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U.S. Puts The “Crime” In Crimea

Would the United States let Russia tell us where our border with Mexico should lie?  Will we ever learn to just mind our own business?  Is it little wonder that the United States presently is just about the least popular country on earth?

The government of Viktor Yanukovych was chosen to lead Ukraine in an election that was internationally accepted.  That government freely chose to enter into a trade agreement with Russia that included a very generous aid package, much more generous than the European Union was willing to give.  The coup that ensued, almost certainly clandestinely aided by the U.S. government, installed a government that, by international standards, should have no legitimacy.  The United States would certainly never allow a neighboring country with a friendly, democratically elected government to be overthrown in a coup by forces hostile to the U.S.

But, unlike what the United States would almost certainly do, Russia has not tried to take over all of Ukraine.  It simply has annexed a small part of Ukraine that was never really legitimately part of the Ukraine and is of tremendous strategic and historical importance to Russia.  And despite the event being characterized as “brutal” by Robert Menendez, it was done without having to fire a single shot and to the cheers of the great majority of Crimeans.

Crimea was part of Russia from the time of Catherine the Great until Nikita Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian, turned it over to the Ukraine in 1954.  He was reportedly drunk at the time.  There was no vote, no democracy, no self-determination.

But these days we’re supposed to respect the right of self determination.  And just this week 96% of Crimeans voted to undo that historic wrong and re-join their mother country.  You know, we bombed Serbia for weeks until they let the Kosovars secede.  But we want to force the Crimeans to live in a country they don’t wish to be a part of.  This is, in my opinion, hypocrisy of the highest order.

Another factor of crucial importance to the Russians is that Crimea has Russia’s only warm water naval base.  Would we stand by while the Russians instigated a coup that would possibly keep the U.S. Navy bottled up for six months out the year?  Do we have no ability to see the situation from the Russian perspective at all?  Why do we need to fight with them?  Crimea is of no strategic importance to the United States unless our goal is to harm Russia.  We shouldn’t be looking to harm anybody who hasn’t harmed us.

When the Soviet government collapsed in 1991 we should have just dissolved NATO and ended the Cold War.  But instead, despite the fact that Russia was no longer a threat to us, we pushed NATO right up to her borders.  Not satisfied with collecting all the former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO, we are now recruiting actual former Soviet Republics such as Ukraine and Georgia.  What has Russia done that justifies this hostile encirclement?  Why can’t we just stop treating countries and people like they were squares on a chess board?  This has absolutely nothing to do with allowing us to have peaceful, free and productive lives.  There is some other agenda at work here.

Anyway, the sanctions will backfire.  A country with an economy as fragile as ours can not effectively impose sanctions on a powerful country of 150 million people, particularly when Russia’s neighbors, the Chinese, have the good sense to ignore those sanctions.  Russia is not leaving Crimea no matter what we do about it.  The sooner we get used to it the better off the world will be.

Actually the sanctions tit-for-tat has provided an unexpected benefit to the Russian people.  It has given them the excuse to ban from entering their country Harry Reid, John Boehner, John McCain, Robert Menendez and Mary Landrieu.  Just that alone probably makes it all worth it for them.


  1. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    History is repeating itself. We are talking about Russia now. As a former World History and A.P. European History teacher, and someone who visted Russia when it was still the USSR,what is too clear is what Putin and his ex-KGB cronies are up to. It will not bode well for the entire Ukraine and most of the former Soviet conquered territories.
    You asked” What has Russia done that justifies ( post WWII ) hostile encirclement. Well;
    1.The winters of 1932-33, Stalin and his people systematically starbved to death
    7 million Ukanians. The U.s. and the West boudht the food from Russia even with the horrific phots and news coverage.
    2.Stalin and the Russians joined forces
    with Hitler and dived up counties.
    3. It was the Russians to were responsible for the first genocides and ethnic cleansing beginning with the Ukraine. The S.S. learned from the.
    3.By 1932 to the 1950’s, Russia had murdered over 12 million of its own people.
    After the collapse of Germany following WWI it was easy for Hitler to advance and mobilize the German people. Currently the Russians under Putin and state propaganda are being taught once more to hate outsiders and the West. Russia will rise again.
    This one instance-requires military action OR history will repeat itself. It is the only solution. We and other nations must go in and protect Kiev, Odessa and other key cities. PERIOD.

    Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    Ted, I’m sorry. It’s not our business where the border between Russia and Ukraine should lie. And besides, we’re broke. Who are we going to borrow from to fund a row with Russia? The Russians? By pretending that we can actually do something about it only sets us up to be humiliated.

    There was a lot of goodwill in Russia towards the United States after the fall of communism. Support for the U.S. in Russia in 1991 was around 80%. But we squandered it by continuing to treat them as an enemy. We didn’t even do that to Germany or Japan. I’m not talking about post-WW2. I’m talking about post-1991.

    And I believe Putin is no more responsible for what Stalin did than Merkel is for what Hitler did.

    Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  3. joegoofinoff wrote:

    I can see the salesmen from Ratheon Corp. running around Moscow and Kiev trying to drum up orders for their products. After all, what’s war all about anyway? Contracts and moving inventory, right?


    Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  4. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    I’m rootin’ for Putin…….
    American astronauts aboard the International Space Station are dependent on Russian space vehicles for safe return….

    Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
  5. Mark Fitz wrote:

    It’s your blog, so post whatever you will, but this under the “Common Sense for Belmar” label? Talk about false advertising! You are 100% entitled to your opinion, are not forcing anyone to visit your site, but to have people come to your site for local matters and see this topic is astonishing. Your work on posting the council meeting video is appreciated however and mostly why I visit….

    Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  6. admin wrote:

    Hi Mark

    Of course the emphasis has always been on Belmar and I think I sometimes provide information about local matters that is not available anywhere else, but obviously it’s not exclusively about Belmar and never has been. For example, I spent a lot of ink on Ron Paul in 2012.

    I haven’t written that much about national affairs lately, but I see us being stampeded into a war with Russia that could be catastrophic for the entire world. And war with Russia would effect Belmar more than anything Matt Doherty or Jim Bean does.

    Anyway, with the Council meeting cancelled last week there wasn’t any local stuff I felt like writing about and I thought I would share some info about events in Ukraine that CNN and Fox News don’t seem to think is relevant.

    Thanks for reading, I hope I’m not chasing you away with this stuff. I’m sure there will be some Belmar stuff breaking soon.


    Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  7. Mark Fitz wrote:

    I think a problem many people have is listening to only one channel for their news feed and not seeing any other points of view. That said, your post almost comes across as pro-Russia and anti-America. To suggest that the 96% approval was the result of a fair democratic election process makes you seem out of touch with what is really going on over there…..96% and you buy and repeat that as justification??? Unfortunately it causes other points where you may be right to lose much credibility…just sayin….

    Monday, March 24, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  8. admin wrote:

    I would like to see this settled by negotiation and democracy. Maybe if they agreed to have a more closely monitored election the Crimea matter could be put to rest. The real problem is we want Ukraine in NATO and we want to put missiles there. I can’t see how the Russians could ever accept that.

    Anyway I appreciate the feedback and appreciate that even if we disagree that at least you’re paying attention to this stuff.

    Monday, March 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
  9. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    That’s all I really wanted, basically to really think about this situation. You were too easy to say” we are broke”. There is a great deal on the line here. The fact is that Russia is not in any better shape. Despite this fact and consistant with history, its leader will push for more territory, more power,
    no matter the economic effects on the every day Russian. This imperial perogative of Russian leadership has done this consistently for a century. History is repeating itself. Since we are broke, the most COST-EFFECTIVE response is to call them on it now and not wait till they gobble up more and then say-Oh, but we are broke. Let us look at Putin’s allies like China, Iran, Syria, Egypt and so on. Can you seriously say they have NO THREAT TO THE U.S. and are content to let the “West” live in peace? I am so worried that so many well-meaning Americans believe that after all is said and done via the past record of all counties, that we will be left alone. Even former Fed head Paulson finally revealed last week in UK that in 2009
    Russia approached China to work together to collapse the U.S. Dollar.Something that George Soros has been engineering for years. I travel and to the places most Americans don’t understand or pay attention to. This Ostrich chooses to keep his head out of the sand. Say what you like.

    Monday, March 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

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