Hillary Clinton would never have used the word when she was United States Secretary of State, because she still has presidential ambitions.
Poor old Tony Blair is condemned to spend the rest of his life trying to justify his decision to help George Bush invade Iraq.
On one hand, eastern Ukraine appears to be slipping out of the Government's control, as pro-Russian groups seize control of official buildings in big eastern cities like Donetsk and Luhansk and demand referendums on union with Russia.
''I prefer death to surrender,'' said Pakistan's former military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, on April 1 to the special court that is trying him on five counts of high treason, but it's a reasonable guess that he'd prefer exile to either of those options.
Crimea is going to be part of Russia, and there is nothing anybody else can do about it.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron rambled a bit on his visit to Afghanistan last December, but ended up sounding just as deluded as United States President George W. Bush had been when he proclaimed ''Mission accomplished'' six weeks after the invasion of Iraq.
The referendum on Scotland's independence is only six months away and suddenly the cautious sparring between the Conservative-led coalition government in London and First Minister Alex Salmond's pro-independence government in Edinburgh has turned into open war.
An Indian election is a marathon, not a sprint.
The first mistake of the Ukrainian revolutionaries was to abandon the agreement of February 23 to create a national unity government, including some of the revolutionary leaders, that would administer the country until new elections in December.
It's a ''treacherous attack'' and a ''dirty conspiracy'', claimed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose image as a devout Muslim and an honest man is the key to his political success.
From a Ukrainian point of view, the priority is not to throw their revolution away again like they did after the Orange Revolution 10 years ago.
When a government announces it is going to launch an ''anti-terror operation'', that generally means that it has decided to kill some people.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and champion of Burmese democracy, declared last June she would run for president in the 2015 election.
John Kerry has been US Secretary of State for precisely one year, and he has already: 1) rescued President Obama from his ill-considered promise to bomb Syria if it crossed the ''red line'' and used poison gas; 2) opened serious negotiations with Iran on its alleged attempt to build nuclear weapons; and 3) taken on the job of brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
Confession is good for the soul, and my soul is certainly in need of improvement, so here is a confession. I got it wrong in my article ''Climate safety net holed'' (ODT, 20.1.14). I couldn't be happier about that.
It has taken a little longer than it did after the 1848 revolutions in Europe, but on the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution we can definitely say the ''Arab Spring'' is finished.
''The protest mood in Ukraine is at a higher temperature than ever before,'' said Vitali Klitschko, the de facto leader of the anti-government protests that have filled central Kiev for the past two months, in an interview with The Guardian on Tuesday.
It would be interesting to know just what titbits of information the US National Security Agency's eavesdropping has turned up on United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.
Bad news on the climate front. It is clear we are likely to break through all the ''do not exceed'' limits and go into runaway warming later this century.
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the coup against Egypt's elected president last July, has one of the finest collections of military headgear in the entire Middle East.