To solve the Greek crisis, Europe needs to focus less on debt and more on justice. Athens did not simply squander a few hundred billion euros: Much of it was stolen. Yet the European Union has done little to compel Greece to crack down on high-level corruption. The possible explanation for this does not bode well for the Union’s future.
Conventional wisdom has it that the radical-left Syriza Party was elected by voters fed up with austerity. But this is just the lesser half of the truth. What Greeks most desire is justice and jobs. The European Union, obsessed by debt repayment, ignored both aspirations.… Seguir leyendo »
President Obama has dismissed Russia as a “regional” power that “leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology.” But the Obama administration has consistently underestimated Vladimir Putin and continues to do so by asserting that Russia is isolated. Putin has laid the groundwork to assemble a powerful alternative to the transatlantic alliance.
Russia stands at the center of dozens of nations uncomfortable with or unsuited to the Western principles that President Obama described as “self-evident.” They chafe at Western control of global institutions and norms. Putin aims to offer them alternatives and is strengthening key relationships that will allow him to do so — with disgruntled mid-powers such as India, with regimes that have been kept at arm’s length for their behavior and with certain European political elites.… Seguir leyendo »
Vladimir Putin’s speech Tuesday — disavowing Russia’s Soviet past, glorifying its Orthodox roots, decrying the unjust price paid by Russians when the Soviet Union collapsed and condemning the West’s hypocrisy — upended the foundations of the post-Cold War narrative.
The widespread idea that Crimea could be ceded without cascading consequences arose from the erroneous belief that Putin is reconstituting the Soviet Union. The Soviet past was never his frame of reference. Putin’s expeditionary wars are fueled by Russian exceptionalism: a vision for a renewed union based on a common Russo-Orthodox destiny. In other words, Putin’s ambitions range beyond the boundaries of the former U.S.S.R.… Seguir leyendo »