Somewhere in Ukraine, in spite of the frightening Russian threat to that country, there is a group of people who read this blog almost every day, even going back to posts written several years ago.
I'm grateful for this loyal readership, but - far more than I feel gratitude - I feel admiration. How does someone focus on a political column when their country is confronting all that faces Ukraine?
That takes courage and faith and hope. It takes courage to focus on the politics of America when your own are so threatened by Russia's snarling and superior might. It takes faith to focus on something beyond the current peril, a belief that politics and not war will be your lot. And it takes hope to believe that democracy and Westernization can come at long last to a people so victimized throughout the twentieth century.
The world has largely overlooked the travails of Ukraine. I am old enough to remember what Stalin and Hitler did there and what followed during the long night of Russian control. But not many my age can remember or even knew originally. The younger people know nothing of this story.
This week, to the great sorrow of the world, the tragedy of Ukraine reached to the very skies and pulled down a passenger jet loaded with people from all over the world. Ukraine's troubles are now the world's troubles, and perhaps Europe and the UN will now respond more vigorously on Ukraine's behalf and support President Obama in his determination to squeeze Russia and Putin economically to the breaking point.
I can't do anything to help you, my Ukrainian brothers and sisters, except this one thing. I can promise you that President Obama is going to see you through this troubled time and will not let Russia invade your country. Stay strong. A brave and very determined man is on your side.
And so is history.
We salute you.