This month, we honor Women’s History Month. This past Saturday, we celebrated International Women’s Day. But how exactly do we choose to honor and celebrate these days? As during last month’s observance of black history, there is a necessary tension in recognizing the achievements of historically underrepresented and oppressed groups: We are celebrating the progress of peoples despite living within systems of power (still in place) that would have them shut out, by brute force or by insidious power play.
Addressing the crisis in Ukraine, Professor Rajan Menon, the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair of Political Science at the Colin Powell School, has published commentary on a number of blogs in the last couple days.
“Even as I write these words, President Obama, who probably hasn’t slept much lately, is being bombarded with advice on Ukraine: Do this. No, don’t; do that instead. Do that, but not yet.
Apart from the pressure the president is under, it must be galling to be criticized by, and receive counsel from, individuals who have far less information than he does about what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine and until recently (if then) couldn’t spot Balaklava or Simferopol on a map.
Here’s the thing: Many people are outraged, and justifiably, by Vladimir Putin’s risible claim that he was forced to act to defend Ukraine’s ethnic Russians (who exactly has been attacking them?). But there’s nothing Obama can do to get the Russian soldiers, now patrolling various parts of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, back in their barracks….” Continue reading “Rajan Menon: On Ukraine and Russia”