More from RELS 348: Empire, Colonialism, and Religion

The BBC gives updates and insights on the crisis in the Ukraine. The ceasefire that was reached is a rocky one between the rebels and the Ukrainian but has stabilized somewhat after the soldier trade between both sides. The fascinating part of the article however is the focus on America imposing sanctions on Russia. Russia is allegedly supporting the rebel forces and is sending them what they need to continue fighting Ukraine. This is an interesting move that the USA could pull, because it is essentially just another form of imperialism. The Russian government is committing the largest form of modern imperialism in a long time. However if the United States imposes the sanctions on the Russian government then they are no better than Russia. The imposing of sanctions is done because the States do not agree with what Russia is doing, the USA will essentially be making Russia not only see its view point but also adopt it. That is exactly what Russia is doing in Ukraine in the first place. America is clever they have adopted a more subtle take on imperialism in this day and age. They know that they should not interfere directly in the conflict as that will just cause further escalation so they adopt a tactic that will yield similar results, and Russia would have to accept its view. What the USA is doing however, is just as harmful as it is good. The sanction would hurt the government and economy of Russia but it will repress the people of the nation far more. If the US does this they are essentially targeting civilian populations who have very little to do with the current situation in the Ukraine. In Uwe Siemon-Netto’s work “Triumph of the Absurd” he describes the American’s in the Vietnam War. He shows that they were a necessary force against the Vietcong and helped protect the people. That being said they were still acting out of imperialism and trying to make sure that their ideology was not lost in Vietnam. They were an indirect imperial force in that war, much like how this sanction not a direct form of imperialism. This decision could have much worse drawbacks on the Russian people than on the Vietnamese people. The war was arguably necessary, this sanction seems that it is not and will only cause more issues. The USA needs to realize that their imperialistic means can be incredibly hazardous and need to be fully recognized and analyzed before being put into effect. Both Russia and America are creating problems of imperialism in a modern society where it is forbidden to do such things. They need to realize that their view is not necessarily what is best, and imposing it on others definitely is not what is best.


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