With the headlines speaking of a Russian invasion of the Crimea, I fear for the ancient Tatars who warmly welcomed me to their communities and hope they don't find themselves again facing repression at the hands of their historic oppressors, the Russians.
President Obama's cancellation of the summit with Putin demonstrates the extent of the deterioration in American Russian relations. In a short time, the U.S. and Russia have moved from what some in Washington viewed as a hopeful partnership to an adversarial relationship.
If war were to break out, the presumed influx of refugees into Russia could create a humanitarian crisis and a burdensome price tag for the Kremlin -- just as it would for China. Russia is similarly vulnerable to any radiation that may blow from the peninsula on to Russian territory.
America is at a crossroads. We are experiencing tensions, familiar to historians, between the haves and have-nots, and their respective allies. In his essay, Orwell described the age in which he lived as "tumultuous, revolutionary" -- just like ours.
Lurking in the background, hiding their identity, they seem mysterious, magical, beautiful. At first, they observed the game from a distance, but as centuries went by, women were drawn closer to the chessboard.