Consider this for a moment: Ukraine is 5,700 miles away from the United States. As you must be aware by now, there is radical change occurring in Ukraine right now, and our government is determining how it wishes to respond. To escalate things, Russia has gotten involved, the ultimate temptation for us to get in another chess match with our Eastern rival. Russia is increasing its troops in the Crimea region, and the US is threatening sanctions. On the face of it, things are looking grim, but things are not as they seem. There is absolutely no reason we should be involving ourselves in the Ukraine mess.
To begin with, let’s deal with our perception of the issue. If we are to believe our American press, Russia is “invading” Ukraine without provocation, looking to grab control in the region. Ukraine, to counter, has declared this an act of war by Russia, and both sides are gearing up their troops. However, there are some key details left out by our notoriously anti-Eastern press. The region Russia is looking to secure is Crimea, a territory on the border with Russia whose citizens have close ties to Russia and favor a split from Ukraine. In Russia’s eyes, they’re protecting a people with close ties to their region, as power in Ukraine is shifting to a regime that is decidedly less friendly towards Russia. The only reason you hear reports of Ukraine being upset is because the new regime doesn’t want Crimea to separate from them. As you can see, this issue is far less black-and-white than we’d like to acknowledge, much like the previous conflicts of the past decade we’ve involved ourselves in. Herein lies the problem with our perspective on this issue.
Our press is more biased than we take into account. It has a significantly Pro-West, Anti-East agenda evident in it. It is unfair to many places, but Russia especially. Some of you may be skeptical about this claim, but let’s compare Russia and the United States. Both countries are ruled by governments that oppress their people through various means. Both countries have media that are there to ensure that the governmental system stays the same despite shafting a majority of its citizens. Both countries have bad prison systems; Russia in terms of quality, the US in terms of quantity. Both countries have enormous militaries and like to spread their ideals to neighboring countries. Additionally, most important to this Ukraine situation, both the US and Russia breach foreign lands to militarily support governments that they approve of.
Now why should we be mad at Russia, when they’re only doing what we’ve been doing in the Middle East for over a decade? Invading Crimea is actually more justifiable because they share a border with them. I’m certain that if we bursted into Tijuana looking to “secure” the region, Russia wouldn’t put up nearly as much of a hissy fit. We need to stop listening to our press when it comes to Russia because we can’t expect to get a fair story. Our press is so biased against Russia because they are owned by our corporations, and Russia poses competition to them. Additionally, these corporations are run by men whose minds are still stuck in the Cold War, so it is of no surprise that we’re so slanted against them.
Knowing this, however, doesn’t mean Russia should get off scot-free. I’m not saying that we should ignore the situation, or that I support what Russia is doing. Military should never be used in offensive terms, and I have certainly never approved of anything the US or Russian militaries have done in the last sixty years. We should keep an eye on what’s going on, as it’s never safe when a country starts mobilizing their military forces, but we need to more fair to Russia. Relations between our two countries have been icy for a long time, and this latest chess match only proves that we’ve hardly progressed from the Cold War era. It would be extremely beneficial to world relations if our two countries could get along, and we can’t hope to thaw our relationship unless we begin to trust them. I know it will cost us in the international political pissing contest, but it will begin the process of fostering respect between two mighty powers. Getting involved in Ukraine will only drive us further down the vicious spiral we’ve spun with our Eastern counterpart.
Sean Kennedy is an undeclared freshman who finds the Cold War more stupid than dangerous. Love, hate, and accusations of Communism can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ukraine is a mess, but that doesn’t mean we should stick our noses into it.
Keep in mind that our press is more biased than we tend to think.
Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away, but neither will our military action.