"Ukraine accused Russia on Monday of giving its forces in Crimea an ultimatum to surrender, as US President Barack Obama said Moscow was on the "wrong side of history" in Europe's worst standoff since the Cold War." - Dmitry Zaks and Michael Mainville, "Obama says Russia on 'wrong side of history' on Ukraine," AFP, March 3, 2014.The Obama administration's position on Crimea joining Russia is beyond ridiculous.
"Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken insisted today that Russia will pay costs that “would increase significantly” if next week’s Crimean referendum ends with secession from the Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.
Blinken went on to say that the US would never accept the results of the referendum and that “most of the world” will not consider Crimea independent either." - Jason Ditz, "US: Russia Will Pay If Crimeans Vote to Join Them," March 9, 2014.
Let's briefly contrast the scenes of Crimea today with those of Kiev a month ago.
In Kiev, we saw groups of violent protesters, led by resentful and hateful ultranationalists and even by retired Mossad officers and IDF veterans, clashing with riot police who were essentially told to keep the gloves on by the then beleaguered Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych. Crowds were ransacking parliamentary buildings and intimidating officials. Snipers in the service of the opposition movement were killing protesters and police officers to create chaos.
In Crimea, the scenes are mostly peaceful and family-friendly, with large numbers of people waving Russian flags and singing patriotic songs. There has been very little violence. Order is being preserved with the presence of Russian units and local, Russian-friendly militias. They're practically begging to join Russia. It would be stupid for Putin to ignore these people and turn a blind eye to what is going on in Kiev where radicals are gaining power at a rapid pace.
And the situation in Crimea is not complicated. It's pretty easy to understand. The people there don't want to be part of the new unelected government in Kiev, instead they want to join Russia. So there is no real controversy. The melodramatic US-EU media is hyping this up to be something that it is not. This is democracy in action with an older brother looking on in a protective manner to make sure they get their wish.
At the end of the day, the people of Crimea will vote with their feet, and whether or not the Obama administration recognizes their choice is basically irrelevant. The judge of history does not reside in Washington, or Moscow, or Brussels.