I have not been following the Ukraine story in great detail. But I have been struck once again by how the US media covers these situations. In the immediate aftermath, it immediately clicks its heels, salutes the flag, and regurgitates the official government line without seemingly any critical examination.
For example, it seems to be simply assumed that the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government was a perfectly justifiable action and that the new unelected government that took its place is legitimate and represents the ‘will of the people’. We are assured that this attitude has nothing to do with the fact that the overthrown government was more friendly towards Russia and the present one is more friendly to the west.
Meanwhile, the peaceful referendum that took place in Crimea that voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine was denounced as illegitimate and phony without it being explained why this was any less the ‘will of the people’ than what happened in Kiev.
The almost unanimous vote by the Russian parliament to accept Crimea into the Russian federation is being portrayed as if it were a forcible annexation and the first stage of a wildly irrational president Putin’s ambition to first reconstitute the Soviet Union prior to taking over all of Europe and perhaps the whole world. The whole situation is being presented as a major world crisis and that Russia must be stopped somehow, but there is a notable shortage of specifics.
As usual, the world is lectured to by US officials who, without any hint of irony, go on about how awful it is when one country violates the sovereignty of another. Long forgotten is how the US and NATO enabled the separation of Kosovo with a massive bombing campaign. And all today’s rhetoric will be conveniently forgotten if Scotland votes to secede from the UK or Catalan does the same with Spain.
I must say that Kevin Drum showed himself to be quite prescient about how all this would play out.