I know I was a complete wuss on Syria, and let Putin and Assad make fools of us. But I learned my lesson.
Now, about Ukraine: this is serious. You know, it’s always guys like Putin (and the Chinese) who are always yammering about how nations should not interfere in other nations’ internal affairs. Translation: don’t nobody stick their noses into the atrocious way we Russians and Chinese treat our own citizens. But those guys sure don’t practice what they preach, as we’re seeing now with Russia’s blatant intervention into the internal affairs of Ukraine.
All this nonsense about protecting the interests of Russian people in Ukraine. Am I the only one, or does this remind anybody of, like, 1938, when Hitler was all “Gotta protect the poor oppressed Germans in the Sudetenland” ? We know how that turned out.
But listen, Vladimir, I’ve got some news for you: Ain’t no Russians in Ukraine. Maybe some people with Russian ancestry; but they’re not Russians now, they’re Ukrainians. You got that? They’re not “your” people. They’re Ukrainians. So get your fucking nose out of Ukraine’s internal affairs.
We know the history. That in 1954, Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine on a whim, never thinking it would ever make any difference because it was all part of the USSR (which was called the “Dungeon of Nations”). But then in 1991 Ukraine became an independent country, with Crimea of course being part of it, as it has been ever since. Crimea is no longer up for grabs. We simply cannot tolerate a world where territories remain up for grabs like Russia now seems to think applies to Crimea. That principle was settled way back in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia, and it’s a fundamental underpinning of the modern world, and the peace among major powers that has existed since 1945. We cannot allow that to unravel.
Now, I’m not saying that all borders are inviolable. We recently had the case of Sudan dividing into two nations based on a negotiated settlement among the Sudanese. That’s fine. And maybe in Ukraine, the people in Crimea and some other parts might prefer to join up with Russia – batshit crazy, you might think, but never mind. The point is that the whole question is an internal issue for Ukrainians to decide among themselves. It’s not to be settled by military intervention from outside.
So let me be absolutely clear. If there is any threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, we, the United States, will do whatever it takes – whatever it takes – to protect and defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine. That most definitely includes military assistance to the government of Ukraine. So, Mr. Putin, if you’re going to be messing with Ukraine, you’re going to be messing with us.
And don’t give me any of this UN shit. Everybody knows the UN is irrelevant in a case like this simply because Russia has a veto in the Security Council. We cannot allow a blatant violation of crucial international norms to go down because of Russia’s self-serving veto. If Ukraine asks for our help to defend it against Russian military aggression, that request would be all the legal legitimacy we’d need to act, with no need to even talk about the UN. I am sure that most of the nations of the world — the responsible grown-up nations — will back us on this. I will ask for not only their moral support, but their material support, to join us in doing whatever it takes to secure Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
We are taking this forceful stance because we deem it absolutely essential to preserve the peace of the world. If Russia is allowed to get away with this crap in Ukraine, then the whole world suddenly becomes a whole lot less secure. And if I did not say what I have just said, I should certainly go down in history as the most feckless president we’ve ever had.