SEALed and Delivered in Libya

SEALed and Delivered in Libya:

Last week, Jathran's forces finally
made good on that threat: they used one of the oil terminals under their
control to fill up a North
tanker called the Morning
. (For the record, North Korea has since denied having anything to do
with the ship.) The tanker then sailed out into the Mediterranean, defying warnings
from the central government that it would deploy its naval forces to block the ship
from leaving the port. No such action was forthcoming, of course. The security
forces of current Libyan government can't even maintain control over its own
capital, much less over the country's coastal waters.

Had the story ended there, the
result would have been an unmitigated disaster for the government. Tripoli's
impotence and dysfunction would have graphically exposed for all the world to
see. The floodgates for the wholesale looting of Libya's oil resources would have
opened. The forces of anarchy would have cheered. (It's worth noting that a
prime minister has already lost
his job
for even allowing the tanker to load in the first place.) But
that's when Washington stepped in.

The Lies of Putin

The Czar's Speech: Putin Takes Crimea - Bloomberg View: One more snarl of anger graced Putin's confident ending. "Some Western politicians," he said, "are trying to scare us not just with sanctions but with the exacerbation of domestic problems. I'd like to know what they mean: the actions of a certain fifth column, traitors to the nation of every ilk, or provoking unrest by worsening Russia's socioeconomic situation? We consider such statements as irresponsible and clearly aggressive and we will react to them accordingly."

After expressing confidence that the parliament and the nation will continue to support him, Putin walked off the stage to a standing ovation.

 It would have been easy to fall under the spell of the moment, to bask in a Russia resurgent. Except for the lies.
This article struck a chord with me because it gets to the importance of truth vs perception. I think the USA has occupied a place where truth and honesty claim an important role in our politics, but actually have not been so present (and perhaps have never been present). We end up looking like hypocrites.

But what Putin is doing - taking over another country with a false narrative - is wrong. It is wrong because the basic rights of mankind depand that their leadership be of them and for them - Crimea is not a ping pong ball to be thrown about. I regret that Russia is doing this because I think it is destabilizing. Power should reside locally - and my own country needs to take that lesson.