James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meddlin' and the Ukraine

On a social network, I encountered this:

I have no reason to believe this video is not authentic, no reason to doubt her sincerity. But I wondered, how is this different from almost any other country in the world? Why are Ukrainian protesters uniquely deserving of outside support?

A comment on the Facebook post blamed Obama, likening it to doing nothing during Iran's Green Revolution of 2009. Obama has supposedly enabled America's enemies and undermined allies.

I replied, "Yes! Because U.S. meddling overseas has been SO successful in bringing out freedom and democracy!"

It was a sarcastic generalization. The response from the same commenter replied in kind, dropping my world "meddling" for "meddlin'" and sarcastically "agreeing" with something I didn't say, that all "meddlin" is the same, whether it means giving an opinion or dropping a bomb.

I replied, "What does this woman want us or our governments to do, exactly?"

The response, was a "don't know," followed by the suggestion that I must think we must watch in silence or we'd be "meddlin.'

I left it at that. No use arguing with this guy.

As events have unfolded, preliminary observation suggests there was little point in "meddlin" in any case; the immediate crisis has been resolved, and offers of amnesty suggest the Ukrainian State may be a little less barbaric than several others.  

But I still wonder:
  • Why are these people so deserving of our support, when countless other across the world are even worse off and more oppressed?
  • What is the security interest of the United States to get involved? Why should we waste diplomatic resources taking a position on whether Ukraine tilts toward Russia, as the government has, or towards the EU, as the protesters want? Why can't the parties involved work it out, without our help?
  • What can the U.S. government do, diplomatically, economically (or militarily?) other than squander its NSA-soiled credibility to further alienate one or both sides?   
The American public may root or pray for the protestors if they wish, but there was no reason whatsoever for the U.S. government to get involved.

Why isn't that clear to anyone? I can think of three reasons.
  1. This was just another reason to trash Obama, even though even his critics don't know what he could have or should have done. (I'm no fan of Obama, but showing even a little bit of restraint in foreign policy should be to his credit.)  
  2. The hawkish fringe are determined to re-start a Cold War with Russia. According to them, if a country's GDP is North Korea's or bigger, and it has a foreign policy that diverges from the U.S., that country's a mortal threat. 
  3. Perhaps its just easier for White America to empathize more when whites are persecuted. Add to that, there's a reason it's an attractive young woman in the video rather than, say, a middle-aged man.  
 Even if the crisis continues, I still see no reason for the United States to be "meddlin'" in the Ukraine.

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