Because we Americans are simple folk, we think about political issues like the Ukrainian crisis in terms of... well, politics. Obama is "weak" while Putin is "strong" or "assertive." Kerry talks about "international law" (hint: at the end of the day when the tanks roll, there really is no such thing) while Putin is described in the liberal blogs as "fascistic." But ideology often means less than geography and demography. For instance:
Which is why I bought my son a globe when he was little and we've spent a lot of time looking at maps. You can't understand the world if you don't understand geography. Among the other things the American school system has failed at.