No one can reasonably take the US position on Crimean self-determination seriously anymore. Even the New York Times appears to be uncomfortable with the Obama administration’s anti-democratic actions:
They wanted to break away from a country they considered hostile. The central government cried foul, calling it a violation of international law. But with the help of a powerful foreign military, they succeeded in severing ties.
The Kosovars’ secession from Serbia in 1999 drove a deep wedge between the United States and Russia that soured relations for years. Washington supported Kosovo’s bid for independence, culminating in 2008, while Moscow saw it as an infringement of Serbia’s sovereignty.
Now 15 years later, the former Cold War rivals again find themselves at odds, but this time they have effectively switched sides: Russia loudly proclaims Crimea’s right to break off from Ukraine while the United States calls it illegitimate. The showdown in Ukraine has revived a centuries-old debate over the right of self-determination versus the territorial integrity of nation-states.
The clash in Crimea is hardly an exact parallel of the Kosovo episode, especially with Russian troops occupying the peninsula as it calls a March 16 referendum to dissolve ties with Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Though the United States intervened militarily in Kosovo, it did not do so to take the territory for itself. But the current case underscores once again that for all of the articulation of grand principles, the acceptability of regions breaking away often depends on the circumstances.Consider the different American views of recent bids for independence.Chechnya? No.East Timor? Yes.Abkhazia? No.South Sudan? Yes.Palestine? It’s complicated.
It is an acutely delicate subject in the West, where Britain wants to keep Scotland and Spain wants to keep Catalonia.
And the USA murdered hundreds of thousands in order to forcibly “keep the Union together” and deny the sovereign Southern States their right to self-determination. This has not escaped the attention of the world’s second-rate powers, some of whom have indicated support for the Russian position:
Indian officials have told Telegraph India that, in the
newspaper’s words, Delhi is “convinced that the West’s tacit support for
a series of attempted coups against democratically elected governments —
in Egypt, Thailand and now Ukraine — has only weakened democratic roots
in these countries.”
This is the cost of sacrificing principles for pragmatism. You don’t get to claim the moral high ground anymore and no one is going to view you as the good guy. Russia is acting perfectly within its rights: it has permission to station as many as 25,000 troops in the Crimea. Not only that, but its actions are far more in accord with legitimate democratic rule than those of the anti-democratic USA and EU, who are complicit in overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected government as well as installing an unelected prime minister in Italy.
This comment from Zerohedge may explain the real reason for the drama in the Ukraine:
According to the staff of the “Borispol” airport in Ukraine, four large armed trucks and two cargo minivan Volkswagen without license plates arrived to the airport and parked near a transport aircraft at the end of one of runways. About fifteen people in black uniform, wearing masks and bullet-proof vests came out of these vans. Some of them were armed with assault rifles. These people have moved more than 40 heavy boxes from the trucks into the aircraft…. Later, one of the senior officials of the former Ministry of Revenue and Taxes reported that, according to his information, last night, at the order of one of the “new Ukrainian leaders” the entire gold reserve of Ukraine has been sent to in the United States.
If true, that seizure should permit the Federal Reserve to stave off the collapse of the markets for a little while longer. A lot of the recent international activity looks disturbingly like pre-positioning for economic collapse.