The fact that the citizens of Crimea themselves want to break away from Ukraine certainly complicates things.
There is a potential for Civil War.
These questions of whether areas should be able to break away from a country and join another country or create a new country are always particularly sticky. On the one hand, you think the democratic process should decide. After all that’s what happened in Ukrainians recently. The U.S. is a particularly difficult position regarding this, because you know what the union’s stance was about this during the U.S. own civil war.
Obviously what Russia did was illegal. But if the people of Crimea themselves do not object, isn’t it hard to get worked up and feel the US should be involved?
This article is a good one, and worth the read. It talks about the legality of what is happening.
I think what is “legal” in the cases of revolutions is pretty much ad hoc and just depends on your own political interests.
I do think Obama’s foreign policy vagueness and lack of real resolution has probably weakened the U.S. position in a quickly changing world.
This statement particularly struck me:
“We are not just considering … it is likely we will put [sanctions] in place” without some sign of Russian retreat, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “We are preparing options and we are likely moving down that path.”
More vagueness. RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. You are “likely to put sanctions in place without signs of a Russian retreat”? What about sanctions for what Russia already did?
Of course U.S. allies aren’t being helpful either. Germany and Italy and Spain are opposed to kicking Russia out of the G-8.
And the UK has an addendum (they tried to hide) to financial sanctions which would exempt the City of London! That’s ridiculous!
It shows Russia’s ultimate strength here. They have oil and resources needed by regional countries. And great economic strength now too.
This could be the tipping point where the U.S. starts its retreat as a world power. On the one hand, maybe that’s good? Still, I would feel uneasy living in a world where all the rules are written by China and Russia.
The full article I quoted from is here.
Here is a scary statistic on wage inequality in the United States. I think even the well-off should be concerned about this, because all the “nice stuff” everybody likes to own won’t get made without a thriving middle class to also buy them.
Q. The average household in the ‘top 1 percent’ by income out-earned a typical ‘bottom 90 percent’ household by how much in 2012?
A. 42 times as much, with income averaging $1.3 million.
For comparison, in 1938, when America first introduced a minimum wage, the income of the top 1 percent was 25 times larger than that of the average “bottom 90” percenter, according to data derived from tax returns by researchers including Emmanuel Saez.
It’s an interesting quiz to take:
ref: The Christian Science Monitor – http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2014/0122/Are-the-rich-getting-richer-Take-our-quiz-on-inequality-and-incomes/Top-incomes
This clip from NBC Nightly News is worth watching. Chilling. Moving. Memorable. And speeches which are about real things. Things of value, which don’t sound like platitudes.
Take a minute and view it.