News / Europe

Roundup: Opinions on Ukraine from American and Foreign Media

Armed men (L), believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside Ukraine's naval headquarters after it was taken over by pro-Russian forces, as Russian naval officers (R) are seen in the background, in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.
Armed men (L), believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside Ukraine's naval headquarters after it was taken over by pro-Russian forces, as Russian naval officers (R) are seen in the background, in Sevastopol, March 19, 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.

"The Price of Failed Leadership" Commentary by Willard "Mitt" Romney, former Massachusetts Governnor and Republican Presidential nominee 2012, published in the Wall Street Journal.

"Able leaders anticipate events, prepare for them, and act in time to shape them. My career in business and politics has exposed me to scores of people in leadership positions, only a few of whom actually have these qualities.

"Some simply cannot envision the future and are thus unpleasantly surprised when it arrives. Some simply hope for the best. Others succumb to analysis paralysis, weighing trends and forecasts and choices beyond the time of opportunity.
 
"President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe.

"Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine.

'Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed.
 
"A chastened president and Secretary of State Kerry, a year into his job, can yet succeed, and for the country's sake, must succeed. Timing is of the essence."


"Putin's Global Ambitions Could Destabilize Europe" Op-ed by Molly McKey and Gregory Miatis, former advisors on security and other matters to then Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, published in the Washington Post.

"In each of these cases — as in Russia — local political challenges were followed by a rise in anti-European rhetoric that became muddled with ideas of Orthodox values.

"Now Putin has made himself a champion of this narrative of discontent and that of a glorified Orthodox past.

 

"The message is that the “moral community” of orthodoxy is strong and that it doesn’t come with the hard membership criteria many Orthodox nations have struggled to meet.

"The closed, comfortable worldview — It’s okay to be what you are — was founded on geographic isolationism but is now driven by a rejection of the Europeanist ideology that is its greatest competitor.

"A meeting of the Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Council in 2016, the first such meeting in 1,200 years, could be a key moment in these developments.

 

"Less than two years ago, Russians bravely gathered to call for a Russia without Putin. Putin has succeeded in changing the narrative to a resurgent, single-minded Russia vs. a West irrevocably in decline.
 

"Letting Crimea go' was never a new status quo: It was a concession to Putin’s hegemony. Putin’s labeling of the West as a purveyor of confused morals means that every half-measure taken to slow his aggression will build support for Russia in his target constituencies.

"Putin believes that ideologies inextricably linked to morality are in head-to-head competition, and he has proven adept at engineering scenarios to force a choice."


"Europe Should Impose Stiffer Penalties" Commentary by David Böcking, German journalist and political columnist, published in Der Spiegel.

"In addition to the travel bans and frozen accounts already imposed by the EU -- punitive actions that are essentially symbolic in nature -- Europe should also levy more significant economic sanctions against Russia.

"It is a question of credibility. Not doing so is tantamount to Germany and the EU saying: 'You know what Mr. Putin? The Crimea isn't actually that important to us after alll.

"Led by German President Joachim Gauck, Berlin only recently demanded that the country take on more responsibility in the world. Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear early on that military intervention in the Crimea crisis isn't an option. That makes sense.

"But what other alternatives could Europe pursue?

 

"The economic lever is all that's left. Russia is highly dependent on imports from the EU, particularly from Germany.

"But even more painful than a reduction of European exports to Russia would be a moratorium on EU natural gas and oil imports from Russia, or at least a credible threat from Brussels that it was prepared to do so.

"Russia and Putin's military machine, after all, are reliant on income generated by energy exports.

 

"It would not be an easy step to take.

"But the difference could be compensated for via oil and natural gas deliveries from other sources. It is, of course, undeniable that such a step would drive up energy prices in Germany and the rest of the European Union.

"Economic growth, already weak, would suffer. But if we Germans are serious about taking on more foreign policy responsibility, then we also have to be prepared to pay the requisite price."



"Las Profundas Razones Geopoliticas de Rusia" - "The Deep Political Reasons of Russia" Commentary by John Mearsheimer, political science professor, University of Chicago writing in Clarin the daily Spanish language newspaper in Buenos Aires.

"Few American policymakers are capable of putting themselves in Mr. Putin’s shoes. This is why they were so surprised when he moved additional troops into Crimea, threatened to invade eastern Ukraine, and made it clear Moscow would use its considerable economic leverage to undermine any regime in Kiev that was hostile to Russia.
 
"When Mr. Putin explained why he was playing hardball, Mr. Obama responded that the Russian leader 'seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations.

"But the Russian leader is obviously not talking with lawyers; he sees this conflict in geopolitical, not legal terms.
 

"Mr. Putin’s view is understandable.

"Because there is no world government to protect states from one another, major powers are acutely sensitive to threats — especially near their borders — and they sometimes act ruthlessly to address potential dangers. International law and human rights concerns take a back seat when vital security issues are at stake.
 

"Mr. Obama would be advised to stop talking to lawyers and start thinking like a strategist. If he did, he would realize that punishing the Russians while trying to pull Ukraine into the West’s camp will only make matters worse.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
March 19, 2014 1:14 PM
THE WISE MAN said it; ... I bet most Ukrainians wish, they could go back to November 20, 2013 the day before the protest against the Ukraine President began?
IF ONLY? ... If only they could go back and do it differently? ..... REALLY?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More