Were it not for a piece of paper we would not really care about the Ukraine, Crimea or Russia invading it.
We have no family or friends in Crimea. We are not fond of Crimean food. Indeed we have never met anyone from Crimea. So we could care less if it is Ukrainian or Russian except for that piece of paper.
20 years ago Ukraine gave up its nuclear missiles in exchange for that piece of paper that guaranteed its territorial sovereignty. It was signed by then President Bill Clinton.
So now we care.
We care not so much because we feel Clinton’s honor should be defended.
That is pretty much a lost cause.
But it is America’s honor that is at stake.
If we honor that guarantee we could find ourselves in a shooting war with the Russian army.
That would be bad.
But if we pretend that piece of paper doesn’t exist or had a secret expiration date on it, it could be worse.
Right now the US is trying to get Iran to sign a piece of paper where they too would give up their nukes for some guarantees of sovereignty.
Yeah, like that is going to happen now.
That is the problem with treaties.
They may seem like a good, perhaps great idea at the time but ten 20 years down the road, the promises made still have to be kept or else.
Funny thing in all the bluster coming from the White House no one is mentioning our guarantee to the Ukrainians.
Maybe the president and his advisors think that if they don’t bring it up no one else will.
We think they might be more than a little bit wrong about that.
The Ukrainians have a copy and they have copying machines. They might be a little low on toner but they still have email.
So either America keeps its promise or it doesn’t. Either way this is going to get worse before it gets better.