Ukraine's population is split on whether to bond with Russia or Europe. That decision should be left for them to decide democratically. The U.S. should not be doing the bidding of either side in the determination of Ukraine's future.
Certainly, we must condemn human rights violations in every instance. Freedom of speech and assembly are important to the workings of a democratic society. They reflect America's values.
Just as important should be our respect for the rule of law. Those who win elections should make the policies and laws. That's not what happened in Ukraine, where tensions between eastern and western factions boiled over and became today's bloody crisis.
The U.S. shouldn't tell Ukraine what policies to follow. When the European Union's offer of closer ties was countered by Russia, it was up to the Ukrainian government to decide what was best.
The U.S. does not have a dog in this fight. An American offer of billions of dollars to dissuade Ukrainians from accepting Moscow's offer was doing the bidding of powerful European interests, not ours.
Why do we in the U.S. feel it necessary to thwart Russian efforts in various parts of the world? Russia rightfully looks at this as a hostile act.
We instead should reach out to make Russia a friend and ally in combating radical Islam and China, which now threaten the world's peace and stability.
The Cold War has been over for two decades. We should stay out of Ukraine.
Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected the EU enticements, deciding to opt for Russian President Vladimir Putin's Eurasian trade bloc. That was Yanukovych's prerogative — as it was the prerogative of riled, Western-focused Ukrainians to express their opposition. Instead they took to the streets, not to the ballot box.
Americans should not feel compelled to determine the outcome. In the post-Cold War world, we Americans must show more patience.