Random lessons to help you understand the situation in the Ukraine:
[UPDATED! See below at #11]
1. Apparently, it stopped being “the Ukraine” around 1991. Now, it’s just “Ukraine.”
2. If the person you’re reading mentions these historical analogies, they know nothing: The Crimean War, 1914, the Sudetenland, Munich, Benghazi, the Cold War, and Syria.
3. On the other hand, if they mention this historical analogy, then they know entirely too much: Yalta.
4. The Crimean War was no fun for anyone.
5. No, Obama changing direction on Syria did not give Putin free license in Ukraine. This meme is impressively bad, because it requires ignoring that the Bush administration invasion of Iraq over (claimed) weapons of mass destruction did not stop Putin from invading Georgia in 2008 while insisting that if Obama had invaded Syria, it would have backed Putin off Ukraine. Well, no.
6. There is nothing, practically-speaking, that the United States can do in a military way to affect the situation in Ukraine.
7. At some point, somebody will get clever and write “The real winner in all this is China!” They will be wrong.
8. I wonder if Nick Kristof still thinks academics aren’t involved enough in the real world?
9. Is Chuck Norris available? “There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.”
10. The worst effect (US politics division) of this crisis is that it has brought Sarah Palin back into our lives.
11. If someone is suggesting military action and they do not specify the units to be used, the entry points to the Crimea, and logistics arrangements to support the force, then they know nothing.