I'll say more -we should not even be having this poll taken right now. And I will not be preaching about the hypocrisy of the west - after all, every country needs to look after its own interests first, THEN worry about the moral dilemma (although I DO NOT think we have a moral leg to stand on after Iraq and Afghanistan, but that's not my point).
Is it in our interests that Crimea stays with the (currently) pro-Western Ukrainian government? Absolutely. OK. Is it of significant ENOUGH interest to intervene, further damage our relationship with Russia and risk all the consequences thereafter? Not even close.
To keep this brief, here is the main reason why: we do not NEARLY stand as much to gain as Russia stands to LOSE in Crimea, and I am not just talking about the Russian-speaking population. For Russia, it is not just a matter of prestige and international respect - it is also a geopolitical issue of monumental importance. Without Sevastopol, Russia has no fleet base (and consequently, no geopolitical dominance) on the Black Sea. This has been the naval outpost of Russia for the past 200 years, written away (nominally) to Ukraine by Khrushchev about 50 years ago and has only technically been on non-Russian soil for the past 20. Without black sea fleet, Russia has no access to that region, cannot project its power there, and will essentially become a landlocked nation as far as the south part of the country goes.
I promise you this: Russia will fight A LOT harder to retain that region than we will be willing to. A LOT harder than what it is worth to us. We stand to gain rather little (and only in a hypothetical sense) from encroaching on Russia.
That's why, in my opinion, we made a strategic mistake by quickly jumping to the support of the new Ukrainian government and failing to consider (or refusing to do so) how Russia - which has been one and the same country with Ukraine for much longer than United States has BEEN a country - will react to this provocation. It is too late to take our words back, and the only right thing left to do now is to save face while keeping the US-Russia relationship damage to a minimum.
The will of the Crimean people is now crystal clear, but the US still imposed sanctions upon Russia, for what? Defending the right of a region's citizens to freedom and self determination? It appears to me that America, at this point, has become the coercive and illegitimate force in this conflict, in their attempt to prevent democracy from running its course. Ironic, but not at all surprising... It begs the question of what truly motivates America's involvement in this conflict. Certainly not justice, or our administration would support a fair vote.
Although, the actual act of the referendum was illegal by international law; it must be acknowledge that the majority of the population is in favor and have voted in favor of joining Russia. The intervention of any western nations will now be ignoring the voices of the population and would be just their for their own gain, disregarding the local populace.
USA needs to stay out of the conflict as it is none of their business. Not for one second would I believe USA is doing any of this to be the world police and help the world. Everything the USA government has ever done was for its own good, (ex. Iraq, Afghanistan = OIL) and USA still hates Russia since the cold war. USA just needs to stay OUT as it has enough of its own problems to finance and worry about.
Yes America has enough problems on it's hands. We have a missing plane that nobody can find, That Al Qaida is responsible for. We have already 2 wars that we can barely afford. We are having our soldiers die left and right. Let our allies get involved for once and help them figure this out.
It's clear that Russia feels the Crimea is essential to its security. If we intervene, we're going to have another Cold War on our hands, and maybe a hot war. Iraq and Afghanistan should have taught us to stay out of wars unless we're completely committed to them. The American people don't have the stomach for another war.
The majority of America's greatest generation that rose to honorably serve our country and protect us from the evils of Nazi Germany has all but passed into history. Perhaps it is a good thing that those brave men and women are no longer alive to see the beginning of what will surely be WWIII. Putin was the leader of the KGB an organization that had strong similarities to the Nazi death squads. Now this leader has committed an act of war against one of its neighbors. A neighbor that Russia deliberately deceived into virtually eliminating their nuclear arsenal by agreeing to respect the sovereignty of the Ukrainian nation. Now after their government has been destabilized, potentially by covert ops from Russia themselves, Russia has claimed a militarily important region of Crimea. This area gives Russia access to the Black Sea and one of their large Navy bases. With the idiotic claim that Russia is merely protecting the ethnic Russians in the region, they have annexed part of the Ukraine. A quick study of the history books and you will see that Hitler's first move was to annex militarily important regions prior to outwardly seeking world domination.
The United States should not be directly involved with the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. However, America should heavily sanction Russia for its annexation of Crimea. Vladimir Putin is a former KGB thug who is overly suspicious of American intentions. It's like he's stuck in the Cold War while America has moved on. America should ban all travel of Americans to and from Russia and we should recall our ambassador if this situation persists. Militarily, the United States should stay out. Economically, Europe and the United States should cut off Russian interests as much as possible to make it economically impossible for Putin to follow this course of action. Taking on Russia in a physical war is foolhardy, and maybe that's what Putin wants as a way to avenge the fall of the USSR in 1991. However, Americans need to be smarter than that. We need to be like the 1980 Olympics where we simply boycott Russian interests altogether.
People will be dying left and right as soon as Russia gets its hands on Crimea. Not only that but the reason Crimea is getting its independence is because Russia is screwing with the polls. Also I believe that NATO and UN should threaten to kick Russia from each organization if they continue. Russia has no authority to take a country, also if they dont get what they want, Russia will simply cut off the natural gas lines just like what they did to Germany. Perhaps you should check out a video on Youtube called The Putin System.