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by Marc Jampole Anybody want to go to war over Crimea? Anyone want to see American soldiers die? Anyone want to see Ukrainian soil soaked with the blood of innocents? Anyone want to see the unspeakable tragedies of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria repeated? Anyone want to risk a nuclear conflagration? And for what? To keep Ukrainian ownership of Crimea, a predominantly Russian-speaking peninsula which was part of Russia for centuries and whose ties to Russia go back even further? To keep Crimea part of an oligarch-dominated kleptocracy masquerading as a democracy with a political culture as corrupt as Russia’s? What is the difference between what is happening in Crimea and what happened in Ossetia and Abkhazia, which we let Russia take from Georgia during the Bush II Administration? Why go to war today when we didn’t go to war back then? Once we have made the decision not to go to war, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Dick Cheney, The Wall Street Journal and others criticizing Obama’s actions in the Ukraine crisis don’t have a leg to stand on. None of these critics have actually used the “w” word, not even in its many euphemisms, which leads me to believe that Republican criticism is all about getting elected and not about meeting a particularly knotty global challenge. The critics of how Obama is handling the Ukraine crisis make two arguments:
- Russia would not have acted so aggressively if Obama didn’t have such a wimpy foreign policy, as demonstrated by our backing down on sending a military presence to Syria
- We should do be doing more right now in the way of economic sanctions of Russia