Ukraine Crisis a Result of American Apathy

There are plenty of fingers being pointed over the current crisis in Ukraine. However, perhaps it is time that Americans look to their own apathy, because the United State’s dangerously complacent policies are a direct result of American complacency to world issues.

Most notably, polls routinely show that Americans across the board have little to no interest in being more involved with the problems of the world.

In Syria, most Americans are still opposed to stopping the Assad regime’s massacre of civilians. The result is, quite literally, nothing happening.

In Ukraine, the situation is very much similar. The country sits on the brink and there are significant implications for the future of the entire world.

However, Americans do not want to get involved. In all seriousness, the West in general would rather take the back seat to Russia dominating the geopolitical landscape.

And in the case of Ukraine, Putin is well aware that complacency dominates the US public opinion. This emboldens his actions because he knows that, regardless of how the world feels about him, the world would still be waiting for someone else to do something.

Along those same lines, President Obama is very much aware of public opinion in regards to Ukraine. Although his foreign policy gets bad grades in various polls, he knows that he would get worse grades if he were to do much of anything.

And this is not to say that disinterested citizens are bad people. For the most part, the public does not want to get involved in another war half way across the world; Americans yearn for peace.

However, peace comes at a price. Putin must know that there are significant consequences to significantly unacceptable actions. This stems from the public pressure of the American people.

The result of American apathy is the Ukraine crisis. Had the American people been more engaged, leadership in the U.S. and the world would take notice and respond.

It is very much like voting. It is often remarked that a single vote might not cause change, and in fact for that reason, many people do not vote.

However, each vote shows leaders what issues matter. Each vote shows that leadership must be more responsive to the people. And each vote demonstrates an engagement and investment into the future.

What is most important here is that it is the United States that is not engaged. The world can live with a complacent Canada or Australia.

Being the superpower, the U.S. and all its citizens are in a unique position of influence. With this power comes a responsibility to make sure that things do not get out of control.

But when the world’s superpower has a population that does not care that Russia could be on the brink of invading Ukraine, there is a big problem.

Take World War II as an example. The American people had no interest in another European War. In the same sense, Americans did not want to be involved in the Pacific.

However, war came to the United States with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ignoring the issues of the world or pretending as though they are not America’s problem does not make them go away.

On top of this, inaction leads to stronger adversaries. The longer that the world waits before developing a strong strategy, the more time Putin has to strengthen his own position.

It should be understood that the situation in Ukraine could still have a diplomatic solution. Everything may very well blow over and return to a status quo.

However, American apathy actually makes diplomacy less likely to succeed. And unless the public becomes more engaged or more supportive of an active strategy in the Ukraine Crisis, the result could be devastating.

Opinion by Brett Byers-Lane

Real Clear Politics

Foreign Policy

12 Responses to "Ukraine Crisis a Result of American Apathy"

  1. Konstantin   April 8, 2014 at 12:58 am

    stefanthedenier, this is completely a lie.
    1. Population of both Western and central Ukraine (supporting mainly the changes) and South-Eastern Ukraine (more ignorant or even pro-Russian) are BOTH Orthodox. Catholics are very few. So nothing to do about religion. Maidan events unified all confessions, even made jews and muslims unify
    2. Ukrainian “Hooligans” joined Hitler because they were seeking protection from Communist regime. However they’ve changed their minds quickly as they’ve learned more about Nazi. Vlasov Russian Army and other Russian collaborants (20 times more in number) stayed with Nazi till the end of the war. Nothing to do with religion
    3. “Russians taking their own Crimea” sounds quite strange. Very similar to “Iraqi taking their own Kuwait” or “Japanese taking their own Hawaii”. EVERY invasion has some logical explanation. This is why we have international laws and must respect them
    4. Yes, Ukraine is at brink of bankruptcy. Does it justify any sort of invasion? Greek is at bankruptcy as well. Can Turkey take some part of it if it has support of local guys promised social programs and support?

    It’s not Western propaganda. It’s rather “local news” from Kiev. Greetings!

  2. David   April 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I can’t believe that more isn’t being done! What sort of precedent does the US want to set – does it really want to stay as the superpower? Come on people!

    • Harold the Free   April 7, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      We should not do anything!! Ron Paul 2016

      • David   April 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        Seriously? Ron Paul? Want Alaska invaded too? xD

  3. stefanthedenier   April 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    American people may be complaisant; but not CIA and Pentagon.
    CIA by playing the religion card – orchestrated the upraising, kicking out the legally elected president, and shooting the policemen in Kiev – because they knew that: if they waited for the next election, same president would have won again.

    Turning Ukrainian Catholics against the orthodox Christians in Ukraine is to revenge Putin for not agreeing US to get into Syria as they did in Libya PLUS is part of the western expansion and preparing for the nuclear war!!!… Shame, shame western propaganda!!!

    • Antoni Kostka   April 7, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Absurd: Where have you heard such nonsenses? in Russia Today? The division between catholics and orthodox has nothing in common with the current struggle in Ukraine.

      • stefanthedenier   April 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        hi Antoni, I don’t have to ”hear” I know it for a fact!

        1]Ukrainian strangle is because Ukraine is bankrupt, nothing to do with russia

        2]Russians taking their own Crimea, is not crisis – western propaganda is using it as crises. Crimeans are all ethnically Russians, well small percentage are Muslims, but there are no Ukrainians in Crimea

        3] some Ukrainian hooligans did the same trick during WW2 and joined Hitler, because he was catholic – after the war, Stalin used those traitors, for treason as garden mulch

        When Ukrainians see that the west is not coming with truckloads of money – the ”people” of Ukraine will turn back for russian help. Cheers!

        • Danylo K. (@kdanylo)   April 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

          stefanthedenier Each and every line in your post is a lie. Don’t forget, at the time after your life ends, some very mighty spirits will ask you very tough questions about this particular post. Be truthful, you will thank yourself later for that.

    • David   April 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Dude, I really think you should read up on the facts a bit more… That stuff just isn’t true

      • stefanthedenier   April 7, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        David, what I say is the truth; I don’t need to read the western propaganda,, to get ”informed” Cheers!

        • David   April 7, 2014 at 10:41 pm

          Can you source or cite the “truth?” xD

  4. heho   April 5, 2014 at 11:17 am

    RUSSIA planned it’s action plan long before the west started it’s campaign of regime change in Ukraine. Every one knew the threats Obama was issuing were just empty threats
    They were not dealing with Syria , Libya or Iraq this time round.N there are a lot of bruised egos in the west due to this crisis


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