I'm puzzled. We americans and the western europeans constantly trumpet our dedication to democaracy and say that governments should derive their authority and hegemony from the will of the people being governed. It's supposedly a foundational principle to which we say we are dedicated.
Today, 95% of the people in Crimea voted in a referendum to be a part of Russia, not the Ukraine.
We refuse to recognize that referendum vote!
I'm not in love with Putin. He's a thug. He's a dictator in all practical respects. Nor am I especially enamored of Russia. My wife studied Russian at ASU. She knows Russian history and Russian proclivities. She's told me repeatedly that Russians are by nature predominantly thugs. It's in their culture. They are, At least the original core population, descended from Viking traders, just like my Norman ancestors. They've retained some of the more unsavory traits some other Vikings managed to cast off. Yet, there are many admirable traits and accomplishments a great many Russians have exemplified.
We're all human. We tend to reflect as individuals what our culture has inculcated into us. I understand how the recent past of the Soviet Union leads people to be suspicious of Russian motives, but lets be realistic about the fact that Russians naturally gravitate toward other Russians and that nearly all of the people of Crimea (and the eastern part of the Ukraine) are ethnically, linguistically and emotionally Russian. If specific regions vote overwhelmingly to ally themselves with Russia, who are we to tell them they can't do it, just because it doesn't mesh with our hegemonic goals?
Am I missing something?