American Hypocrisy on International Military Aggression

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking on Face the Nation, had some hard words for Russia on the situation in Crimea and Ukraine:

You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped up pre-text.

Hmmm. Kind of like the U.S. has done over and over and over again? And I don’t think our “aggression” has been limited to the 19th century either—though the U.S. certainly has plenty of military aggressions to choose from in that century.

The 2oth and 21st centuries have witnessed unprecedented aggression from our military in international arenas. Whether you’re talking about bombing the Balkans, invading Iraq on the trumped-up pretext of invisible WMDs, or our extensive use of execution drones in Yemen, the U.S. has been an active military aggressor on the world stage for quite some time now.

In fact, according to data on VetFriends:

After World War II the United States created the most extensive network of military bases ever, allowing for the deployment of Air & Naval Forces in moments.


No military in the history of the world has been more widely deployed as the United States.


Currently, the United States has military personnel deployed in about 150 Countries… This covers 75% of The World’s Nations.

That’s mind-boggling. What Russia has done in Crimea and Ukraine, in comparison, is basically insignificant.

And we shouldn’t forget the fact that Crimea has a strong desire to join with its big brother, Russia. That Russia would vow to protect Crimea and its own ethnic people in Ukraine makes a lot of sense.

I don’t know that comparisons to Hitler and the era of appeasement are entirely fair in this situation. I know that the annexation of Austria-Hungary (the Anschluss) looks very similar to the contemporary situation with Crimea, but there are significant differences. For one, Russia is not claiming Crimea as its rightful territory: it is not seeking a restoration of its “traditional” geography. China’s re-acquisition of Tibet in 1950 was much closer to the Anschluss situation, yet the U.S. did not and has not (officially) reacted to it as an extraordinary act of military aggression.

We’ll see how this situation unfolds, but I don’t think it likely that Russia will continue any attempt at consolidating the old Soviet Empire. For now, I think that a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the situation would be ideal, and, no, I wouldn’t call it appeasement. And we certainly should discontinue our vehemence concerning Russian military aggression until we ourselves have learned to deal with international conflicts diplomatically. If you are the neighborhood bully, no one is going to take you seriously when you go crying that some other kid is taking on a threatening posture.