By Fareed Zakaria
To understand the opportunity lost in Ukraine, look to the southwest, writes Doug Sanders in Globe and Mail. "Serbia, a decade ago, was also about to be lost to Europe. Its protest movements had pulled it away from the ethno-nationalist demagoguery of Slobodan Milosevic, but Serbia was teetering on the edge of extremism. Its population and leaders leaned heavily toward Moscow – not just out of Slavic unity, but also because the 1999 NATO bombing and the humiliation of defeat were fresh in every Serb’s mind. Extremist forces in the military had just assassinated the prime minister. The economy, employment and the rule of law were all but absent."
"What turned Serbia into a normal country was the carrot of European Union membership."
“When the euro crisis was at its height it became commonplace for struggling European economies to insist that they were not outliers like Greece. Whatever their woes, they declared, Greece’s were in a class of their own,” The Economist says. “In Latin America, by contrast, the unwanted title of outlier has two contenders: Argentina and Venezuela.”
“Both have been living high on the hog for years, blithely dishing out the proceeds of an unrepeatable commodities boom (oil in Venezuela; soya in Argentina). Both have been using a mix of central-bank interventions and administrative controls to keep overvalued exchange rates from falling and inflation from rising. Both now face a come-uppance.”
“In no other theater of World War I are the results of that epochal conflict still as current as they are in the Middle East. Nowhere else does the early 20th century orgy of violence still determine political conditions to the same degree,” writes Bernhard Zand in Der Spiegel. “The so-called European Civil War, a term used to describe the period of bloody violence that racked Europe from 1914 onwards, came to an end in 1945. The Cold War ceased in 1990. But the tensions unleashed on the Arab world by World War I remain as acute as ever. Essentially, the Middle East finds itself in the same situation now as Europe did following the 1919 Treaty of Versailles: standing before a map that disregards the region's ethnic and confessional realities.”