1. News & Issues

Obama Skeptical Of Ukraine Deal

Sunday April 20, 2014

In July 1945, just months after becoming president upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman met Soviet leader Josef Stalin at the Potsdam Conference outside Berlin. Truman found the man feisty and direct. While he knew that he and Stalin were opposed on many aspects of post-WWII Europe, Truman still thought he could work with him.

By 1948 -- after the Greek military crisis, the Truman Doctrine, and the Berlin Airlift -- Truman was quite confident he couldn't work with Stalin.

Now, you can't take this parallel too far, but maybe President Barack Obama has had something of a "Truman moment" in his expectations with Russia. At the start of his administration, he wanted to "reset" US relations with Russia. Thursday, as word came from Geneva of a deal to diffuse the dangerous political situation in Ukraine, Obama seemed skeptical that Russia would live up to its end of the bargain.

Funny how the friction of diplomacy can turn anyone into a pessimist. Read more here.

Bill Bans "Terrorist" Ambassadors

Sunday April 20, 2014

When Iran appointed Hamid Aboutalebi as its new ambassador to the UN, the US cried foul, alleging that Aboutalebi was involved in the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis in which Islamic fundamentalist students kept 52 Americans captive for 444 days.

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed a bill affirming US intentions to deny visas to anyone with ties to terrorism. Since the UN is in New York, that effectively keeps them from sitting as UN ambassadors.

Iran is protesting the American move, as expected. And Obama had some additional words to say about the bill. Read more about it here.

Back To The Brink In Eastern Ukraine?

Sunday April 13, 2014

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power fears escalating tension in eastern Ukraine will lead to another Russian invasion of the country. So do NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen, UN chief Ban Ki-moon, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. See their comments here.

Russia denies further plans to annex any part of Ukraine. Are all those top officials worrying for nothing? Stand by.

What Is The Budapest Memorandum?

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Western countries have repeatedly mentioned the Budapest Memorandum as they've protested the Russian annexation of Crimea over the last month.

Other than sounding like a terrific title for a spy novel, what exactly is the Budapest Memorandum, and how does it affect the 2014 Ukraine Crisis? Check it out here.

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