By Ruth Conniff
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Why John Kerry's denunciation rings so hollow.
I just saw John Kerry on Face the Nation about Russia's invasion of the Crimea, and he was in full indignation mode, saying it was against international law, against the U.N. Charter, and a violation of Crimea's sovereignty.
But who is the United States to object?
We've repeatedly violated international law and other county's sovereignty as recently as the Iraq War (with John Kerry himself voting in favor of it). And the list prior to that is very long, including direct U.S. invasions of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Dominican Republican, Cuba, Haiti (several times in the twentieth century), Nicaragua (ditto), Panama and Guatemala. The U.S. has also supported coups from Brazil, Paraguay, Iran and Chile to Ghana and the Congo, and it has supported invasions by allies such as Indonesia into East Timor, Saudi Arabia into Bahrain and Israel into Lebanon. (For a more comprehensive list, see William Blum's "Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.)
This record of illegal U.S. interventions makes Kerry's denunciations of Russia's aggression ring extremely hollow.
The Russian invasion of Crimea is, in fact, totally unjustifiable, totally illegal, and an utter violation of Ukraine's sovereignty. It's big bully behavior, and nothing less.
It's a sad and sobering fact that 95 years after the founding of the League of Nations and 69 years after the founding of the United Nations, the most powerful nations of the world can still violate, with impunity, the sovereignty of the weakest nations.