Americans, Crimea is not about us

Location of Crimea (dark green) with respect t...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watching the Sunday morning news shows, there is lot of stupid silly ridiculous commentary, mostly from conservatives out to score political points, that the Crimean crisis is somehow Barack Obama’s fault, that maybe if he had been a stronger, more decisive, more manly leader, Putin wouldn’t have sent troops in.

I’m not going to pretend to understand all the dynamics of what’s happening in Ukraine.  I suspect even the people in the middle of it are operating in a cloud of uncertainty.  The Ukrainian government was overthrown in an non-democratic but populist manner, the Russians sent in troops to protect their Crimean naval base, to acclaim by much of the local population who is considering seceding from Ukraine in hopes of annexation by Russia.  What a mess.  It’s not clear to me who’s “right” in this situation.

But one thing I am certain of, Crimea is not about us, and particularly it’s not about Obama.  Implying that it is is narcissistically self centered to an embarrassing degree before the world.  The situation effects Europe and many of our allies, so we have interests, but we are a distant third party.  Let’s try to remember that.

5 thoughts on “Americans, Crimea is not about us

  1. Its about territory and riches, allies and global expansion,
    – so how does that leave us out?
    Personally, I think we ought be involved to work for peaceful solutions – but that always gets translated into expansion somehow too.
    – so what ought we do?


  2. You’re completely right that the situation there is not “about” us or Obama, but I think you overstate the complexity of what’s happened. Putin saw an opportunity to take some valuable real estate and understood that taking it wouldn’t start World War 3. But saying that the Ukrainian “government” was overthrown is an overstatement. The Ukrainian President was a thief and an autocrat who responded violently when protests got too intense. He then departed for Russia. The Ukrainian Parliament then put someone in his place and scheduled a new election for May. So I wouldn’t call the process anti-democratic, except in the sense that the President wasn’t impeached. Nor is it clear what percentage of the population in Crimea supports being absorbed by Russia, since the Russians have been doing everything they can to make it seem like (1) they didn’t have troops there at all or (2) their troops were welcome to be there.

    I recommend a series of blog posts by Timothy Snyder, who’s an expert on the history of Eastern Europe, at the “NY Review of Books” site. This is the latest one, with links to the first two.


  3. I don’t think this is anything to do with America. It seems to me that the European Union was best placed to solve this problem before it turned into a revolution, but sadly did nothing whatsoever to help.


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