Crimean secessionist vote was a fait accompli, an anti-climax
Just as I was leaving Friday morning for a radio hobbyists' winter conference, the SWL Winterfest, a member of the WDEL/WSTW sales department telephoned me at home; he wanted my prediction about Sunday's Crimean vote, and in turn, whether the Ukrainian crisis would continue (with the corresponding negative winds on Wall Street, his real motivation for asking).
This was an easy outcome to predict. Sunday's Crimean vote would be overwhelmingly for secession and reunion with the Russian Federation. The vote would not be close for three reasons: The demographic make-up of the Crimea with a Russian-speaking majority; the presence of Russian troops, psychologically disuading dissenters; the decision by some ethnic Ukrainians and Tatars to boycott the referendum anyway.
Now, what will follow? Doubtless, growing mutual antagonism between Russian and the West. What becomes a genuine crisis is whether the Russians pursue similar tactics in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arguably made her "break" from the Administration she once served. (Ironic that one of the architects of the famous "re-set" to Russia - after the Russians occupied chunks of Georgian territory - does such an about-face!)
Meanwhile, the "contrarian" global observer, Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar, writes a scathing analysis about the Ukrainian crisis.
Escobar argues Ukraine could end up "Finlandized".
"And yet, Western hysteria, of course, will persist unabated. In the U.S., where it matters, the meme of the subsequent days will be inevitably, who lost Syria and who lost Ukraine?
Here's the record. Dubya launched two wars. He (miserably) lost both.
Obama attempted to launch two wars (Syria and Ukraine). He - lucky for him - lost both even at the 'attempt' stage. Assorted neo-cons and the whole exceptionalist brigade are predictably livid. Expect the editorial page of The WALL STREET JOURNAL to go ballistic. And expect U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha 'R2P' Power to wish she were Sinead O'Connor singing 'Nothing Compares to You'..."
Do I sense a cynical world view? Lol. Probably the closest thing we have to truth these days..
Fur a further dose of reality, there is the remarkable case of where Russia's and the U.S. roles were reversed. Kosovo. We recognized, and through NATO's presence, made Kosovo independent through similar tactics the Russians used in Crimea. Serbia still does not recognize the secession of Kosovo and considers it a U.N.-governed entity within its sovereign territory, a position supported by a number of other countries, including Russia, which has U.N. veto power so Kosovo has not even yet applied to the U.N. for official status.
Since the similarity of both is obvious, it looks bad on Obama. Either Kosovo was wrong, (it wasn't) or Crimea is right (it is).
Again, the stigma of the immorality exhibited by the U.S. during the Bush administration is coming to roost... Today the U.S. has only one fall-back excuse, which is... "Uhh...Do as we say; not as we do."
That is weak in itself. At best the real losers domestically here in the U.S. are the Republicans such as Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and John McCain, and Dick Cheney, the Tea Baggers, and that ignorant section of our population that continues to vote for them. The idea that the U.S. should wade into every conflict and start throwing bombs around, speaks volumes more about the personal psychological insecurity of McCain and his Conservative followers, than it does about world peace.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 2:41pm
I think the biggest loser domestically is Hillary "Reset" Clinton...though I do agree with kavips that McCain and Lindsey Graham are amongst the big losers.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 2:50pm
I agree to parallels between Kosovo and Crimea... The United States and Russia have essentially switched position on secession.
However, I think you miss one fundamental difference between the two cases: Systematic ethnic cleansing, disproportionately by the Serbs and some by the Croatians. Muslims were truly the victims in this case.
Ukraine - including The Crimea - has not seen such ethnic cleansing, although the Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev stupidly and stubbornly abrogated minority language status (which has even earned rebukes from governments more allied with Kiev than Moscow, such as the Romanians.)
As far as the United States preaching the rule of international law, etc., I'd say the Bush Administration's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the Obama Administration's drone war(s) pose more problems for philosophical moral consistency than the Clinton Administration's intervention in the former Yugoslavia.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 5:46pm
After hearing Traffic & Weather Together on WDEL in my drive home, I scanned the dial & stopped at the Sean Hannity Show (not a big fan); what made me stop was he was interviewing Pat Buchanan.
Hannity got his clock cleaned by Buchanan, real conservative, not a Neo-con like Hannity.
They discussed this entire situation & Hannity is foaming at the mouth over Putin, and Crimea voting to go back to Russia.
Pat patiently explained that Europe doesn't seem to be upset over this, so why should we be upset? Buchanan said let the other former Soviet territories vote; if they want to go back to Russia if they want, it's their choice. We don't need to get into a conflict over this, etc., etc.
I say right on Pat.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 6:30pm
Mike, Pat has always been an isolationist. Even back in '92. That really is nothing new, and since Hannity has no ground on which to stand, it is not surprising he got cleaned by Pat on this one.
Meanwhile, this is ironic... there was a non-binding referendum in Venice on Veneto, the region surrounding Venice, to break away from Italy and form its own nation.
There was very little press, and I only stumbled across it by accident. Estimated that 2/3 want to succeed from Rome. Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, the Venice region, rejected suggestions that the Italian constitution would prevent secession.
International law, he told Il Quotidiano, allowed "the right to self-determination".
Against that you have the Obama administration saying this: “Crimea is part of Ukraine. Crimea is Ukraine.
And we support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the government of Ukraine needs to be involved in any kind of decision with respect to any part of Ukraine. Any referendum on Ukraine is going to have to be absolutely consistent with Ukrainian law.”
Where would the U.S.A. be now, if this was standard protocol in 1776?
This administration has literally jumped the shark.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 6:39pm
Since I didn't know anything about the above, here is a source of all the secessionist movements in Europe right now... it is not a small phenomenon.
But it was the only one slightly connected to an occupying foreign military so far.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 6:56pm
This whole fiasco is rigged, just like elections in Belarus.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 11:12pm
Tell us more about the elections in Belarus. Btw, I saw that Russia sent Sukhoi's to Belarus to match the US planes sent to Poland. Not much really, but it was portrayed by RT as Belarus asking the Russians for help.
Tue, Mar 18, 2014 1:44am
Kavips: Not much to tell. Lukashenko has kept himself in office for 20 years simply by changing laws and the Belarus constitution by calling referenda and then rigging the results as needed. Also, he keeps the population under his thumb by keeping them in fear that if anybody but him gets elected, they'll lose their pensions or their jobs.
Of course, many political dissidents have strangely disappeared over the years, and the ones who haven't, have done extensive prison time.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 18, 2014 10:31am
Kavips: Thanks for the links. Here is one that explains some of the issues for Scotland, that in 6 months, is having a vote for/against independence from the U.K. A major piece of this has to do with tax money from North Seas Oil, that apparently Scotland wants.
It seems to be a trend, smaller areas wanting to break away from the larger nation, or even states in the U.S. [Colorado and Texas are examples]. Red State vs. Blue State: They have very different views and values and seem to be growing further and further apart. We are becoming a nation very divided.
I could easily see the South once again wanting to break away as that one area is a very RED-state region. I realize the U.S. government wouldn't stand by and allow it, but that doesn't mean there aren't movements in those areas wanting to do just that.
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