Cokie & Steven V. Roberts
It's graduation week at George Washington University, where Steve has taught for the last 23 years. After the final exam in his class, a student quietly handed him a note that read in part: "You have believed in me since the beginning and told me not to sell myself short, and for that I am grateful." Warm words, deeply appreciated.
Search the word "Benghazi," and up pops a paid link to a website that advertises: "Benghazi -- T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Mugs and More." Click on the link and 401 items are offered for sale. They include a yellow backpack with red letters, reading, "Benghazi.
Secretary of State John Kerry recently urged Russian leader Vladimir Putin to dial down the confrontation in Ukraine. "If Russia continues in this direction," Kerry warned, "it will not just be a grave mistake, it will be an expensive mistake." So far, however, it's the leaders in Washington, Bonn and Brussels who are making mistakes -- not Moscow. President Obama and his allies are not following through on their threats. And their timidity could be both expensive and dangerous. It's clear by now that Putin is a bully, a bully who pushes others around until someone calls his bluff.
The New York Times ran this dispatch from the Ukrainian city of Donetsk: "Worshippers at the Bet Menakhem-Mendl synagogue ... confronted a horrifying scene as they left a Passover service this week: masked men on a sidewalk handing out leaflets demanding that Jews register and pay a fine or leave the area, witnesses said." Pinchas Vishedski, chief rabbi of Donetsk's 15,000 Jews, later told Reuters that the leaflets were fake, "a crude provocation" aimed at stirring resentment against the pro-Russian militants who have taken over the city. The source of the notices remains obscure.