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Let Crimean people decide their future

Recent events in Crimea have at least one similarity to the birth of our own nation. I want to state right at the beginning that I am not a fan of Vladimir Putin or authoritarian government. Our Declaration of Independence says that it is self-evident that people have the unalienable right to alter or abolish a government and start a new one in a form of their choosing.

Whether we like it or not, it would appear that the majority of the people of Crimea have done just that by voting to separate from Ukraine and affiliate themselves with Russia, just like we split from England in 1776. It seems hypocritical of us to chastise them and place sanctions against them and Russia for pursuing a course of action that we profess to be a self-evident, unalienable right. What are we going to gain by meddling?

But we are full of inconsistencies. The Founding Fathers proceeded to follow the Declaration of Independence with provisions in our Constitution against rebellion and insurrection. Witness what happened when the Southern states tried to secede. In today’s world, would we allow the people of California, with its wealth of agriculture and technology, or Texas, with its wealth of oil and ranching, to break away and join Mexico? Would unalienable rights or economics prevail?

Michael Hall

Buffalo