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Roundup: Opinions on Ukraine From American and Foreign Media, March 10

Crimean Tatars shout slogans during the pro-Ukraine rally in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, March 10, 2014.

Crimean Tatars shout slogans during the pro-Ukraine rally in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, March 10, 2014.

The crisis in Ukraine has captured global attention and is generating a wide spectrum of opinion on its causes and solutions. Newspapers, blogs and other media are publishing a variety of commentaries and editorials on what’s to be done and who’s to blame.

Each day, VOA will curate a selection of these editorial opinions, highlight selections, and offer them for our readers’ consideration.

The opinions expressed below are, of course, those of the authors, not the Voice of America.

"Putin's Pique" Comment by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, published in The New Yorker.

"Right now, Putin retains his familiar strut and disdain. His opposition at home is on tenterhooks, fearing a comprehensive crackdown, and the West, which dreams of his coöperation in Syria and Iran, is reluctant to press him too hard.

"But it may be that his adventure in Crimea—and not the American Embassy in Moscow—will undo him. Last month, a Kremlin-sponsored poll showed that seventy-three per cent of Russians opposed interfering in the political confrontations in Kiev.

"The Kremlin has proved since that it has the means, and the media, to gin up support for Putin’s folly—but that won’t last indefinitely.

"In other words, Putin risks alienating himself not only from the West and Ukraine, to say nothing of the global economy he dearly wants to join, but from Russia itself. His dreams of staying in office until 2024, of being the most formidable state-builder in Russian history since Peter the Great, may yet founder on the peninsula of Crimea."

"Will America Heed the Wake-Up Call of Ukraine?" Opinion editorial by Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, published in the Washington Post.

"The immediate concern must be to show Russia that further moves will not be tolerated and that Ukraine’s territorial integrity is sacrosanct. Diplomatic isolation, asset freezes and travel bans against oligarchs are appropriate.

"The announcement of air defense exercises with the Baltic states and the movement of a U.S. destroyer to the Black Sea bolster our allies, as does economic help for Ukraine’s embattled leaders, who must put aside their internal divisions and govern their country.

"The longer-term task is to answer Putin’s statement about Europe’s post-Cold War future. He is saying that Ukraine will never be free to make its own choices — a message meant to reverberate in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states — and that Russia has special interests it will pursue at all costs.

"For Putin, the Cold War ended “tragically.” He will turn the clock back as far as intimidation through military power, economic leverage and Western inaction will allow."

"Pushing the Reset Button With Russia, Again." Editorial written by Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large with the National Review, published in the Houston Chronicle.

"My old boss, William F. Buckley, responding to claims that the U.S. and the Soviets were morally equivalent, said that if one man pushes an old lady into an oncoming bus and another man pushes an old lady out of the way of a bus, we should not denounce them both as the sorts of men who push old ladies around.

:While America surely made mistakes during the near half-century 'twilight struggle,' the simple fact is that there was a right side and a wrong side to that conflict, and we were on the right side of it.

"The Soviet Union murdered millions of its own people, stifled freedom in nearly every form, enslaved whole nations and actively tried to undermine democracy all around the world, including in the U.S.

"President Putin, a former KGB agent, has said that the collapse of the evil empire was "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century. That alone should have been a clue to this White House that misspelled reset buttons weren't going to cut it. But they were too stuck in the past to see it."

"Western Leaders Cannot Face a Looming War." Editorial by Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent, published in The Independent.

"The 'crisis' or the war 'looming' in the Ukraine is of great interest to someone who lives not a hundred miles from my home: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who will have been much relieved to see Putin leap to the rescue of Russian Ukraine as firmly as he did for Syria.

"Indeed, Assad, according to his government, has even sent a telegram to Putin – do people still send 'telegrams', by the way? – in which he 'expressed ... Syria’s solidarity with Putin’s efforts to restore security and stability to Ukraine in the face of attempted coups against legitimacy and democracy in favour of radical terrorists'.

"Syria was committed, Assad said, to 'President Putin’s rational, peace-loving approach that seeks to establish a global system supporting stability and fighting'.

"Makes you draw in your breath a bit, doesn’t it? The Russkies are not going to be shaking in their boots at sanctions. Punishing Russians and Ukrainians involved in Russia’s move into the Crimea will be a 'useful tool', said Obama – though why the US President has to use the language of computer geeks to threaten Moscow is beyond me.

"But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? We can’t have war 'looming'. It would destroy all our internets and computers and live-time news and globalisation and 'tools'. They’ll patch something up, a political gig to let Russia gobble part of Ukraine but still calling it a federated republic. Pity about the Tatars. Peace in our time."

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