Washington Makes Moscow Look Reasonableby Will Grigg
Mar. 18, 2014
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In 1999, the US government, with the aid of the NATO alliance, bombed Serbia for 78 days, killing thousands of people and inflicting billions of dollars’ worth of damage to the country’s infrastructure. Serbia never attacked or threatened the United States.
The purpose of the campaign was to force Serbia to surrender the province of Kosovo into the hands of ethnic Albanian separatists. In other words, Washington made war on Serbia’s government to aid a secessionist movement. This nearly led to open military hostilities with Russia, which has cultural ties to Serbia and didn’t approve of the bombing campaign.
That was in 1999. Today, the Obama administration is refusing to recognize the results of a referendum in Crimea that may result in the region withdrawing from Ukraine and allying with Russia. The Crimean separatists are following a similar – but less violent – path to the one taken by Albanian separatists in Kosovo. Yet Washington now insists that secession is impermissible, and that residents of Crimea have no choice but to be ruled by the new Ukrainian government in Kiev that was installed in a US-backed coup.
Given the Russian government’s history and character it is nearly impossible to cede the moral high ground to Moscow – and somehow Washington has managed to do so.