Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away (this one, in fact), humans would only invade their neighbors over such things the need to survive and reproduce. Water, food sources and reproduction would drive violent encounters between opposing humans and their aligned associates, if any.
Later in history, as basic human survival needs were relatively stabilized, humans fought over religion, wealth, slaves, property, political power and other non-survival purposes.
As technology advanced and man learned to destroy more with less, people began to realize that there were better ways to solve problems then killing and destroying, such as talking to each other, and negotiating, and even competitions like land rushes and the like.
Then when humanity became capable of utterly destroying itself, even more humans realized the pen was much mightier than the sword if the physical survival of the entire human race was important. As a result, most organized nations of the world came together and agreed that henceforth they would seek to work things out, avoiding bloodshed and possible annihilation.
The only acceptable exception was if a nation was attacked by another nation with force. Only then would defensive counter-force be deemed acceptable, and even then only enough to stop and reverse the original aggression. Remember this.
On September 11, 2001 (9-11) the USA was attacked on it own soil by members of a stateless religious extremist Islamist organization known Al Qaeda which also pledged to attack the some of the other large nations on the planet with local terror operations.
As a result of the 9-11 attacks, the USA appropriately chose to seek out Al Qaeda and its supporters, the Taliban. The USA subsequently invaded Afghanistan with American and coalition military forces to rout and destroy Al-Qaeda and overthrow the Taliban government of Afghanistan. This action was condoned by every civilized nation on Earth as meritorious and justified by the brutal 9-11 attack on the USA.
HOWEVER!!!! If only the USA would have stopped there and simply maintained stabilizing forces in Afghanistan and nothing more. But, nope, not to be. Then-president of the USA George W. Bush, who by many accounts was hell-bent on attacking Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, ostensibly because Saddam tried to kill his dad, former president George H. W, Bush in the late 1990s, was intent for his first day in office to attack and remove Saddam Hussein. The fact that then-president Bill Clinton took strong military retaliatory action against Saddam subsequent to the assassination attempt didn’t seem to be enough for the younger Bush.
So in March 1993, after convincing a not-very-discriminating-or-perceptive congress, G W Bush directed American troops (and coalition troops) to invade Iraq under the false pretense that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, most notably some nuclear capability of some sort.
SURPRISE!! Not a single solitary weapon of mass destruction was found. An obsolete Russian MiG jet fighter WAS found buried in the sand in the Iraqi desert, however.
So…The USA spent almost 10 years in Iraq, a country that posed no threat to us, which in all probability had held back Iran, even if we didn’t like Saddam Hussein or his government.
Fast forward to March 2014: Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, who rules the largest country on Earth (Russia), one of the powerful nations on Earth (Russia) and the one of the two largest nuclear arsenals on Earth (Russian & American), decided to invade the Crimean peninsula of the formal Soviet satellite republic of Ukraine. Russian troops marched in without firing a single bullet (unlike the USA in Iraq in 2003) and were welcomed with open arms. And while it was still clearly a violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory by Russia, Putin’s claims that they were invited by the ousted pro-Russian president of Ukraine, and that the vast majority of the population of Crimea is of Russian origin or descent and welcomed them, is true.
But the very worst part of this is that at Putin’s press conference on Sunday, March 1st, Putin stated (accurately) that the west (read: USA and its allies) yelling at him for putting troops into Crimea (where Russia ALREADY has a base and troops, by the way), is coming from a nation (USA) that seems to invade other countries such as Iraq with impunity, even WITHOUT a direct connection to the USA (except maybe oil).
If you don’t live up to a standard (human rights, for instance), then where on Earth to you get the hubris to demand that others do so? When we tortured terrorist prisoners between 2003-2007, we lost our right demand that other countries cease doing the same.
So when, after invading Iraq for no valid reason, we demanded Russia reverse their invasion of Crimea, one could just hear their disgust at the arrogant American “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
THAT’S what the Bush/Cheney Syndicate did to us……