In Crimea, does the U.S. have the moral high ground?

If some of the statements from the United States in the wake of the Russian takeover of Crimea sound familiar, we need only go back to Russian statements in the aftermath of the U.S. attack on Iraq years ago.

Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” amounts to “a stunning willful choice” by Putin to invade another country on a “trumped-up pretext,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday.

“The U.S. doesn’t practice what it preaches,” Scientific American’s John Horgan asserts. And that is the problem. There’s already not a lot the U.S. can do to punish Russia — just ignore those people who want missiles to rain down on Moscow in retalition, they weren’t around for the Cold War.

The U.S. has occupied Afghanistan for more than a dozen years now and only recently withdrew from Iraq. The U.S. carries out drone strikes against alleged enemies in Pakistan and Yemen in spite of the condemnation of the United Nations and other groups. The U.S. enthusiasm for drones has inspired many other nations to pursue the technology. The U.S. denounces attacks on civilians by governments like Syria and terrorist groups like Al Qaeda but makes excuses for thousands of civilian deaths caused by its own military operations.

The U.S. has by far the biggest military in the world, in terms of spending. Our budget, in spite of recent trims, is still almost as big as the budgets of all other nations combined. U.S. “defense” outlays are roughly five times those of China, the world’s second biggest military power. The U.S. is also by far the planet’s biggest arms dealer, accounting for 58 percent of global sales, according to SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Nice theory. It’s like we’ve gone back to the ’60s.

Related war: A kid who never knew his dad, finds $20, and gives it to a soldier.

  • herbdavis

    Hypocrisy is a national value and permeates most institutions and now some leftie from MA is here to point that out. I hope you enjoy trying to awaken the frozen values of Minnesotans. Fat chance! 🙂

  • MrE85

    High ground? Perhaps not. That doesn’t mean we can’t speak up, and slap the Russian Bear someplace it will feel the sting.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Post-Iraq, it’s hard to say we have room to talk. The invasion of Crimea is a foreboding tale. Take a country that cannot function legislatively and combine that with the fact that it’s so broke it can barely defend its borders and here’s what you have. Easy pickens. Sound familiar? It’s comparable to a family that cannot get along, mind its fiscal books, then finds itself getting its home forclosed upon. The home eventually goes to someone who can maintain the place. In that sense, soverign borders are only really soverign when a country exhibits behaviors of a nation that’s financially solvent and functional. Why should parcels of this beautiful earth be allowed to go fallow based on a silly notion of soverignty without merit. Soverignty is earned, including the sovereignty of the US. Why should it be otherwise?