Some truth about Crimea and its “seizure”

From David Swanson:

The single biggest threat to the peace on earth that was established in 1928 turns out to have been, according to Hathaway and Shapiro [in their book The Internationalists], the 2014 vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia — an action that of course involved zero casualties and has never been repeated because poll after poll shows the people happy with their vote.

The authors produce no written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 3 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result.

Of course one of the many U.S.-backed coups unnoticed by this book had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea was voting to secede from a coup government. The United States had supported the secession of Kosovo from Serbia in the 1990s despite Serbian opposition. When Slovakia seceded from Czechoslovakia, the U.S. did not urge any opposition. The U.S. (and Hathaway and Shapiro) support the right of South Sudan to have seceded from Sudan, although violence and chaos reigned. U.S. politicians like Joe Biden and Jane Harman even proposed breaking Iraq up into pieces, as others have proposed for Syria.

But let’s grant for the sake of argument that the Crimean vote was problematic, even horrendous, even criminal. Its depiction in this book as the single biggest threat to peace on earth would still be ludicrous. Compare it to a trillion dollars a year in U.S. military spending, new missiles in Romania and Poland, massive bombing of Iraq and Syria, the destruction of Iraq and Libya, the endless war on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S.-Saudi devastation of Yemen and the creation of famine and disease epidemics, or the explicit threats to attack Iran. I’m sure your average American would rather visit “liberated Mosul” than “annexed Crimea,” but should we deal with facts or slogans?

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