Ron Paul and his think tank don't want the U.S. to get embroiled in an overseas war with Russia over its recent annexation of Crimea. That's reasonable. Ron Paul and his think tank suggest that Russia didn't even invade Crimea, really. That's self-blindered hysterical conspiracy theorizin' bull semen.
Dave Weigel over at Slate has the details on a growing libertarian rift regarding how Russia got its new Black Sea appendage. To wit: Ron Paul's recent speeches have been sort of glib about what happened over there. He parroted Russian talking points, praising Crimea's "right to secede" from Ukraine in favor of the big kid on the block. (Paulie shares that perspective with white Southern secessionists here in the States, too.)
Some libertarians think Paul's argument elides a basic truth: Russia invaded Crimea on the thinnest of pretexts, then gamed the entire "self-determination" vote in Crimea—with troops, with organizers, with propaganda—to tip it absurdly in the Russian bear's favor.
That's all true. You don't have to want a U.S. war with Russia to recognize that Vladimir Putin pulled a greedy despotic land-grab. You can condemn another country's action and still be skeptical whether the U.S. should—or could—do anything to change the situation. Just because you have moral qualms about America's great-power counterparts doesn't mean you have to be a neocon.
But that's not ideologically pure, or truthery enough, for "Daniel Adams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity," who wants you to believe that Russia never invaded Crimea, or forced Crimea to vote for Russian integration! That's a neocon "conspiracy theory":
We know what an invasion looks like — it's called shock and awe and it happened eleven years ago this month, in the US illegal invasion of Iraq. It happened fifteen years ago this month over the skies of Serbia, another illegal US attack.
If it had happened earlier this month in Crimea would we not have video? Everyone has cell phones these days.
Surely if the referendum had been taken at gunpoint we would have seen evidence of those on the receiving end. Or does the writer wish us to believe that the Russian military rounded up more than 80 percent of the population and forced 93% of those to vote in favor of joining Russia without having to shoot a single Crimean? That sounds like a pretty wild conspiracy theory.
This insane blather speaks to a larger problem with white-guy-dominated libertarianism: It assumes that coercive power only comes from the barrel of a gun, and not from cultural and extra-institutional pressures.
But the big problem here is that, instead of allowing for a clear distinction between the statements "Yes, Russia did a bad thing" and "Yes, Uncle Sam should kick Russia's butt for doing a bad thing," Paulies would rather take the cranial carry bags containing their God-given intellects and jam them up their own clammy rectums, blocking out the light of truth: that Russia coldly engineered an invasion and annexation of a property that belonged to Ukraine.
I don't want the United States to get involved militarily in Russia's new territorial ambitions. I don't think anybody who's not high on Kristol Meth wants a U.S. intervention in Crimea or Western Ukraine or anywhere else over there. But neither does that mean we should ignore facts, cast our lots in with Loose Change fanboys, and pretend the world is a la-la happy place free of immoral despots, other than the thermite-having 9/11 inside-jobbers.
[Photo credit: AP]