Why bother with Crimea?
The Good People are shrugging off Russia's seizure of the Crimean peninsula as a done deal, and anyhow, who cares? Well, Russia cares, and so does Ukraine -- and so should Germany, which gets much of its energy from Russia. As the New York Times points out in a very good article today, that seemingly insignificant bulb of land carries with it a vast swath of the Black Sea, extending out 230 miles from the shore, "quietly giving Russia dominion over vast oil and gas reserves while dealing a crippling blow to Ukraine’s hopes for energy independence." The Black Sea, according to some oil experts, may contain as much petroleum as the North Sea, whose riches have made Norway one of the wealthiest countries in the world (with a per-capita income higher than that of the U.S.).
I read the NYT every morning online, and half the time I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the degree to which it has become simply a mouthpiece for the Democratic National Committee. But every once in a while I read a piece like this one, and I resolve to keep on.