In this piece, Goldman explains that he is a hawk, and, moreover, an American hawk. He derides the "brain trust" American foreign policy that missed the point for so much of the last century and entirely so far this century. He makes the demographic argument sound quite plausible from both the Russian and Iranian perspectives. He also chides the West for failing to give the right kind of support to the Ukrainians following the success of the Maidan Square protests. Read the whole thing.
To clarify what I have been saying, for my part, I don't want to give the impression that I think Putin is a good guy. He's a Russian nationalist, and I admit to a sort of nostalgic longing for American nationalists in the White House and Congress. I do laugh when Putin tweaks naive internationalist dolts like Obama and Kerry.
Not all of what is going on has the potential to be amusing, except in a snide, French Absurdist way. A lot of good people could end up getting killed if the Clowns In Charge make the wrong calls. Having seen the mess we have made of every entanglement in my lifetime (with the possible exception of Reagan's handling of the dissolution of the USSR, as Goldman suggests), I have, at this point, zero faith in my country's ability to work this out in our country's or the world's best interests.
Since our national security is not at issue here, we ought to be good riders -- i.e., sit down, shut up, hang on. The best thing to do is watch what happens and keep our powder dry -- keep all of our options open. Don't commit to anything either way right now.
Putin is probably a bad guy. The problem is that I don't see any good guys likely to arise to oppose him. Yanuckovich? Not a good guy. Timoshenko? Probably just as crooked as Yanuckovich. Like McCain/Obama or Hillary/Jeb, it isn't going to make much difference. They'd all look better in tar and feathers.
Update: By the way, my wife was watching television last night and picked up some news program, maybe "60 Minutes", that was talking about Yanuckovich's lavish lifestyle. I was in another room and she called, "You should see this house." I was too busy, but I suppose it is extreme. Still, I'm guessing we could buy it for what we've spent on vacations for the Obamas over the last five years, and I'm sure we could get it for what we threw away on political cronyism projects like Solyndra.