Monday, April 14, 2014

Haute couture

It's particularly impressive how well-dressed, well-organized, and well-equipped those "militants" in eastern Ukraine are, compared to the raggedy rebels in Syria....

The new face of Europe

Russia's slow-motion invasion of Ukraine continues. Putin is as ruthless as his predecessors, Hitler and Stalin, but infinitely more clever.

Friday, April 11, 2014

What she would have said at Brandeis

The universities, which used to be temples of free speech, are now in the business of suppressing it. Most recently, Brandeis University in Bostons backpedaled on its plan to give the beautiful Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree because Islamic organizations and their enablers claimed they would be offended. (Ali is under a death threat for her stands against honor killing and female mutilation, to the point where she no longer dares live in Europe, where she was a legislator and public intellectual.) Here is what she would have told the youngsters at Brandeis, and God knows they needed to hear it!

Monday, March 31, 2014

"literary magic!"

"Dan Ford is a conjurer of literary magic.  In just over 200 pages, he tells a tale that is sad and funny, innocent and wise; he weaves together tragedies great and small, the many facets of love and loss, commentary on peace, war and cultural differences.  And he does all that with an artist's touch, creating not just images but atmosphere, personalities, and dramatic tension.... It's an extraordinary book, highly original, gripping, at once full of joy and of sorrow." (Irene Tomaszewski, Cosmopolitan Review, March 2014) For more, go to the magazine online.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Such a smile!

Vladimir Putin has annexed Crimea and has no further territorial ambitions! Either he is ignorant of history or he has unbounded chutzpah, or both. Adolf Hitler held his showcase Olympics in 1936 and waited two years before annexing the German-speaking portion of Czechoslovakia; Putin paraded his Olympics and annexed Crimea in a matter of days. (Indeed, the Paralympics were still going on as twenty thousand Russian troops took off their national insignia and occupied Crimea.)

And give Neville Chamberlain his due! At least he flew to Munich before surrendering the Sudetenland to Hitler. Barack Obama settled for a telephone call.

Monday, March 17, 2014

On crossing the red line

President Obama was smart enough -- this time! -- not to proclaim a "red line" that Russia dare not cross in its salami-slice takover of Ukraine. But of course Vlad the Bad crossed it anyhow, imposing a plebiscite upon Crimea that essentially gave its residents (presumably including the Russian soldiers with no national insignia who have been occupying it for weeks) two choices, either to join Russia now or to join it in a bit. Meanwhile, as if to grind the  noses of Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry even further into the dirt, Russian soldiers crossed into Ukraine itself and seized the gas plant that supplies Crimea.

It was pretty obvious, when Bashar Assad merrily crossed Mr. Obama's "red line" in Syria and Mr. Obama did nothing about it, that nothing this president said was ever going to deter Vladimir Putin. It was even obvious before that, when the United States of America announced that it was going to "lead from behind" in supporting rebel forces in Libya. Now we know what we should have known from the beginning: leading from behind means nothing more or less than running for cover. That's the United States that Barack Obama has given us. He has dismantled, in five short years, the security edifice that eleven U.S. presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, had assembled at such great cost in American blood and treasure.

Friday, March 14, 2014

No military aid for Ukraine

WASHINGTON—Ukraine's interim government has appealed for U.S. military aid, including arms, ammunition and intelligence support, according to senior U.S. officials. But the Obama administration has agreed to send only military rations for now, wary of inflaming tensions with Russia.
So: Russia invades Ukraine, and we will respond with Meals Ready to Eat! How quickly the World's Only Superpower has become just another Sweden.