Eleven years ago this week, the U.S. decided to sidestep international law in its rush to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq. In doing so, charge critics, it has helped open a pandora’s box of imperial lawlessness that is now rearing its head in Ukraine.

Amid warnings that what’s taking place as Russia battles the U.S. and European nations over a new government in Kiev and Crimea’s vote to officially secede from Ukraine is the beginning of a new ‘Cold War,’ many observers have called out western hypocrisy when it comes to the White House and Downing Street pointing fingers at the Kremlin.

“In an era in which exceptionalism has become the norm, where the cavalier disregard of domestic and/or global objections is considered politically acceptable, and where powerful nations can exercise a free hand in determining the future of less powerful ones when strategic interests are involved.” —Randall Amster, Georgetown University