Online Opinion Outpost: April 1

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The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

BYU groper

Salt Lake Tribune

Plenty of people are pushing back against this rape subculture in the BYU-niverse, but what’s most surprising is how many people are okay with it. And many of these people are publicly using their own names and accounts to laugh at sexual violence. That tweet from @shewantstheNCMO, for example, had 22 retweets and 57 favorites. What kind of a person favorites a tweet advocating victim blaming?

Russia

Washington Post

In last week’s Kremlin address, [Putin] said, “Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that.” The word “need” is not reassuring. It suggests that Russia’s needs are self-legitimizing and recalls the definition of a barbarian as someone who thinks his appetites are their own justification.

Speaking of which: Six months after Germany’s absorption of Austria, which was quickly ratified by a plebiscite, Adolf Hitler, on Sept. 26, 1938, discussed the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia, home of many ethnic and linguistic Germans. Three days before the Munich Conference began, he said: “This is the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe.” On March 15, 1939, six months after Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland, agreed to at Munich, Hitler swallowed the rest of Czechoslovakia.

New York Times

The decision by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to annex Crimea ended the post-Cold War era in Europe. Since the late Gorbachev-Reagan years, the era was defined by zigzags of cooperation and disputes between Russia and the West, but always with an underlying sense that Russia was gradually joining the international order. No more.

Our new era is one defined by ideological clashes, nationalistic resurgence and territorial occupation — an era in some ways similar to the tragic periods of confrontation in 20th-century Europe. And yet there are important differences, and understanding the distinction will be critical to a successful American foreign policy in the coming decades.

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