Crimean and Russian leaders signed an agreement Tuesday, annexing the Ukrainian peninsula as part of Russia. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden promoted European energy security in Poland and Lithuania, but stopped short of aggressive US oil and gas intervention as a way to counter Russia.
Western leaders must support democracy in the Arab world now in 2011 as they did in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. The time for viewing dictatorships as defenders of Western civilization is finished.
It's a contradiction. Qatar, the Gulf country which sits atop a huge natural gas field, is ruled firmly as a monarchy. And yet it has become a strong advocate of democracy in the Arab Spring.
As the G8 countries meet in France to discuss support of the Arab Spring, hopes are modest. But a giant Marshall Plan for these new democracies is less needed than is effective aid.
Colin Powell and Obama warned of grave consequences if the Senate fails to ratify the New START pact, which would reduce how many strategic warheads the United States and Russia could hold and set up a system so each could inspect and verify the other's arsenal.