What we see in the US rants about Putin instigating chaos in Ukraine is our  penchant to reduce all foreign issues to personalities.  Putin is “bad” thus anything the does is “bad.”   Gone is his rescue of Obama and Kerry when  they painted themselves into a corner in Syria.  Gone is his standing back while Obama bombed Qudaffi into submission and capture.  Gone is his providing a back door route for supplying our troops in Afghanistan after the Pakistanis limited using routes via that country.  No, he is “bad” so time to gain some political ground by beating up on the “bad” guy.

I even saw an article talking about how Putin is supporting rebels rising up against an “elected government.”  The current government in Ukraine is not elected, it was installed by a parliamentary coup that tossed out the elected government and replaced it with a governmental  pastiche.

No the reality of Ukraine is that there is a divide among the people.  It is amazing that it has been kept under control so far.  But when the pro-West crowd rose up and threw out the pro-Russian president all restraints fell by the wayside.  That act exposed the smoldering resentment held by many in Ukraine and the two sides are now locked in a contest for power.  Not an unusual event.  Nigeria suffered its worse civil war after a newly elected Prime Minister was assassinated also exposing bitter animosities between various sectors of  the population.

As long as we pursue the simplistic policy of beating up on the “bad” guy there will be no resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.  We have to recognize that there are two competing sides and urge the two to reconcile their differences in peace talks.  And our role should be to sponsor those talks.  I am sure “bad guy” Putin would join us in sponsoring those talks.