Monday, June 23, 2014

Putin Plays Peacemaker, But His Act Is Getting Old

Do not get excited about prospects for peace. What I wrote two weeks ago still holds. Russia and Ukraine remain miles apart and no peace is in sight. If anything, Poroshenko’s 14 point plan and Putin’s between-the-lines response leave the two sides, if anything, further apart.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five Compelling Reasons For The U.S. To Offer Lethal Military Assistance to Ukraine

President Obama can hold off on biting sanctions on the grounds that he must persuade a reluctant Europe to come on board. He has no such excuse with respect to military assistance. Obama today can order the lethal military equipment delivered that will make the difference between defeat and victory. And it will be brave Ukrainians, not Americans, who spill their blood for a cause that the world community has judged as just. How about some leadership rather than following from behind?

go to Forbes,com

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Miles Apart And No Peace In Sight

Putin and Poroshenko start from negotiating positions that are miles apart. As a successful businessman operating in a tough business climate, Poroshenko is accustomed to tough negotiations with obstinate partners. Whether he can stand up to Putin remains to be seen. Much depends on the cards he holds. If the West gives him the means for Ukraine to defend itself, he might just pull it off. Without that, he stands little chance.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Russian Terrorist Executes Two Hostages. YouTube has taken it down as disgusting (But the world should see)

The separatist military commander of the east Ukraine town of Gorlivka is shown, on a new video of his own making, executing two civilian hostages. Russian citizen Igor Bezler — nomme de guerre “Bes” or “Demon” — is shown on the video threatening that he will shoot eight captured military hostages unless the acting president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, frees a captured Russian agent.
Before giving the order to fire, “Demon” complains that he has waited three days for the hostage exchange and cannot wait any longer. Therefore, Citizens Budnik and Vasiushenko will be executed, he declares. “Demon” then gives the order to fire as he walks away casually. The video records the shots being fired and shows the victims falling to the floor. [Note: the link points to a story about the video that includes an embed of the video itself. It's no longer viewable, however, as it's been removed from YouTube].

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

As Russia Tramples Red Lines, Obama Clings To Fig Leaf

The United States and the European Union grasp for legalistic fig leaves to avoid enacting further sanctions. After all, we lack conclusive proof. Putin has plausible deniability. We should not jump to conclusions. It would be rude not to take the word of a head of state like Mr. Putin. Let’s threaten tough sanctions to make ourselves look good but let’s be sure not to use them. We are in sad shape indeed when it is up to Prince Charles (in his off-the-cuff characterization of Putin as Hitler) to blurt out the truth.

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