If you have paid any attention to the news lately you will have noticed that there are three major stories which the news media have been focusing their attention upon. There is the search for that missing airplane, the mudslide in Washington State, and the crisis in the Ukraine. It is upon this last subject which I’d like to devote my attention.
I don’t know if it is due to residual animosity, left over from the Cold War, but it seems that there is a lot of anger and hatred aimed at Russia. So any move made by Russian President Vladimir Putin is viewed with suspicion and hostility. Two things, unless Putin directly attacks the United States it is none of our business what he does over there. We are not the worlds police force whose job it is to check and halt aggression all over the planet. Secondly, and this is more important; we should stop and think about how hypocritical we must look to the rest of the world.
Look at us, we Americans criticize everyone else in all these far off places most people probably could not locate on a map, yet we fail to look back to our own history to see whether our country has been guilty of some of the same things we are condemning others for.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my country. I just think that before people open their mouths to condemn another country they ought to at least check and see if their own country is guilty of the same, or worse, crime.
So what exactly is it that has got Obama, and everyone else so worked up about? Is it the fact that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia? Is it that Putin may try to take a part, or all, of the Ukraine and mold it back as part of Russia?
I wonder if people even realize that, for a time, Ukraine was part of Russia. During the Cold War the area under discussion was, in fact, a part of the Soviet Union. It was when the Soviet Union collapsed that the Ukraine, along with 13 other States regained some form of independence from Mother Russia.
So now Putin wants to take Crimea, and possibly the Ukraine back. Is it any of our business, AND should we check our OWN history before condemning Putin?
Look at our country. We began as 13 colonies scattered along the Eastern Seaboard. But as settlers began to head out west in search of new lands, and new fortunes to be made, America expanded its territory to eventually include the 48 states that comprise the America that sits between Canada and Mexico.
Ever hear of the term manifest destiny? It is/was used to describe what many believed to be as our moral obligation to expand and gain control of the entire continent from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast. Jefferson acquired a huge tract of land in the Louisiana Purchase, buying the land from Napoleon Bonaparte. At the time it was argued that this purchase was unconstitutional, yet Jefferson went ahead with it under the pretense of removing a French influence, or presence in neighboring territory.
Then there was the Mexican American War which lasted from 1846-1848, which ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty gave the United States what we now know as Texas, California, and most of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado.
Then there are Alaska and Hawaii. Neither are physically attached to what we call the mainland, yet they are still states. In 1867 we purchased Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million. Eventually in 1959 it became our 49th state. Then there is Hawaii.
Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898. After that when a series of Hurricanes devastated the sugar cane crops in Puerto Rico, (a U.S. territory), Puerto Ricans flooded into Hawaii to work their sugar cane fields. For almost 60 years the plantation owners resisted becoming a state, but with the influence of the influx of these immigrants, who held U.S. citizenship, the tide of opposition was turned and in 1959 Hawaii became our 50th state.
As America grew from its original 13 colonies it also displace most, if not all, the native inhabitants who lived here prior to our arrival. Yes I’m talking about the American Indians. While some tribes were savage, others were not and they lived as peacefully as they could on lands they held the rightful title to. Yet we pushed them out of our way in our quest for total control and dominion of all that comprised the continental United States.
In America’s quest for expansion we bought, or took, everything that now comprises the continental United States, and we did so under the belief that it was our manifest destiny to do so. So, are we any worse than Russia wanting what they believe is their right to possess the land which our government now accuses Russia of violating? Honestly, put aside your jealousy, your pretended patriotism and look at the facts. America is just as guilty of acquiring land through force as is Russia.
But you say that Ukraine separated from Russia and deserves to be a free and independent country. Is that so? Let me remind you of a little thing called the Civil War where 7 Southern States declared their independence from America. Were they not entitled to be a free and independent country as well? But no, our government fought a long bloody war, at the cost of over 600,000 lives lost.
Our history proves that we are just as guilty of the crimes that we are now accusing Russia of. But for me to say that I am assured that I will be called unpatriotic and a hater of my country. No, I only ask that we stop being so damned hypocritical. I love my country, or at least the principles it was founded upon. But I also realize that we have done so bad things over the course of our existence. I only wish that people would stop condemning other countries for the same things we are guilty of. That is all. But I also know that people won’t do that. Their sense of national pride does not allow them to examine the facts. They only stand behind America regardless of whether she is right or wrong.
As Mark Twain once said, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.” And I do not support my government when it interferes in the affairs of other countries when they have not directly attacked us. I did not support Clinton’s actions in Serbia and Kosovo, I did not support Bush when he invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and I do not support Obama and his threats against Vladimir Putin.
That is all…