Editorial, Opinion

EDIT: Stay on your side

Over the weekend, Ukraine mobilized its military reserves, Russia tightened its grip on Crimea, Obama expresses a “deep concern” over the situation and Secretary of State John Kerry announced he would travel to Kiev to reaffirm the United State’s support for the Ukraine.

Without firing a shot, Russian toops took the entire Crimean Peninsula, which the Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has regarded as a “declaration of war.”

By invading Crimea, Russia violated a treaty it signed with the Ukraine, which guaranteed the sovereignty of its borders in return for its nuclear weapons.

Although Russia now has Crimea, Putin did not consider that only 60 percent of the peninsula is Russia — ensuring that parts of the region will be hostile to the Russian take over.

To the average American, the current mess regarding Russia and Ukraine just seems like another cluster of irrational events happening somewhere way out of our reach.

And, well, they are right.

America has, once again, puffed out its chest and is sticking its nose into the problems of other countries. U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Putin over the phone on Saturday and warned that Russia’s “continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.”

And on Sunday, Kerry warned Russia of possible sanctions by the West that would “isolate Russia economically,” as well as possible visa bans.

Yes, Russia is wrong. And yes, Russia has really impeded on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. But, even for those not well versed in international affairs, it is not hard to realize that America’s intervention in this issue is a terrible idea.

There are a lot of economic and social factors that go into how America should react in this situation. Since Russia violated all sorts of laws and norms, the expected reaction from Washington would be a clear and forceful response.

As Fareed Zakaria said in an opinion piece, “If Russia could detach parts of neighboring countries with impunity, won’t other great powers like China decide that they too can act in such ways?”

The pictures and videos of the struggle on the streets of Kiev are hard for anyone to look at. But that still does not make it America’s problem. No one wants to see any more pain and human toil, but if America gets involved in this situation we will be doing more harm than good to ourselves.

So, America, step back and stay on your side.


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