Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
On Thursday in Geneva, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the US and the EU worked out an agreement to bring separatists and authorities back from the brink of war in eastern Ukraine. Here's a summary of the deal:
The deal, clinched after a dramatic extended meeting in Geneva, calls for the disarming of all illegal groups. In the next few days they would have to vacate all the government buildings and public spaces they have occupied over the course of the crisis.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
The West’s reaction has been weak. The sanctions imposed and contemplated are not dramatic, regardless of immediate Russian losses in volatile stock and currency exchange markets. Europe’s dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, and affinity for Russian investments, were apparent last week when the German foreign minister feted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov for trade talks, even as NATO photos of Russian military equipment stockpiled near Ukraine emerged. While European foot-dragging is the biggest obstacle to an effective response, some of Washington’s initial comments and actions suggested unwillingness to face the reality of Putin’s actions. The Obama administration also bears the burden of its Middle Eastern policy of avoiding military conflicts. NATO member states in Eastern Europe are asking the same question many in the Middle East have: Can we rely on Washington to make hard military decisions?
The best way to send Putin a tough message and possibly deflect a Russian campaign against more vulnerable NATO states is to back up our commitment to the sanctity of NATO territory with ground troops, the only military deployment that can make such commitments unequivocal.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
That's the big question this weekend, isn't it? Will Russia attack eastern Ukraine, splitting off still more territory from that country?
Saturday, April 5, 2014
A couple of weeks ago, I received a Ron LeFlore Montreal Expos jersey in the mail. I'd ordered it on the spur of the moment a week earlier, but had long been considering the move.
Why Ron LeFlore? Good question. LeFlore played for the Detroit Tigers in the second half of the 1970s, when I was a kid. He made the All-Star team in 1976. In 1980, LeFlore was traded to the Montreal Expos (Ron Lafleur!) in exchange for pitcher Dan Schatzeder. Altogether, he played nine years in the major leagues.