Update on the Crimea analysis
Right now it would seem as if the hawks in America have taken command of the public, political and government opinion towards Russia.
This opinion is guided by a typical American combination of lack of updated knowledge of the world outside with the will to power and domination. People think as if the Cold War still was a fact. As if the USSR had not lost and Russia had not been humiliated by loosing large territories inhabited by Russian speakers.
A comparison between Russia and Putin with the USSR and its Communist leaders is out of proportion. And comparing Putin with Hitlerr is simply grotesque! Nazi Germany was acting aggressively as part of an unlimited expansion. Russia is acting defensively in reaction to the West in a political and cultural sense threatening to take over a directly neighboring country housing an important naval base. The situations would be more comparable if a weak and defensive Germany had occupied Heligoland, because the UK had aided the Frisian islands to independence after WW1 -Germany keeping its naval base on Heligoland - and then supported an anti-German revolution here. And certainly Putin is not a Nazi or even a Stalinist or a Communist!
Of Course the Americans are cheered by West European idealists and East European countries wanting revenge for Soviet dominance.
No matter what possible economic and energy delivery considerations lie behind, the cautious among the European attitudes is now to be applauded.
If it is really the case that the official American policy and actions are now ruled by the right wing, then this could risk being a crucial turning point, perhaps the most important international development since the fall of the USSR, a turn to the far worse what concerns world relations.
It could herald the beginning of an era of high international tensions and conflict setting us decades back. Russia and China could become allied more closely in response to exaggerated Western or rather American pressure and arrogant belief in its right to rule the rest of the world. A new Cold War between the West and an alliance of Russia and China could follow. A fight between military and economic giants through proxy- and internet wars.
I have earlier stated that the USA is about to win the end fight in the Western civilization. But opposed to Russia and China in a united front, this is by no means obvious!
Also for the here and now the consequences could be difficult to contain with the economic interdependencies in the globalized world. No one can afford sanctions and the resulting trade wars.
And what about the ISS?!
Everybody, also Putin should caution before we get so far. A de facto completely independent Crimea nominally staying within the Ukraine may be the best solution.