Even from the most cynical Cold-War, money-is-money, dog-eat-dog capitalism-is-capitalism perspective, a redrawn Ukraine would be far more in the West's, rather than strictly "Russian," "ethnic" interest.
Forces at work from Tokyo to Kiev have been roiling the U.S. stock market for a couple of week. But the financial sushi that is now on the menu in Japan, and Russia's "Crimea of the Century" are only part of the story.
Friends have asked me to write to explain what is going on. But how do I explain an extremely complicated situation that feels so personal? Mainstream media runs headlines about Ukraine right next to stories about Syria. And isn't that the bottom line -- how do we avoid another Syria?
Why can't one criticize both Washington's foreign policy machinations while also decrying Putin's excesses? Adopting such a position seems clear as day and a "no-brainer," yet the left cannot seem to get beyond the narrow confines of its own ideological fixations.
I don't advocate armaments, but the Ukrainian and global community's impotence to release Russia's grip highlights the practical value of nuclear energy and weapon-based deterrence. This lesson is not lost to foreign policy and military strategists around the world.
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.