It didn’t have to be like this. The displaced people in the eastern part of the Ukraine, the deaths of soldiers, the deaths of civilians, the loss of a commercial airliner with everyone on board…It’s madness. Why, in the year 2014, haven’t we learned a better way of dealing with disagreements like this?
What should have happened is this: if there was enough agitation for separatism in the East, and in Crimea for that matter, no one should have had to reach for a gun. There should have been a round of talks, there should have been a free vote, not the fake versions that were held. There should have been some thought put into what separation would mean, and whether it would be better to join Russia or become a separate state. If a majority of people wanted out of the Ukraine–they should be free to go. That’s called self-determination. That’s what’s happening in Scotland soon, and could happen in Quebec some day, and already happened in Slovakia not so long ago. But it has to be verifiable, and should be thought through carefully, with time to consider. Not the knee-jerk reaction to events in Kiev that led to this crisis.
Instead we got the thugs, the bullies, we got the ever-shriller nationalists, the ham-handed international response, the threats, the fist-shakings, the invocation of the Motherland. All leading up to this tragic situation that is a long way from over. Are the separatists going to disappear if they lose on the ground? Probably not. There will be a decades-long series of bombings, kidnappings, killings (look at the Basque militants).
It’s not too late. Sit down at the table. Where is the UN in all this?