Americans have spent much of 2014 in outrage at the way that Russian military forces have interfered in Ukraine’s civil war.
Now, Americans have sent their own military to Iraq to interfere in Iraq’s civil war.
What’s the difference?
Peter Baker in the New York Times writes, “If Mr. Putin ultimately decides to send Russian armed forces across the border, analysts say he now has one more pretext. Just as Mr. Obama says he is trying to protect Yazidis and Kurds threatened by Sunni Muslim extremists, Mr. Putin may argue he wants to protect Russian speakers from Ukrainian fascists.”
In the Huffington Post, David Paul writes that, “sanctioning the redrawing of borders is a slippery slope and a remapping of Iraq could have cascading effects on Syria, Jordan, Iran and Turkey. And once the door is opened to the rewriting of borders, there may be unintended consequences beyond the Middle East. Before the ISIS insurgency captured the headlines, international attention focused on the conflict in Ukraine, where, like Iraq, a disgruntled minority was fighting to secede through armed revolt. One has to imagine that separatists in other regions are paying close attention to the outcome in Iraq, and to any American actions that would lend legitimacy to their own efforts to undermine internationally accepted borders.”
Daniel McAdams at the Ron Paul Institute writes that, “the US government has decided to bomb Iraq to address the humanitarian crisis that it caused in the first place. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, warned Russia, as US humanitarian bombs fell on Iraq, that any further intervention in Ukraine, including under the pretense of delivering humanitarian aid, would be viewed as “an invasion of Ukraine.”
On Twitter, Birusk comments that “Just as Obama says he’s trying to protect #Yazidis, Putin may argue he wants to protect Russian speakers in #Ukraine”. Russian Market writes, “Now @AmbassadorPower says any humanitarian aid from Russia to Eastern Ukraine is INVASION, but US bombing Iraq with “humanitarian aid” is ok”. VKofSTEVASTOPOL tweets, “#US started airstrikes on IS 2 PROTECT US CITIZENS IN IRAQ & prevent genocide HOW ABOUT US BLOCKING #RUSSIA ATTEMPTING DO IT IN EAST UKRAINE”.