise or just policy in the case of Russia, this is setting a great political precedent in the United States for considering boycotts, divestment, and sanctions on Israel over its military occupation of Palestine.
It's called self-righteousness. It does not make it legitimate. It is urgent that both sides of the aisle sit down and redesign a U.S. foreign policy that does provide for actions and reactions based on a new set of principles.
As significant as Crimea is, there are no solutions to either Ukraine -- or North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran -- that do not involve the Russians, as unappetizing as that might be. We face tough choices that can only be answered with a wider set of interests at play.
The world needs new heroes who will challenge and preferably win against the forces of darkness in the face of Putin.