I strongly support the new sanctions announced today by President Obama, which are far more powerful and persuasive than the weak sanctions previously announced. The move by the president, preceding the coming Group of Seven summit, is a major step forward. My hope is that Russia and President Vladimir Putin will be formally removed from any role and any position with the Group of Eight, which would be permanently restored to the Group of Seven.

I believe the strongest possible response short of military action should be agreed upon by all democratic countries. As I have written before, I agree with former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton when she said that when Putin lies about the treatment of ethnic Russians in Ukraine he is acting in a way similar to Adolf Hitler, who used similar pretexts to justify taking over his neighbors.

I find myself in general (but not complete) agreement with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on these matters, and believe his strong position is one more service to our country, of many, that McCain has offered.

Rather than simply refer to "President Putin," I would rather describe Putin as the Russian neo-Soviet strongman-for-life, whose ambitions to re-create the Soviet empire must be stopped with strength and unity from the democratic world.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.