Writing at his blog, non-intervention.com, the former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer suggests that the reannexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia was justifiable. Scheuer also casts some doubt on the legitimacy of claims against Russia by the West. He writes (abridged):
No blessing ever seems to arrive in a manner that allows it to be appreciated and lingered over. In the case of President Trump’s stated intention to soon withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria, the beauty of that announcement is marred by the dangerous and ongoing insanity of the aggression of the Trump administration and NATO against Russia for defending itself against unwarranted, Western interventionist, regime-change operations in the Ukraine.
–It must be remembered that the grounding of the current confrontation with Russia was the successful efforts of the BBC, the EU, and Obama and Hillary to overthrow the pro-Russian Ukraine government. In response to that attack on Russia’s historical defensive periphery, Putin re-annexed Crimea, the home base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. This action was completely justifiable in terms of Russia’s life-and-death national security interests …Since that annexation, the deeply embarrassed and terminally adolescent West has sought to bring Putin and his country to daggers drawn by: (a) imposing economic sanctions on Russia because Putin did his patriotic duty in Crimea; (b) damning him and Russia for defending the West by killing much of the Islamic State that was defeating the West at home and abroad; and, now, by (c) expelling Russian diplomats on the basis of “lethal nerve gas attack” in Salisbury, England, one in which the British government said forty people were gassed but no one died; about which the area’s medical director said only three people were hurt and that there was no nerve gas involved; and for which the British government has not released a jot of evidence. … Russia is a nuclear-armed, Great Power, a nation proud of its history, and one that looks on Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence and a key to Russia’s defense. The West is playing with fire, and ought to be grateful for Putin’s patience – which will not last forever.
Read more here.