The overt invasion of Ukraine by Russia's army, after months of covert aid to rebel forces, has generated the most serious crisis in Europe since the Balkan wars of the 1990s — and perhaps since World War II. NATO has an obligation to respond skillfully, while trying to avoid direct combat with Russian forces — if possible.
The Beijing Independent Film Festival was abruptly shut down over the weekend of Aug. 23-24. With timing likely to be considered too contrived in a movie script, this crackdown occurred just before Hollywood's Aug. 25 Emmy awards for television programs.
Water can put out political fires in the Mideast. Courageous indigenous warriors are making that possible, but the United States must lead.
Cambodia, scene of the killing fields of genocide less than four decades ago, has just completed a major step forward. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is the awkward title of an important United Nations tribunal established to endeavor to bring justice to the mass murderers of the demented Khmer Rouge regime. The regime, in power from 1975 to 1979, killed at least 1.5 million and perhaps over 2 million of their fellow Cambodians.
“The right sort of sports fan,” is how McGeorge Bundy greeted the news in 1973 that Gerald Ford had been selected as vice president by Richard Nixon. Ford succeeded Spiro Agnew, who had been forced to resign because of corruption.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has worked with discipline and determination to maintain democratic stability in her own country, and military stability on the continent of Europe. So far, she has proven to be remarkably successful. Given the history of Germany and Europe, this is a great accomplishment.
The criminal destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine has been compounded by de facto desecration of the remains of those killed. The crash site has also been severely contaminated.
“That is just so stupid, and so much stupidity makes you want to cry.”
Summer brings hot weather, especially politically on the Korea Peninsula. North Korea has announced that two detained American tourists, Jeffrey Edward Fowle and Matthew Todd Miller, will be put on trial for provocative acts. Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae has been imprisoned since November 2012.
The Fourth of July weekend in the United States celebrates community, local as well as national. Parades featuring people in uniform — scouts, firefighters and police as well as the military — traditionally are a fixture. Military uniforms remind us of the role of war in our history — and present. The current Veterans Administration scandals remind us of how serious related problems can become.