The Republic of Tuva is the weirdest place I have ever been. It has the highest murder rate in Russia, is the fourth poorest region in the country, and also happens to be the geographic center of Asia.
Another day, another court battle lost for the Russian LGBT community, this time set to the tune of Secret Agent Man.
Obama's war powers proposal justifies operations against vaguely defined "associated" people and entities. Put that together with the post-9/11 authorization for anti-Al Qaeda operations and you have a blank check to do pretty much anything, anywhere, any time against anyone who evinces admiration/sympathy/solidarity for Isis or Al Qaeda.
Russia has not launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, yet. Ukrainians know what they can expect from Germany and the rest of Europe. It is the fickle boosterism of American political patrons that may warm Kiev to a fatal ambition that spells trouble in the months ahead.
The negative yielding bonds show how weak the European economy and psychological capacity of Europe is to stand up to Putin. The problem for Germany now is not Russia but how to deal with Greece and the weakening economies of European countries.
Perhaps as American and European leaders warn that an AL-Qaeda or ISIS seeks the destruction of "our way of life," we should come to see the Putin danger similarly, but unchallenged he actually has the capacity to deliver on the threat.
Does Putin want Europe and the United States to feel threatened by a possibility of a larger war with Russia -- in order to push them into continuing talks with him? If the talks fail, Putin might want the West to believe Russia will have no choice but to expand militarily. Or does Putin really care about the negotiations, not the war? By pushing the rebels to take more territory in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin is trying to create new facts on the ground that Putin can use as leverage in the impending talks.
Frum and Reagan debate the growing Ukrainian civil war and Obama's 2015 budget in a growing economy. What happens if sanctions and arms don't stop Russian-backed separatists? Can the GOP credibly complain about a wealth/income gap they created, but then oppose tax reform that reduces it?
The savagery of the Islamic State taunted the world once again this week, striking out at both geopolitically toothless Japan and the tribal kingdom of Jordan. Islamic State fighters beheaded the journalist Kenji Goto and revealed that, in an act of unfathomable cruelty, they had burned alive a captured Jordanian pilot. Last week Japan's former defense chief Yuriko Koike wrote from Tokyo that Japan's constitutional restrictions on using force have prevented it from taking action against ISIS, and argues that that must change. Writing from Beirut, Jordanian analyst Rami Khouri has political misgivings about official support across the Arab world for the anti-ISIS coalition when the public is not consulted. From Amman, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports both on the massive protests against ISIS and on the undercurrent of opposition in Jordan that believes the fight against ISIS "is not our war." (continued)
These are just four reasons why a large cross-section of Americans, Europeans, Ukrainians, and Russians label a further militarization of the Ukrainian conflict as a bad idea.
What do a measles outbreak in Disneyland and Washington's panic over Russia's leadership have in common? Both of them are red scares that should have died out by the 1960s. And, as of today, they have one more thing in common: junk science about autism.
Given the fractured and evolving global political landscape, both sides, and neither side, will achieve all of its objectives. Swimming against the tide has its own appeal at a time when virtually everything about the world order seems to be up for grabs.
How strange is it that Mitt Romney suddenly announced at the end of last week that he's out of a third presidential run he'd only recently spun up? No stranger than getting back into the fray in the first place.
Sure, it may not work; the policy may backfire, the Ukrainian army may not be able to use the weapons effectively or they may lose some to the rebels. Putin may even decide to escalate. But guess what? Putin is already escalating.
No sooner did the global elites leave their annual talking shop high in the Alps at Davos last week than the people spoke in Greece. In a mutiny against an untenable status quo, those who are run over have revolted against those who run things. Now righteous populism must face economic, financial and political realities if other European states don't bend Greece's way. To keep up with the drama as it evolves over the coming weeks, we've connected WorldPost readers directly to the daily blog of Yanis Varoufakis, the self-described "erratic Marxist" who is now Greece's finance minister. Writing from Athens, HuffPost Greece Editorial Director Sophia Papaioannou says Alexis Tsipras' electoral victory will give suffering Greeks "space and time" to address their predicament. Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou argues that the path forward after the election is for a national referendum on a "Greek plan" for reform that will bind a now polarized nation. Rena Dourou, a deputy of the victorious Syriza party, notes that the vote was as much against the corruption of the formerly ruling political parties in Greece as it was against austerity. (continued)
While the world's attention is preoccupied with entertaining the possibility of Putin's invasion rampage, this misplaced focus distracts greatly from the internal crisis brewing in Ukraine.