When in 2014, Crimea democratically (and overwhelmingly so) decided to return home to Russia, Barack Obama and the EU lead a charge to economically destroy the peninsula. Of course like with all of the US-EU anti-Russian sanctions, it didn’t work, but what did happen was that they made it far more difficult for people to travel from Europe directly to Crimea.
This was a matter of corporatist authoritarianism whereby companies in Europe whose customers would have happily paid for tickets for direct flights to Crimea, were prohibited by the government from offering such services. Of course, it was and is still entirely possible to fly from Europe to Crimea, only now one must land somewhere else in Russia before boarding a domestic flight.
When this happened there were no major (or even minor) protests in Europe or the United States about how this disenfranchised those who have families, friends or business interests in Crimea. No one seemed to care.
Now that Donald Trump has temporarily suspended travel from seven countries who have regions that are totally lawless, the liberal world is up in arms. It beggars belief that the liberals are so out of touch with their own double-standards and flagrant misinterpretation of reality.
First of all, a nation has the right to let in anyone it wants and to not let in anyone it doesn’t want. This is one of the privileges of sovereignty. It can be applied in a number of ways from Germany at one end of the spectrum to North Korea at the other. Australia which is no North Korea, has some of the most strict and at times ridiculous sounding customs laws in the world, but Australia is a sovereign land and it is the Australian government’s right to make her own laws, just as it is the right of a country like Singapore to have a zero tolerance policy towards the importation of narcotics.
Australia, which is no North Korea, has some of the most strict and, at times, ridiculous sounding customs laws in the world, but Australia is a sovereign land and it is the Australian government’s right to make her own laws, just as it is the right of a country like Singapore to have a zero tolerance policy towards the importation of narcotics.
The Crimean situation is from a legal point of view, all the more duplicitous. It represents a western attempt to shut off economic opportunities for two particular regions (Crimea and Sevastopol) of the Russian Federation and to make it as difficult as possible for people to visit what is objectively one of the most beautiful places in the world.
If Russia wanted certain people not to visit her country or any region therein, that’s for the Russian government to decide, no one else. However, Obama, Merkel and co got a pass on this one. Their dastardly regime continues to make it harder than necessary for foreigners to visit one of the most desirable holiday spots in Russia.
The fact that Trump’s ban has a built-in expiratory date seems not to matter. Once again, ideology clouds judgment and obscures reality.