Scotland, Crimea and the Right To Self-Determination

Do the people of Scotland have the right to vote in a referendum to determine their own future? Of course they do. Just as the people of Greece had, and have, the right to vote in a referendum as to whether or not to stay in the EU. And do the people of Crimea have the right to vote in a referendum to determine their own future? Yes, of course, likewise.

And they did vote. And they voted with an overwhelming majority of 97% to rejoin Russia, and to part ways with Kiev, understanding, very correctly, that Kiev has been taken over by a US staged right wing coup.

This is the central point that the Western media utterly fails, and refuses, to report. If the people of Guantanamo Bay voted to rejoin Cuba, then, according to international law and all common sense and common decency, this would have to be respected. The same holds true for Crimea, which was a part of Russia for a longer time than the US has existed as a nation, by the way. Maybe we should re-read the Declaration of Independence. All peoples have the right to self-determination. Crimea is no exception.

The same applies to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Iran, the entire Middle East and North Africa, and, of course, to the entire world: no more US intervention. No more intervention by any super-power or foreign power of any kind.

International law makes it clear; as does common sense. If we wish for freedom, democracy and self-determination for ourselves, then we must respect the right of self-determination of all peoples. The founding fathers of the United States understood this. Washington has come to forget it, and this forgetfulness has been disastrous to the world, and also to the American people.

Remember 911. Blowback is inevitable if we allow our political “leaders” – and the business elite who control them like puppets on a string – to invade, bomb, or otherwise meddle in the affairs of other nations. Will we learn this lesson now? We had better, or things will only get worse.

Even the US intelligence agencies admit that the “war on terror” has increased terrorism exponentially, for this very reason. Let people determine their own lives and their own future. No more intervention.

Send food, send medicine, send doctors, nurses, engineers and construction workers if you really want to “help.” But if your help comes in the form of bombs, bullets, mercenaries, tanks and drones, then the people of the world say, “No thank you.” We can do without that kind of generosity.

The founding fathers of America were taking a strong and courageous stand when they launched the American Revolution, in defiance of the world’s then-preeminent superpower of Britain: a stand for freedom, democracy, and the right to self-determination. And they knew very well that they could not do so with a straight face, without becoming a laughing stock, if they did not also and simultaneously respect the right to self-determination of other peoples and other nations. Can we remember their wisdom now?

The founding fathers of American democracy were far from perfect, and the democracy that they constructed was far from perfect. The extermination of native peoples, driving off of their land, the enslavement of millions of African men, women and children, the refusal to honour the natural right to vote for women, people of colour, or even white male adults who were poor and owned no property – on these points, the founding fathers of American democracy were terribly, horribly wrong. But they were right on some points, and this is one of them: we have no right to meddle in the affairs of other nations – and furthermore, to do so, all ethics aside, generally tends to entail very dangerous entanglements and serious repercussions, or blowback, to use the term of the intelligence services. They knew very well that foreign intervention is not only unethical, not only contrary to the spirit of freedom, democracy and independence, but also, quite simply, foolish.

Stand down. No more wars of aggression – and all wars that are fought, whether declared or undeclared, overt or covert, military, paramilitary of economic, that are waged when there is no direct attack on one’s own nation, are wars of aggression, by virtue of common sense as well as international law. And all such wars of aggression, according to the Nuremburg trials, are not only “the supreme crime,” but also, punishable by death. We should pay head.

Justice will come. The people will, it is hoped, be merciful, and repudiate the death penalty; but they will remove from power the unjust and the tyrannical, and all those who wage such wars – and most likely, and most justly, they will restrain them from causing further carnage or committing mass murder any more – by a lifetime prison sentence.

No more intervention. Can we be more clear?

Independence is for all peoples: not just for some. We either believe in freedom and democracy, in which case, we respect and honour the right to self-determination, not just for ourselves, but also for others, and we take a firm stance of non-intervention in the affairs other nations, or, our proclaimed belief in democracy and freedom is hollow, and a sham.

Sept. 13, 2014

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