My mistake. I thought the White House might try to make all of this go away by accepting Putin’s phony pretense that it’s a domestic uprising among ethnic Russians in Crimea, not an invasion by Russia. In fact, says the White House, there is a foreign element to the new troop presence — but it’s all good so far because Crimea isn’t resisting.
In other words, to save face over the fact that there’s nothing much we can do to stop this, the official U.S. line is that this can’t be an invasion if the Russians are being … greeted as liberators.
CNN JUST IN — U.S. assessment is the arrival of Russian military forces was uncontested by population of Crimea –@BarbaraStarrCNN
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) February 28, 2014
Admin officials tell CNN's Barbara Starr this is an "uncontested arrival" not necessarily "an invasion" and that this distinction is "key."
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) February 28, 2014
Popehat’s right: “Uncontested arrival” is the best Orwellian euphemism for war since “kinetic military action.” Laying aside the fact that we’re now lending rhetorical support to aggressive irredentism (the Tatars in Crimea are going to “contest” this “arrival,” I’m pretty sure), explain to me why he went out there an hour ago and blathered about his “deep concern” for violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty if we’re adopting the position that maybe Ukraine’s not the rightful sovereign in Crimea after all. I took his statement to be a condemnation of Russian action today, but maybe I have it wrong. Maybe all he meant was that a broader invasion of Ukraine would threaten the country’s sovereignty — although your guess is as good as mine as to how broad it’d have to be to trigger U.S. disapproval. A Russian incursion into the rest of eastern Ukraine might also go uncontested. At this point, if you’re Putin, hearing this reaction from the White House (and crickets from the EU, do note), why not give it a go?
By the way, while Moscow’s digesting the green light it just got from the U.S. to consolidate its gains, Obama’s at DNC headquarters kicking off happy hour for Democrats. I’m not kidding.