In the wake of the Ukrainian uprising, there have been no shortage of Western opinions on how the U.S. should intervene or what the Ukranians should do.
Perhaps the best discussion I've heard was on my primary (and highly recommended) news source, Democracy Now!
But we should have learned some lessons from our recent experience in the Middle East: First, how little we understand about the social and political complexities of the countries there; second, that we can — at considerable cost — stop bad things from happening in these countries but cannot, by ourselves, make good things happen; and third, that when we try to make good things happen we run the risk of assuming the responsibility for solving their problems, a responsibility that truly belongs to them.
- We understand little of other country's complexities
- We may be able to stop bad things from happening, but only at considerable cost
- Trying to make good things happen replaces self-empowerment of the people
These points are powerful reminders to be cautious in finding solutions to others' problems, both as individuals and as a nation.