To no-one's surprise, Crimea -- home to many who speak Russian and hold to Russian cultural norms -- has voted to join Russia
. True, the White House is speaking of "violence and intimidation," but we have no proof for such charges. Something like three-fourths of the Crimean populace showed up to vote, far more than the 50 percent needed to make the results binding. Afterward, the people celebrated. Nobody had a gun to his or her head. No-one has made any serious attempt to claim that the vote was rigged. The Crimean people voted precisely as one might have expected, given their growing resentment of Ukrainian rule -- for example, Russian-speaking Crimeans don't like the fact that their language has been phased out of classrooms.
How is this election being played on Slate?
What It Looks Like When Putin Steals Your CountryI
Hm. In 2003, if the people of Iraq and Afghanistan had been asked "Should the Americans go away now?" -- what kind of results might we have seen? Apparently, observing the democratically-determined will of the people is no longer what America stands for.