West showing hypocrisy on Crimea (Letter in Toronto Star)

by 1389 on March 11, 2014

in 1389 (blog admin), Russia, Ukraine

This letter appeared in the Toronto Star on Monday, March 10, 2014:

West showing hypocrisy on Crimea

Regarding the Ukraine crisis, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said recently, “It is diplomacy and respect for sovereignty, not unilateral force, that can best solve disputes like this in the 21st century.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hypocrisy as “the behaviour of people who do things that they tell other people not to do.”

As it has become convenient to do so, the U.S. has elected to invoke “respect for international law” and “political sovereignty” to vilify Russia. WMDs were used as the rationale in the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The protection of American medical students was used as the excuse in the U.S. invasion of Grenada (in the 1980s). But, of course, protecting Russian language speakers could not possibly be a legitimate basis for Russia’s help to Crimea.

Hiding behind the U.S. shroud of virginity, Secretary Kerry is slow to characterize the “government” of Ukraine as democratic. The reality is the British (with the Foreign Secretary’s visit) and Americans have been very quick to offer high-level visits and legitimacy to a state that has recently experienced a coup d’etat at the hands of street “protestors.” President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, in alliance with the Ukraine Communist Party until recently, represented a majority in the Ukrainian parliament.

The same hypocrisy was seen prior to the current Crimean crisis when the West characterized the Independence Square protestors as “peaceful” at the same time [as the media images clearly showed] they carried baseball bats and threw Molotov (named after a former Soviet foreign minister) cocktails. Mao once said that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” He might have added petrol bombs and clubs.

The British and Americans are quick to label the deployment of self-defense forces in Crimea as a Russian invasion without considering that Russian is the primary language spoken in Crimea. Another inconvenient truth is that just because somebody speaks Russian in Crimea does not make them Russian soldiers or Russian “thugs.”

Ukraine has long been a powderkeg in which two disparate peoples and languages have existed. It should come as no surprise that foreign elements have entered the fray in order to further their geo-political goals.

Bruce Smith, Professor of Economics, Anne Arundel College, Arnold, Maryland

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