Ukraine: Progress Without Peace
By Tim Judah
New York Review of Books
"Poroshenko has his work cut out for him. He needs to end the rebellion in the east, make deals with Ukraine's powerful oligarchs, fend off a possible threat from Tymoshenko, shore up a sinking economy, and talk to the Kremlin. Tetiana Sylina, a well-known Ukrainian journalist, told me that some people in Kiev are thinking something that they aren't talking much about in public: rather than fight a civil war, it might be better to let the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk go."
"Mr Xi has three new social forces to contend with that grew to critical mass under his predecessor: a huge middle class, an equally large underclass of rural migrants, and online social media that have enabled discontents to connect and communicate with remarkable ease, in spite of vigorous censorship."
Middle East: Three nations, one conflict - The crises in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are merging into a single sectarian war
By Borzou Daragahi
"No major power has an interest in redrawing the map of the Middle East in the way the 30 years war drastically redefined Europe. But perhaps the more lasting and potentially devastating legacy of the conflict could be the gradual degradation of the very ideas of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq as national entities."
Thoughts on Edward Snowden's Interview
By Benjamin Wittes
"On the more important issues, Snowden—earnestness and all—utterly failed to explain certain stubborn, inconvenient facts that make it hard to accept him as the figure he claims to be. Some of these facts he did not challenge at all, as they are too clearly true to brook contest. Some he challenged only weakly. And some [NBC's Brian] Williams did not bother to ask him about at all. The result is a haze over the noble portrait the fugitive paints of himself."
Don't Major in Intolerance
By Michael R. Bloomberg
"There is an idea floating around college campuses -- including here at Harvard -- that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There's a word for that idea: censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism."