Western media/Obama hypocrisy on Ukraine

Isn’t it a bit hypocrital of the West to embrace the Maidan revolution on the one hand, while condemning the Crimean referendum on the other?

Obama said it (the referendum) illegal and unconstitutional, but what is legal or constitutional about what happened in Kiev?

This smacks of trying too hard to find hypocrisy where none exists. At least in principle, the U.S. is founded on the idea that people have the right to replace a government that fails to represent them with one of their own choosing. The contention is that the referendum in Crimea* doesn’t represent an actual Ukranian government supported by the people of that country, just the will of a small group of legislators favorable to Russia.

*Doesn’t “Referendum in Crimea” sound like a rejected Sherlock Holmes story?

Sounds more like John le Carré to me.

Whereas “The Crimea Referendum” might be a rejected Big Bang Theory fanscript.

Because there’s a big difference in international affairs between countries dealing with their own internal issues, and countries invading other countries to get them to do what they want. If Crimea had wanted to secede independently, without being invaded by Russia, the West would have had much less of a problem with it.

Sounds more like Ludlum to me.

The would be The Crimean Ultimatum.

As for the OP, what was illegal or unconstitutional about what happened in Kiev?

Crimea may very well want to leave Ukraine and join Russia, but there is no provision, AFAIK, that allow it do so unilaterally.

This is funny because the Big Bang Theory never rejects a script…

It would only be hypocritical if the West had sent in troops to ‘advise’ the Ukrainian’s and assist in the democratic overthrow, then hung out just to help them with their decision to become part of the EU. See the difference?

Well, in the West, taking up arms against the government is generally considered illegal. Maybe they have different laws in Ukraine. Maybe the law of Ukraine is, “if you don’t like the government, you get to overthrow it.”

On the other hand, if that is the law of Ukraine, surely it applies equally to Crimea as it does in Kiev.

Unless, of course, the law just says “protestors in Kiev get to do whatever they want, and the rest of the country just has to go along with it”.

But protesting is legal, and of course when government use excessive violence or kills its own citizens without a good reason that’s not really legal either, so…

Whoa, really? looks at the history of western countries What do you base that on? Did you know that the US was founded during a revolution that involved people taking up arms against the former government? I’m pretty sure I heard something about this happening a few times in France too, and Germany, and the UK and…well, um, I can’t think of any major nation this hasn’t happened in at one time or another, to greater or lesser degrees of effectiveness.

That seems to be a pretty universal law for humans. Whether it works or not is the only real sticking point.

It probably does, if they followed the process for secession. Doing so by fiat with Russian troops there to help (while surrounding the bases and blocking the ports of the mother country) out is really the sticking point here…and why the two situations aren’t exactly analogous.

What the Ukrainians did was fine. They didn’t feel they were being represented by the government and they took steps to topple it. Democracy in action.

What the Crimeans did was fine. They didn’t feel they were being represented by the government and they took steps to topple it. Democracy in action.

Ah but the Crimeans are Ukrainians comes the cry. Surely that’s up to them or would you really deny them the right to choose their own future?

Meanwhile the West makes high moral speeches about the sovereign rights of nation states. But who’s listening? Are they listening in Iraq? Are they listening in Afghanistan? Are they listening in Libya? (Actually it’s very unlikely anybody is listening in Libya which is rapidly sliding towards chaos, with Islamic militants gaining an ever-stronger grip on the south and rival militias and tribal factions busily killing each other in the north, all this a direct result of the West’s last interference in this ‘sovereign state’.)

You need a strong stomach to defend the US and its allies these days, you need a selective memory and you need an ability to suppress the gag reflex.

Is Putin the good guy here? Of course he isn’t. But neither is Obama, Cameron, Merkel or Sarkozy. The only good guys here are the people trying to choose their own destiny, and that’s the Kievan Ukrainians and the Crimeans.

You’re missing the bit where Russian troops take over Crimea and schedule a secession referendum just two weeks later, which will likely happen with the aforementioned troops just outside the polling stations. Big caveat

You mean the Russian troops that are there by agreement with the Ukrainian government (the legitimate one, not the fascist overthrowers), and who have been welcomed by the Crimean government (the only legitimate government in that region), who have voted in favour of joining Russia?

This is about as much of an “invasion” as 1688was. Technically, yes, but welcomed by the vast majority.

As I said in the other thread, if you Americans are so opposed to self-determination, I look forward to welcoming you back into the British Empire. Then we’ll impose sanctions on France for helping your revolution.

Heh. That doesn’t even deserve an answer.

Yep. Because if Russian soldiers entered my home town I wouldn’t pretend to welcome them, right?

Wrong country, wrong continent.

You’re right, Americans are all about welcoming secession. See also: Civil War, American.

They were hypocrites then as well.

Are you somehow under the impression that the actions of the American and French revolutionaries were not illegal, according to the laws in force at the time? :rolleyes: Of course they were. They were committing high treason! (The case of the English Civil War is less straightforward, given that it was, in large part a conflict between two branches of the government. Technically, very likely both sides were committing treason.)

There is really absolutely no question that what happened in Kiev was illegal and unconstitutional. Whether it was right or wrong, good or bad, is quite a different question, of course.

In situations like this, when governments are being overthrown (whether in Kiev or in Crimea -or, come to that, France, or the 13 colonies, or Russia in 1917, or …), what is legal is largely an irrelevance, because laws will rewritten, if need be, to justify the victors. What is right or wrong continues to be worth discussing, but there is little reason to expect that it will align with what is legal.

It seems to me that there is excellent reason to believe that a majority of the people of Crimea, if allowed a perfectly free vote, would most likely vote for union with Russia rather than to remain in Ukraine under the present Kiev regime (which seems to have some extremely nasty people involved in it). If so, the Russian troops in Crimea can plausibly be said to have right on their side, even if their actions are just as “illegal” as the overthrow of the elected (albeit corrupt and incompetent) government in Kiev was.

And that’s why they invaded before the referendum. To “help.” I’m sure they’d love to see the result of a “free vote.” Russia is famous for “free votes.”