U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, discussed ways to defuse the Ukraine crisis during talks in Paris on Sunday in which Kerry made clear Washington still considered Russian actions in Crimea “illegal and illegitimate.”
Kerry said after his four-hour meeting with the Russian foreign minister that while they differed on events leading to the crisis, both sides recognized the importance of finding a diplomatic solution that meets the needs of the Ukrainian people.
This makes things sound a lot more complicated than they are.
All that is necessary for “de-escalation” to occur is for John Kerry to get on a plane, come home to the United States, report to his office at the US State Department, forget about Ukraine, and instead start doing his job of working on matters in which the US has a legitimate interest.
Ukraine and Crimea are not among those matters, and there’s no way to stretch the meaning of the words “legitimate interest” to encompass those matters without completely butchering the English language.
There’s been a certain amount of hand-wringing and jousting, particularly within the American libertarian community, over whether a non-interventionist take on these matters amounts to supporting the Putin regime.
Let me clear that matter up right now: It doesn’t. Or at least it doesn’t have to.
“X is not America’s business” is not the same thing as “[insert other regime here] is right because the US government is wrong.” The US government can be wrong six days a week and twice on Sunday without some other government necessarily being right or wrong. The US government is very good at being wrong without any assistance whatsoever from other governments.