If the events in Ukraine are to appear as more than a series of disconnected events, you really must take the long view. So if you want to understand why it looked last night as though war was about to break out in the Crimea, perhaps take a look at this piece of analysis by Stratfor. It's a company that focuses on geography and history to explain what is happening in the world. Stratfor makes its money by signing up paying subscribers, but makes some of its work freely available. The book from which this is taken, The next hundred years, is also worth reading.
The people of Libya and other countries in the Middle East and South Asia might not be so keen on democracy after all.
The western press have celebrated the Arab Spring as the struggle for democracy against totalitarian dictatorships, but surveys have come to show that the people of Libya and other countries would prefer a ‘strong leader’.
Only 15% of 2,000 people surveyed by academics from Benghazi and Oxford universities said they wanted a democracy installed by next year and more than 40% wanted a ‘strong’ group or leader.