Remember, children, your desks can be used to deflect the force of a nuclear explosion in case we get the Bomb dropped on us by the Russkies!
This is not a repeat from the 1950s.
It looks like the cold war got a little too cold, or the politicians in America got a little too incompetent, or both, or something . . . but here we are with NATO talking about the whole alliance freezing assets of Russian interests over Russian territorial aggression. West vs. East and competitive claims of illegitimate national/regional governments. Chess players are asking what happens if Russia decides to cut off Europe from their sweet, sweet oil and gas supply*.
The President of Ukraine acted against the perceived interests of the Western half of Ukraine, and there were protests. He left the country and the Parliament kicked him out of office. He claimed this kicking-out was not legal, and that he is still President. He is friendly to the
soviets Russians so the Russians recognize him as President. The Crimean peninsula has held an election with an entirely-believable result that 97% of the Crimeans want to break off to be their own country. Complete with some districts receiving more votes than there are people in the district. Seems legit, right? Except that the allegedly-illegal new government in Western Ukraine says the independence referendum is illegal. The newly-possibly-illegally-created Crimean state changed their currency and time zone to match Russia’s and applied to be annexed into Russia. Russia has recognized the new Crimean state and NATO et. al. refuse to recognize the new Crimea.
Hold on there.
Why is this any more our business than the messes in Egypt or Libya?
It’s not, exactly, but we said it is. Ukraine used to be a nuclear-armed nation, and they gave up their nukes in exchange for protection from the West, and the USA said specifically we’d have their back if shit ever got real. I guess they didn’t learn too much from Vietnam, who we said we’d also get their back but when shit got real in South Vietnam we left our “allies” to dangle in the breeze. So now shit got real in Ukraine and we are . . . (wait for it) . . . making frowny faces and writing sternly-worded letters to Russia. Very stern letters indeed! And our friends, they shall also make frowny faces! And if the Russians persist in pretending the illegal government of the country with the other illegal government is legal, we shall be forced to Do Something!!
If you are reassured by President Obama when he says he is certain there is a diplomatic solution to the current crisis in Ukraine, remember one very, very important maxim:
War is the pointy end of diplomacy. Certainly there is a diplomatic solution. It may involve the termination of human life on Earth, but it is part of diplomacy – if you will allow that diplomacy is not all soft and fluffy.
*Within two years we could have pipelines shipping oil and natural gas from the Americas to Europe under the North Atlantic. Do not hold your breath waiting for this common-sense solution to be implemented.