Ron Paul Is Right About Crimea by Justin Raimondo

The libertarian movement has always been a contentious arena: that’s the nature of the beast. After all, we’re talking about libertarians – individualists to a fault: getting them to agree on anything is often like trying to herd cats. Aside from this question of temperament, however, there have been some very substantial ideological differences over the years, and – not surprisingly – many of these internal conflicts have been over US foreign policy.

Alexander McCobin
Alexander McCobin (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

That’s because it’s relatively easy to ascertain the libertarian position on matters domestic: government spying on our emails? We’re against it. Higher taxes? We’re against all taxes, period. The National Endowment for the Arts? Abolish it.

Easy stuff. But when it comes to foreign policy – where historical context and knowledge of facts on the ground are decisive factors – it gets more complicated. And not all are up to the task: certainly Alexander McCobin, unelected “President” of Students for Liberty (SFL), isn’t. His article for the Panam Post, entitled “Ron Paul is Wrong When He Speaks About Secession and Crimea,” is an amalgam of misinformation and smears.

After waffling on about how libertarians have to be against “unnecessary wars” (although he doesn’t say which ones are or were necessary), and paying lip service to the idea that “our generation” has a “critical attitude toward foreign intervention” (only “critical”?), he finally gets to the point:

“While it’s important criticize misconduct of the United States and some of its Western allies exacerbating the turmoil in the Middle East over the past two decades, it is also important to remember that there are other aggressors in the world; Russia – with its ongoing wars in the Northern Caucasus, the invasion of South Ossetia, and it’s most recent annexation of Crimea – being key among them.

Ron Paul taking questions in Manchester, NH

“Former Congressman Ron Paul, whose views are interpreted by many as wholly representative of the libertarian movement, gets it wrong when he speaks of Crimea’s right to secede. Make no mistake about it, Crimea was annexed by Russian military force at gunpoint and its supposedly democratic ‘referendum’ was a farce. Besides a suspiciously high voter turnout without legitimate international observers, the referendum gave Crimeans only two choices – join Russia now or later.”

McCobin is wrong about South Ossetia: like the Crimeans, the Ossetians held a referendum and voted to separate from Georgia’s central government. In response, Georgia invaded the region, sending in its troops before the Russians ever got there. They bombarded Tsinskvali, capital of the rebel province, deliberately targeting civilians, killing and wounding hundreds. According to Human Rights Watch, Georgian artillery fired directly into basements – where civilians were sure to be hiding. As the BBC put it:

“The BBC has discovered evidence that Georgia may have committed war crimes in its attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia in August. Eyewitnesses have described how its tanks fired directly into an apartment block, and how civilians were shot at as they tried to escape the fighting.”

McCobin hasn’t even bothered to do the most basic research: he’s simply swallowed the new cold war mythology whole. It’s easier that way.

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2 thoughts on “Ron Paul Is Right About Crimea by Justin Raimondo

  1. Joe Bradshaw March 27, 2014 / 2:53 PM

    I would like to say I love your blog and the wonderful and beautiful things you share as well as the inspiration and smiles you bring in doing so! Thank you for being you and I hope even if you do not accept awards you will accept the sentiment expressed as I honor you with one. There is no prize that comes with the award other than my appreciation and being grateful you are part of our world and making a difference by sharing in such a positive way…
    I have posted the award and link to it here I hope you will accept it or at least the sentiment behind it!

    With love,


    • Web Master March 28, 2014 / 11:16 AM

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it! – Thomas


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