News / USA

    Roundup: Opinions on Ukraine from US and Foreign Media

    A woman walks with a baby as members of the Crimean self defense forces stand on the platform at the main railway station in Simferopol, Ukraine, March 14, 2014.
    A woman walks with a baby as members of the Crimean self defense forces stand on the platform at the main railway station in Simferopol, Ukraine, March 14, 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.

    "How To Stop - Or Slow - Putin" Commentary by political columnist Charles Krauthammer, published in the Washington Post.

    "As for economic sanctions, they are currently puny. We haven’t done a thing. We haven’t even named names. We’ve just authorized the penalizing of individuals.


    "Name the names, freeze their accounts. But any real effect will require broader sanctions and for that we need European cooperation. The ultimate sanction is to cut off Russian oligarchs, companies and banks from the Western financial system.


    "That’s the economic “nuclear option” that brought Iran to its knees and to the negotiating table. It would have a devastating effect on Putin’s economy.As of now, the Germans, French and British have balked. They have too much economic interest in the Moscow connection.


    "Which means we can do nothing decisive in the short or even medium term. But we can severely squeeze Russia in the long term.


    "How? For serious sanctions to become possible, Europe must first be weaned off Russian gas. Obama should order the Energy Department to expedite authorization for roughly 25 liquified natural gas export facilities. Demand all decisions within six weeks.

    "And express major U.S. support for a southern-route pipeline to export Caspian Sea gas to Europe without traversing Russia or Ukraine."



    "Back to the Future in Ukraine and Asia" Commentary by Jamie Metzl, former Capitol Hill and White House diplomatic staff, published in the Gulf Times of Qatar.


    "With China’s leaders now aggressively demonising Japan and pressing disputed territorial and maritime claims more assertively than ever before, the country is being thrust in a direction that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with his penchant for historical revisionism and highlighting Japan’s nationalist past, may in some ways have already favoured: back to the nineteenth century.


    "Europe, too, embraced the postwar international system.

    "With security outsourced to America, European governments shifted their focus and expenditures to social welfare and set about building a twenty-first-century post-sovereign utopia that has blurred national divisions and replaced aggression and hostility with negotiation and compromise.


    "The EU’s twenty-first-century dream now confronts the nineteenth-century Czarist bear, flashing its atavistic claws on the Russia-Ukraine border.

    "And, just as Asean has been unable and unwilling to stand up to China over its encroachment in the South China Sea, the EU is already discovering the limits of its soft-power, consensus-driven approach to Russia.


    I"f a twenty-first-century post-sovereign system remains an unreachable dream in our Hobbesian world, and reverting to nineteenth-century norms by acquiescing to aggressive behaviour by Russia and China is unpalatable, defending the postwar international system may be the best option we have.


    "Ironically, a nineteenth-century response, featuring balance-of-power politics and the rearmament of Europe and Japan, may be part of what is required to do it."



    "Obama Has Made America Look Weak" Opinion by U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona, published in the International Herald Tribune.
     

    "Three American presidents have sought to cooperate with Mr. Putin where our interests converge.

    "What should be clear now, and should have been clear the last time he tore apart a country, is that our interests do not converge much. He will always insist on being our rival.
     

    "The United States must look beyond Mr. Putin. His regime may appear imposing, but it is rotting inside. His Russia is not a great power on par with America.

    "It is a gas station run by a corrupt, autocratic regime. And eventually, Russians will come for Mr. Putin in the same way and for the same reasons that Ukrainians came for Viktor F. Yanukovych.
     

    "We must prepare for that day now. We should show the Russian people that we support their human rights by expanding the Magnitsky Act to impose more sanctions on those who abuse them.

    "We should stop allowing their country’s most corrupt officials to park ill-gotten proceeds in Western economies. We should prove that countries like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have a future in the Euro-Atlantic community, and Russia can, too."



    "A Selective View of 'Democracy'" Commentary by Paul Pillar, Georgetown University professor and former CIA analyst, published in the Arab American News.


    "Some of the most enthusiastic proponents of active, U.S.-led promotion of democracy have more than once in recent months cheered what is one of the clearest possible negations of democracy: overthrow through nondemocratic means of a freely elected leader.


    "This happened last July in Egypt when the Egyptian military removed from office Mohamed Morsi, who had been chosen president in a free and fair election. Now it has happened again with the ouster from the Ukrainian presidency of Viktor Yanukovych.

    "There were good reasons to doubt the fairness of the election when Yanukovych first tried for the presidency in 2004 and the Orange Revolution ensued.

    "But that was not the case with the election of 2010. Yanukovych’s political opponent Yulia Tymoshenko alleged that this election result also was fraudulent, but the allegations did not stand up.

    "All the pre-election polls and exit polls had Yanukovych winning, and in the official tally his winning margin was almost a million votes. International observers accepted the election result as fair and valid.

    "In each of these two cases the ouster of the leader followed a combination of unrest in the streets of the capital and more pointed action by security forces. In Egypt that action was a traditional military coup.

    "In Ukraine — where the military conspicuously stayed out of the conflict — it was police striking deals with protest leaders under which the police would walk away from their posts.

    "There are many criteria by which we in the West can assess what is good and what is bad about the events in these countries and any others in which similar political change occurs. What happens to democracy is only one of those criteria."



     

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio. USA
    March 14, 2014 6:52 PM
    "This does not only violate international law ... but it's also breaking an important international norm." -- Adm. James Stavridis.
    And the Russian economy, as a "one-trick pony," is vulnerable.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora