The day President Obama believes relevant history began. Rather like the French revolutionaries who decreed that the establishment of their Republic be dated Year I of the French Republic. August 4, 1961 was the day on which Barack Hussein Obama arrived on this earth in Honolulu, Hawaii. Anything occurring before the world received this blessing is irrelevant, the President told the gathering of heads of state at The Summit of the Americas. Not directly, but in effect. “The Cold War has been over for a very long time. And I am not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.” So because these battles pre-dated, he has no interest in either the Great War or WWII, much less the Civil War and the war that established this nation he is so determined to “transform.”
In any event, we are in the here and now, approaching the end of 53 AO. Relations with Cuba are to be normalized to provide “more opportunities and resources for the Cuban people.” Obama has the Castro Brothers’ word for that, although architects have not yet filed plans to convert the islands’ prisons into hotels for visiting America tourists, whose cash will enable the Cuban government to open the Internet to all, allow free travel from Cuba, and otherwise retire the guardians of the omnipresent state.
Vladimir Putin was not invited to the Summit of the Americas despite his country’s expanding interests in the region -- hardly the “near abroad” he covets, allegedly only to ensure Russia’ security. Putin has always believed that the Cold War was merely on hold between the death of Stalin and his own rise to power, and that the era BO contained battles in which he, at least, is interested in re-fighting. A view shared by literate Americans of all stripes in our own War of Independence, Civil War, the World Wars, even though of no interest to our current president. And by NATO commanders who increasingly liken current provocations to those practiced by Russia in the Cold War, which having started before the President was born, are of no interest to him. And, by extension, of no interest to “my cabinet”, “my State Department”, “my national security team”, or other institutions like the cabinet, the State Department, and the national security team that have been, well, privatized in a funny kind of way.
A month and a half has passed since Boris Nemtsov, the Russian political activist who rose to prominence as a dynamic young reformer in the 1990s and later became one of the fiercest critics of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, was shot dead a few blocks from the Kremlin. The shocking murder, which quickly raised questions about the Putin regime’s culpability, has largely faded from the headlines in the Western press.
Last week, Edward Snowden came out (or was let out) of his home in liberty-loving Russia to grant an interview to John Oliver, erstwhile Comedy Central Daily Show correspondent and current host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. A few seconds in, the ever-so-earnest Snowden began to realize that Oliver, much like his mentors Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, was actually less interested in conducting a traditional interview than in needling him.
Tallinn "We could have been Bosnia,” said Eerik-Niiles Kross, a center-right Estonian politician, former intelligence chief—and much more besides. He didn’t have to tell me why. Estonians remain haunted by the memory of their doomed interwar republic. It inspired their drive for independence from the Soviet Union, but it reminds them that what was lost can never be truly restored.
A top intelligence official under President Obama, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, says that the chances Hillary Clinton's private emails were hacked is "very high." Flynn, who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency but is now retired, called it hackings "likely."
Flynn made the comments to Megyn Kelly last night on Fox News:
Central European countries are currently commemorating the 70th anniversary of their liberation from Nazism at the end of World War Two. Budapest was captured by the Red Army in February 1945; Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, was taken on April 4; Prague was liberated only after hostilities elsewhere in Europe were practically over, on May 9.
If Boris Nemtsov, the Russian statesman and activist killed in Moscow last week, had been a character in a political thriller—and he certainly had the looks and charisma for the part—the script might have been criticized as lacking subtlety. There is the opposition leader gunned down on the eve of a major protest march, shortly after an interview that foreshadows his murder. There is his nemesis, the authoritarian strongman whose foes often turn up dead, vowing to personally oversee the investigation.
Seventy years ago, on March 1, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt assured a war-weary nation that a new era of international peace and democratic government was at hand. The accords signed just weeks earlier at the Yalta Conference, he told Congress, laid the foundation for postwar cooperation between the Soviet Union and the democratic West.
Ukraine's deputy foreign minister says he is preparing for "full-scale war" against Russia and wants Canada to help by supplying lethal weapons and the training to use them. Vadym Prystaiko, who until last fall was Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, says the world must not be afraid of joining Ukraine in the fight against a nuclear power.