Robert Zubrin starts off the new year with some more hysteria about Ukraine:

Americans need to wake up. The events unfolding in Ukraine right now are of global historic importance.

That isn’t true, but it is striking that so many of the people urging the U.S. to interfere in Ukraine keep insisting on the world-historical importance of opposition protests in one relatively small country in eastern Europe. Events in Ukraine are of enormous importance for the people that live in Ukraine, and they are important to a lesser degree for the people in neighboring countries, but it’s ridiculous to believe that they are of global or “historic” importance. Perhaps Zubrin thinks that Americans can only be “awakened” from their slumber by extremely significant events, or perhaps his enthusiasm is just getting the better of him, but describing protests in Ukraine in these terms reflects a common American inability to distinguish between what is vitally important for the U.S. and the world and what is not.

If protests in Ukraine are of “global historic importance” meriting U.S. involvement, are there any protests in the world that aren’t? When Americans are constantly bombarded with false warnings of this kind, they are much more likely to ignore all of them, including the ones that might be valid. A more accurate assessment would say that the U.S. doesn’t have much at stake in the Ukrainian contest, and it can’t do very much to affect the outcome, but that it is able to take a few small measures to discomfit corrupt Ukrainian leaders. Ukraine isn’t part of some grand ideological struggle, no matter how much ideologues in Moscow and the West want to treat it that way.