So now that Russia is sending its troops into the Crimean region of Ukraine, it is time for the US to once again conveniently forget the past and its own actions and discover international law and express outrage at the very idea of a big power sending its forces into another country. And the western media will follow its lead and the public will be none the wiser, except for those who do not suffer from long-term political memory loss syndrome, a serious affliction that is endemic among the western government and media elite.
John Kerry is first out of the block, telling CBS News’ Face the Nation that “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text” and following that with “It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning willful choice by President Putin to invade another country.”
It should be noted that Kerry voted for the Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) resolution in 2002 that enabled George W. Bush to claim justification for the US to invade Iraq, similar to the authorization that the Russian legislature just gave Russian president Putin. As the Guardian reporter says of Kerry’s newfound sensitivity to 21st century norms, “Whatever the rights and wrongs of the current situation that is a statement likely to be flung back at him given what happened in Iraq.”
And of course, no foreign policy hypocrisy would be complete without senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain grandstanding. Graham, who is always happy to have the US invade other countries, especially Arab ones, now inveighs against a country trying to impose its will on another. And McCain says that the world should hold Russia “responsible for these acts of aggression”. All that remains is for former senator Joe Lieberman to be taken out of mothballs to join his two buddies and give his usual sanctimonious and unctuous soporifics.
The posturing is all so predictable.
Kevin Drum gives his predictions on how the Ukraine situation will play out and it sounds reasonable to me.