Crimea’s population is majority Russian (58%), but it has a significant Muslim Tatar population (12%) and 24% Ukrainian. The Russian natives of Crimea have been organizing militias in Crimea, according to this article. They may be homegrown, not sent in by Russia and therefore not Putin’s thugs, but these militias have intimidated Ukrainians and Tatars, we are told. Tatars fear for their future.
In view of the Russian majority, the referendum would probably go the same way, even if no militias formed. This is not going to be a “clean” vote. Still, the West can’t dismiss it out of hand, as it has. The U.S. cannot blame a Putin invasion for what has happened and is happening in Crimea.
The U.S. cannot do any good for the Crimeans of any nationality by seeking to isolate Russia because it’s the overthrow of the Kiev government followed by an immediate attempt to outlaw the Russian language that has stimulated the native Russians in Crimea. It is not Putin’s direct doing.
The U.S. places its own expansionary and hegemonic interests first and foremost. That is why it is focusing on Putin and pressuring him when the more important considerations that are relevant to the people in Crimea revolve around the politics within Crimea and their relations with the usurpers in Kiev.
The U.S., if it were genuinely interested in peace and democracy, would not immediately have blessed the usurpers in Kiev and be shunting aside a Crimean referendum, clean or not. Instead, it would have sought to legitimize a referendum and create a clean vote in which voters would not be intimidated and afraid to vote. If it truly believed in democracy, it would have offered to help form a team consisting of various nationalities to oversee a peaceful voting process, before, during and after. Furthermore, the U.S. would have led the way in staying neutral concerning the Kiev government and found a way to introduce discussion and dialog as between a broad range of Ukrainians and Crimeans.
Obviously, the U.S. could not have behaved in any of these ways because it was creating the revolution that is now the source of the unanticipated Crimea problem. The Crimean majority wants an association with Russia, it appears, not with extreme right-wing thugs in Kiev. Instead of any of this, the U.S. was busy deciding who should be installed after the coup d’etat was over, and it was busy beforehand stoking this revolution and supporting mass shootings of innocent protesters.
The U.S. has tried to maintain the status quo ante of Crimea with respect to Ukraine, but the political upheavals have altered that situation sharply.
Washington has painted itself into a corner over Crimea. Its only way out now is through diplomacy. War over Crimea is an impossibility. Sanctions against Russia will not compel her to knuckle under. They will prove counter-productive as Russia finds ways to retaliate.
At this point, it’s going to take creative diplomacy to find a way for the 4 parties involved (Crimea, Kiev, Russia and the U.S.) to resolve this matter and stop playing a very large negative sum game.
The rhetoric about isolating a large country and power like Russia is utter nonsense. It’s quite stupid. The notion that Russia has engaged in some sort of mass invasion and must be punished is nonsense as well. The idea that Russia has engaged in aggression is tripe. The idea that the U.S. is the global leader who must police this imagined aggression is rubbish. Americans have heard this before and been there, done that. All these ideas circulating in Washington and the country’s press and big media are delusions. The people saying these things are divorced from reality, living in a world of their mythical imaginings.
Crimea, after all, has been linked with Russia for centuries. The Ukraine also has been close to and part of the Russian system. That entire region has seen many upheavals and many kinds of people running it. Even the nearby Poles at times waited for the Russians to push the Germans out.
Americans are simply out of it when it comes to this region. This is Russia’s orbit. Must the U.S. empire mindlessly push on until it produces an utter catastrophe?7:06 pm on March 10, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff