What Is Rand Paul's Biggest Problem?
Ron Paul has just sided with Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) appeared on the Fox Business Network’s The Independents on Wednesday night where he was asked for his thoughts about the worsening situation in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Paul said that the United States and the West have engaged in hypocrisy and alleged that they participated in the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich’s government. He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “some law on his side” in Crimea because Russia held a lease on a naval base in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
“This whole thing that Putin is the big cause of the trouble, and yet there’s pretty good evidence that the Europeans as well as the American government had to contrive to have the overthrow of a government that most people say had been elected,” Paul asserted.
“And then for them to come along and say, ‘Well, it’s an illegal government,’ and they want to have a referendum now, you know, in Crimea, ‘Oh, no, that’s not permissible,’” Paul continued. “Everything that Putin does is illegal. He’s no angel, but actually he has some law on his side.”
How does Putin have any law on his side? Crimea is not even Russian territory. Putin is taking advantage of the turmoil in Ukraine to seize and annex Crimea, probably on the way to either dismembering Ukraine or absorbing all of it by force.
Paul asserted that “contracts, and agreements, and treaties” associated with the Sevastopol base provide Putin with the legal basis to militarily occupy the peninsula. He said that Russia could accuse America of occupying Cuba because it, too, holds a lease on the land around the Guantanamo Bay prison.
“It’s such a façade,” he continued.
The facade is Ron Paul trying to sound reasonable. He leaps to blaming America in just about every instance -- note the swipe about Cuba. The United States does not occupy Cuba just because we have a base there, and we are not about to absorb it. Gitmo was established long before the Castro regime took power.
If Sen. Rand Paul is to become a serious presidential contender, he is going to have to find a way to keep his cranky father off the TV. All Ron Paul does is blame America for the misdeeds of others, including Putin.
Host Matt Welch asked if Crimea’s snap referendum, scheduled to be held on Sunday, could really be considered legitimate given that it is being orchestrated by an occupational government “in the shadow” of the Russian government amassing forces on the Ukrainian border.
“Yeah,” Paul said. “I don’t think we should do all that threatening.” Welch attempted to clarify his question, but Paul went on to say that the Crimean invasion is being used as an “excuse” to erect interceptor missiles in “Russia’s backyard.”
The ballot in that referendum doesn't even provide a "no" option. How can it be legitimate?
Paul goes on from there to assert that people have a right of secession, which is correct, but he then applies it to Crimea, which is incorrect. Crimea has not chosen secession yet. The Sunday vote isn't about secession, it's about annexation. Russia swooped in and put 30,000 troops on it and is now holding a snap vote to put a gloss of legitimacy on its invasion. Russia is also massing troops on Ukraine's borders for what looks like a broader offensive.
Ron Paul would never, ever let any American administration get away with such obvious aggression. But he's fine with Putin doing it.
Update: Putin is moving broadly against opposition, even outside of Russia. Does Ron Paul support this?
Not only did Putin block access to opposition news sites in Russia, but Rus govt contacted our admin to turn off servers. They work fast.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 13, 2014