In the current crisis over the Russian “invasion” of Crimea (is it an invasion when the population seems to want to be invaded and no violence occurs?), US protests seem rather hypocritical to the world. After all, recently, the United States has attacked or invaded six countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya using ground troops or manned aircraft and Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia using unpiloted drone aircraft dropping bombs. In all of these instances, even if the local government directly or tacitly approved of the US military action, many of the country’s people did not.
A free and fair referendum among the people of Crimea would probably welcome a return of Crimea to Russia. Sixty percent of the Crimean people are Russian-speakers. In contrast, the more violent US invasions or attacks on countries usually have been less well received by much the population of the target nations. But didn’t Russia violate international law by sending troops into a foreign land without doing so in self-defense? Russia makes the lame excuse that it was rescuing Russian-speakers in Crimea from the anti-Russian revolution in Ukraine. And since international law requires that countries take military action only in self defense or when the United Nations Security Council approves such use of force, the answer is that Russia has violated international law.