Things are going downhill fast in Eastern Ukraine. Guns are out; it’s not just protesters with riot shields and baseball bats. It’s reminiscent of the hateful atmosphere in Bosnia in the mid-90s. Erstwhile friends and neighbors now appear ready to kill one another.
And Democrats and Republicans alike are all for sanctions. But sanctions for what? We’re sanctioning Egypt for a coup that led to a better, secular government right now, a government that is actually taking out the extremist trash that Obama rather foolishly supported. At the same time, we want to sanction Russia for opposing a coup in Ukraine and for supporting mini-coups in its eastern provinces.
It’s stupid to get involved all over the world over everything. And it’s not just stupid, but sometimes wrong, costly, and arrogant. Why not sanction Georgia for invading Ossetia and shelling its capital? Why not sanction Israel for its incursion into Lebanon a few years ago? Why not sanction Croatia for its invasion of Bosnia in 1995? Jeez, why not sanction ourselves for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada or Operation Just Cause in Panama.
There are times to use force, nations will do so when they feel threatened, and we shouldn’t always pick sides. It’s incredibly bad foreign policy, and it’s not like we even have an endgame in mind. We’re reminiscent of the British in the mid-19th Century, randomly picking sides and trying to preserve order and equipoise, in areas where barely know what we’re doing.