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Napoleon famously cautioned against interfering with an enemy making a mistake. So why is the West interfering with Vladimir Putin’s massive mistake in Crimea? More puzzling is the West’s unstated goal of legitimizing Putin’s Crimea grab.

Putin’s mistake? Some in the media are lionizing Putin as a strategic genius, running circles around the West. Yet, Putin could have gotten Crimea with a please-and-thank-you and looked like a humanitarian hero. Instead, he’s viewed as a threatening thug, with long-term negative consequences for Russia.