It was a cold, bitter night on the lifeless streets of Kiev. Soon this country was about to witness the biggest demonstration it has seen since the fall of the U.S.S.R some twenty-five years ago. This demonstration would begin when President Viktor Yanukovych declined an offer to join the European Union. The president instead joined alliances with Russia, taking the offer of President Vladimir Putin. As word of this betrayal cycled through the country, many of Ukraine’s youth and students started to demonstrate in the street. As time progressed, the demonstrations grew worse, eventually leading to the dreadful day when one-hundred of Ukraine’s finest citizens were killed at the hands of their own government.
The Russia took up arms with the Pro-Russian rebels, and started their conquest to retake The Ukraine for themselves. So where does the Unites States fit into this world crisis? Should we mobilize tomorrow to go help the defenseless people of The Ukraine? As a patriotic American to the core, here is my opinion of the events in The Ukraine.
It is difficult to decide what the proper U.S. response should be with regard to the struggle between Russia and Ukraine. On one hand, the United States has always come to the defense of freedom, liberty, and those who face tyranny. While those ideals have always been worth fighting for, from the American point of view, constantly landing in the middle of global altercations puts the United States in precarious situations, both economically and morally. For as long as history has been recorded, nation states have invaded one another due to the appetites of aggressors and the resources of their targets. History itself is often recorded with these events listed as chief milestones of human existence. While fighting for freedom is a noble cause, the United States does not have the economic power or moral authority to continue to support this foreign policy. Skirmishes, like the one we see unfolding in the Ukraine, is part of the fabric of the evolution of global civilizations, with the U.S. looking less like a nation trying to prevent such events and more like one simply trying to decide the outcome. While this often puts America on “the right side”, it also leaves it picking and choosing its battles at a cost that the American budget can no longer withstand. Perhaps it’s time for the United States to take a long look at this practice, and to balance what it hopes to accomplish with what it can afford. In the end, the United States might often, as is the case in Ukraine, be opposing something that has happened time and time again in world history. Perhaps aggression is simply part of the human condition. Opposing these conflicts and working to quell them is like going to the plains of Africa in an effort to stop the lion from attacking the gazelle. As Thucydides said in ancient Athens: “The strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.”
In conclusion, The United States has acquired a reputation of being the world’s policemen. With the trouble with Iraq and the growing tensions in Somalia, I believe we should sit this one out and see what happens. Simply put, we should just let The Ukraine fix this problem.