When Serbia found that Milosevic was an impediment to its campaign to regain world respect, it sent the architect of genocidal crimes to The Hague. Russia's elite may decide the same about Putin -- especially after the ghastly circumstances surrounding the destruction of MH17 -- and dump him as a liability... if they can.
The Ukraine crisis may well become a tipping point, sealing the fate of Eurasian alignments. The Western push to punish and isolate Russia is drawing Moscow closer to Beijing, which, tellingly, has taken a stance of benevolent neutrality towards the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine and its takeover of Crimea. One may suspect that, in exchange, Beijing would expect from Moscow the same kind of "benevolent neutrality" regarding its assertions in East Asia and the Western Pacific.
The Russian Dream is for the country to be a great empire and to inspire fear. Interviews I recently conducted in Moscow all ended with the same words: "First, the Olympic Games in Sochi, then we annexed Crimea. And now, we've won the hockey championships!"
So with all the tragic violence in The Middle East today and The Cold War being crudely reheated by Putin, here is one man's naïve but heartfelt playlist for Peace. It may not have much to do with the realities of the situation in Gaza or Ukraine, but as John Lennon once said, "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."
When incompetence in the Kremlin turns murderous, its incumbents can begin to tremble. As news of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine trickled into Russia, people with a long memory recalled the Soviet Union's attack, 31 years ago this September, on Korean Air Lines Flight 007, and its political consequences. Back then, the Kremlin first lied to the world by saying that it had nothing to do with the missing KAL plane. Later it claimed that the South Korean jet was on an American spy mission. But, within the Soviet leadership, the incident was a tipping point.
The downing of a MH17 apparently by Russian backed separatists in the Ukraine did something that few thought could happen. It has gotten GOP leaders momentarily to agree with President Obama when he pointed the finger squarely at Russia for the horrific attack. But don't expect the GOP's hand hold with Obama to last.
Mr. Putin has had many opportunities to condemn the violence, but he has failed every time. I want his words to be addressed to Girkin and other Russian citizens disturbing Ukraine, not to my president. Putin's silence, which effectively condones the terrorists' activities in eastern Ukraine, bares a grave cost. Ending the violence has been the essence of an agreement reached in Geneva many months ago to which Russia was a signatory.