Take a pill, pal. No one is launching nuclear weapons.
Double standards are what they are. Whether you, Russia or the King of Jupiter like it or not, it is not in anyone but Russia's best interests to have it absorbing up chunks of Eastern Europe based on the same flimsy arguments that Germany put forward over the Sudetenland seventy five years ago.
Moral standing arguments are nothing more than thinly veiled arguments to sit on our hands and do nothing. Well fuck you and fuck the double standard. Russia should be put under crippling sanctions, its foreign assets should be seized, its foreign nationals put on the next planes back to Russia. At some point the oligarchs that Putin relies on for his powerbase will blink and then we can back to reasonable talk, without Russian forces sitting in a state that Russia itself guaranteed the territorial integrity of twenty years ago.
Stalin managed lots of things; like selling Germany steel up until the morning of the German invasion. Churchill famously reminded Stalin of this fact when Stalin went into one of his infamous telegraph tirades demanding more of the Arctic convoys shipping materials from the US and Canada to Britain be redirected to Russia.
Russia did not survive WWII all on its own. It too was a beneficiary of Western aid; both directly via Lend Lease, as well as aid in gaining control of the Trans-Iranian Railroad, and ultimately opening the Second Front with the Normandy Invasion, which finally forced Germany into the nightmare two-front war.
Russia has never been as invincible as it liked to portray itself. Even when it ultimately drove out invaders, the costs were massive.
The United States, via NATO, has underwritten European freedom for six decades. Why should that stop now? It's in the US's interest to keep Europe free and peaceful.
I'm not, at this juncture, suggesting military intervention; not directly anyways. But certainly help Ukraine through military aid defends its sovereignty and integrity seems a good idea, as well as pushing Europe for harsh sanctions.
With Russian units now making incursions outside of Crimea, I think it's only a matter of time before Europe goes along with the US plan for harsher sanctions.
The are a number of questions about the validity of the vote. Considering Crimea's ethnic makeup, 95% approval seems a questionable number. No international observers of any note during a referendum that carves out a chunk of a sovereign state. A sovereign state, I might add, that Russia itself guaranteed the territorial integrity of in the 1990s.
If Russia gets away with this, it will essentially mean that anywhere in Europe where there is an ethnic Russian population of any note, the country in question will be forced to either tow Moscow's line, or risk a Russian invasion to "liberate" the ethnic Russians.
The US has been putting an enormous amount of pressure on the EU directly to produce harsh sanctions against Russia, but even the US's most staunch ally in Europe; the UK, is very nervous about "going all the way" and all but shutting down trade with Russia.
The UN vote was a PR stunt. Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council, so the UN is castrated before the diplomats even have their first cup of coffee. The real sanctions will come when the EU finally admits that Russia isn't leaving Crimea, and worse, is likely eyeing up other parts of southern and eastern Ukraine. Since Europe is one of Russia's biggest buyers of natural gas, such sanctions will hurt very badly.
Wipe out its major cities, and whatever functioning infrastructure remains, it will be heavily damaged and the Russian state will be compromised. Hitler almost managed it, but didn't have the resources to pull it off. Even with Russia's natural protections, Germany came damned close to driving the Soviet regime east of the Urals.
All these war games were played out half a century ago. In an open exchange of ICBMs, both countries, and pretty much everyone in between, gets all but wiped out. That the Russian leadership might hole up in some Siberian outpost is a given, but by the same token the Continental US is a big fucking place too, and you don't think the plans are still on the books to move the Executive, Judicial and enough for the Legislative for a quorum to some undisclosed location?
A major nuclear exchange between Russia and the US would be catastrophic for both countries, and I doubt whatever crawled out of the glowing rubble of such an exchange would much resemble the two nations that went in.
This obsession with "moral standing" is ludicrous. Do you think the British Empire had heap loads of moral standing on September 1, 1939? Do you think the US and the USSR had barrels of "moral standing" hanging around when they joined the fight against the Nazis?
Nations do shit things, sometimes for perceived benefit, or simply out of greed. If we allowed every ill actions we had done in the past hold us back, no one would ever intervene when some other nation state violated the general rules of international conduct?
Russia signed an agreement in the 1990s guaranteeing Ukraine's territorial integrity in exchange for Ukraine's nuclear stockpiles. Thus, even excluding any notions of territorial integrity that have been a part of international law since the end of WWII, Russia is in violation of its own treaty with Ukraine.
So yes, it sucks ass that the US invaded Iraq, but do you seriously want the US to sit in the corner and refuse to come out when Russia starts enlarging itself with trumped up referendums, because a decade ago it did a naughty thing?
They may be at times corrupted by it, but if you look at actual state-controlled media outlets in countries like Russia, there's no comparison.
The West didn't intervene in the Prague Spring, and they won't likely directly intervene now. Ukraine isn't worth the pain of open warfare.
Beyond that, the US has been for weeks now trying to push for vast overarching sanctions. It's the EU that lacks the backbone. For full sanctions to really work, it has to be both the US and the EU.
How would Russia survive it better when it relies upon energy exports to keep its economic ship afloat? Guess what the first victim of a major economic slowdown is...
Have you thought about the costs to Russia? Such a mass sell off would indeed slaughter the price of the dollar, and thus would cut the value of Russia's greenback reserves enormously. Sure the US and the rest of the global economy would be in agony, but Russia would have cut off its own nose despite its face.
Russia is not some infinitely powerful state. By and large, it's a petro-state, and any move that causes precipitous global economic decline will do it significant damage in the process.
Human culture existed for thousands of years before copyright, and during that long expanse there has been no lack of music, drama, prose, poetry, painting and sculpture. Strangely enough "content creators" did make a living.