This week US president Obama raised concerns about Russian involvement in Crimea. He said he is "deeply disturbed" by the Russian move and that "Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing." He made reference to "costs" facing Russia for its "military intervention" - adding to warnings coming from other quarters.
It's unsettling to listen as Obama piously evokes "sovereignty" and "territorial integrity" given the American hand in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The US is in a class of its own when it comes riding roughshod over other nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity... US dirty wars and extra-judicial murder-by-drone being a case in point. America is running special ops wars in 134 countries. If you think that's a stretch check out this article on Common Dreams that orginally appeared on TomDispatch.com.
The writer notes:
Since September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, from their numbers to their budget. Most telling, however, has been the exponential rise in special ops deployments globally. This presence -- now, in nearly 70% of the world’s nations -- provides new evidence of the size and scope of a secret war being waged from Latin America to the backlands of Afghanistan, from training missions with African allies to information operations launched in cyberspace.
In a more just world, if any country should be standing trial in an international court for the destabilization of nations, the fomenting of wars, illegal invasions and the use of its military power at the expense of civilians it is the United States of America. US meddling in the Ukraine is just part of the larger picture that has seen America accord to itself not just the role of the global so-called policeman, but instigator and architect when it comes to extending its sphere of influence. None of the holier-than-thou sentiments about 'territorial integrity' and 'destabilization' apply when it is the US looking after its interests - only in the case of others.
In Ukraine it has been a familiar story with billions of dollars in American "aid" since the 1990's with a view to establishing the political conditions for pro-Western regime change. The recent propaganda outings of US politicians in Ukraine speaks to the underlying intent. For example John McCain's blatant sabre rattling and willingness to consort with the likes of Svoboda's Oleh Tyahnybok. There was also undersecretary of state Victoria Nuland's mother-of-mercy mission on the Maidan... handing out bread and cookies between venting her frustrations at the slow pace of developments, notably her "fuck the EU" phone comment that was recorded.
Crimea is an autonomous republic within the Ukraine. The majority of the population is of Russian background with some 77% claiming Russian as their native language. Given Russia's longstanding relationship with the territory it isn't surprising that there has been a move to defend Russian interests. Most civilians in Crimea who have volunteered their opinion on news related video are supportive of the Russian military presence, some even clearly delighted that there is security to protect them from what they describe as "fascists" and "bandits."
The Russian upper house of parliament granted president Putin the authority to use military force. The Crimea development isn't surprising. Let's face it, Putin had to do something or risk looking weak. How far Russia is prepared to go in confronting this challenge is open to question... tricky when you are more-or-less a member of the club with the upcoming G8 summit to be held in Sochi.