Sarah Palin: “I Can See Kiev From My House”
I wasn't planning to write a post about Russia/Ukraine/Crimea; at least not any time soon. There are too many sides to this, too much going on, for most Americans (most Westerners for that matter) to have an informed opinion.
In other words, it's the perfect time for America's mouthbreathing chickenhawks to come storming in and slander President Obama because _____________________ (he didn't send U.S. troops into Crimea, he's indecisive, he took a vacation last Christmas, you name it).
Take Sarah Palin: “Back in 2008, I accurately predicted the possibility of Putin feeling emboldened to invade Ukraine because I could see what kind of leader Barack Obama would be. The bullies of the world are always emboldened by indecision and moral equivalence. We can expect more of this sort of thing in a world where America is gutting its military and 'leading from behind.'”
Oh shut up Asshole. Ditto for all the other keyboard warriors, including Mitt Romney, who spent the 2012 election blubbering that the Soviet Union was America's biggest threat. Not that the Soviet Union has even existed for the past twenty-three years...
The general consensus (excluding the mouth-foamingest chickenhawks) is that military action against Putin is not an option, and that international condemnation and economic sanctions probably won't have much effect.
Besides this thankless position, the situation is a lot more complicated than good and bad, black and white. Ukrainians are sharply divided in their loyalties. Basically the eastern half of the country wants to maintain close ties to Russia; the western half wants to strengthen ties with Western Europe. And the population of Crimea is mostly made up of ethnic Russians.
Putin's official reason for invading Crimea is to protect the Russians who live there. That was also Putin's reason for invading Georgia in 2008: Georgia has two provinces where the people are mostly Russian, and they were being attacked by the Georgian government.
Maybe these were Putin's real motives, or maybe not. For that matter, a lot of the former Soviet republics have a large ethnic Russian population. Is Putin planning to invade Moldova or Latvia in order to “protect” those countries' Russian populations?
I don't have any solutions or simple answers. And neither do the loudmouth chickenhawks for whom Ukraine is the new Benghazi.