Per your March 11 edition: "State media reported Monday supreme leader Kim Jong Un was not only elected to the highest legislative body in North Korea, he won with the unanimous approval of his district, which had 100 percent turnout." According to The Associated Press on March 17, "96.8 percent" of Crimeans voted to split from Ukraine per the election commissioner who had "not registered a single complaint about the vote." With all credible opposition murdered or imprisoned, and nongovernment controlled print and broadcast media banned, any belief in "free elections" in either of the above realms is delusional.
In Russia's case, will Mr. Putin be satisfied with placing only Crimea next to the two Georgian provinces in his Kremlin trophy case? Why must the U.S. and its European allies adopt a cringing wait-and-see attitude? Except for its considerable energy resources, Russia is a wimp on the world economic stage.
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The Euros cower before their rapacious eastern neighbor largely in fear of shut-offs of Russian natural gas and oil. The Obama administration has 25 permits pending for U.S. terminals to export some of America's own burgeoning natural gas which would sharply lower Russian energy influence. The administration's approval of the long-delayed Keystone pipeline would significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil making more non-Russian oil available to Europeans.
Besides radically reducing the rubles available for Russian expansionism, both the above actions would also drastically lower U.S. and world energy costs and add thousands of well-paying U.S. jobs. Our elected and soon-to-be elected officials keep telling us that they want our input on issues. Let's give it to them!