To debunk the distortions of warmongers is not to defend tyranny.
How should libertarians assess the crisis in Ukraine? Some would have us believe that a true commitment to liberty entails (1) glorifying the “Euromaidan revolution” and the government it installed in Kiev, (2) welcoming, excusing, or studiously ignoring US involvement with that revolution and government, and (3) hysterically demonizing Vladimir Putin and his administration for Russia’s involvement in the affair. Since Ron Paul refuses to follow this formula or to remain silent on the issue, these “NATO-tarians,” as Justin Raimondo refers to them, deride him as an anti-freedom, anti-American, shill for the Kremlin.
Dr. Paul takes it all in stride of course, having endured the same kind of smears and dishonest rhetorical tricks his entire career. As he surely knows, the price of being a principled anti-interventionist is eternal patience. Still, it must be frustrating. After all he has done to teach Americans about the evils of empire and the bitter fruits of intervention, there are still legions of self-styled libertarians whose non-interventionism seems to go little further than admitting that the Iraq War was “a mistake,” and who portray opposition to US hostility against foreign governments as outright support for those governments.
“Yes, the Iraq War was clearly a mistake, but we have to confront Putin; we can’t let Iran ‘get nukes;’ we’ve got to save the Yazidis on the mountain; we must crush ISIS, et cetera, et cetera. What are you, a stooge of the Czar/Ayatollah/Caliph?”
Some of these same libertarians supported Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, and presumably laughed along with the rest of us when the neocons tried to paint him as “pro-Saddam” for opposing the Iraq War and for debunking the lies and distortions that were used to sell it. Yet, today they do not hesitate to tar Dr. Paul as a “confused Pro-Putin libertarian” over his efforts to oppose US/NATO interventions in Ukraine and against Russia. Such tar has been extruded particularly profusely by an eastern-European-heavy faction of Students for Liberty which might be dubbed “Students for Collective Security.”
Amid an avalanche of attacks on antiwar Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, the latest (as of midnight on Tuesday) is one in the comically-named “American Thinker,” a neocon web site for the intellectually challenged, which runs a piece by Adam Yoshida on “The Madness of Ron Paul.” The real irony here is that if anyone is an example of madness run amok it is Señor Yoshida, who wrote the following:
“Can any rational person deny that Michael Moore is a traitor? … Michael Moore should be made an example of. During the Revolutionary War, loyalists were tarred and feathered and sometimes killed. … In short, during virtually every major American war, subversion, sedition, and treason have been harshly dealt with and civil liberties have been curbed. This is the way things ought to be. This is the way that things must be.
“Vietnam was lost both because seditionists were allowed to run free and because the government failed to take proper action to curb them. Today Kent State is memorialized as a great tragedy because a few traitors (or those stupid enough to stand near them) were killed when, in fact, one of the great tragedies of the war was that there were obviously too few Kent States.”
This is what passes for “conservatism” these days: the Madness of Adam Yoshida.
“This is the way things ought to be. This is the way that things must be.” Spooky. Scary. And wacko. The man is off his meds — or maybe there aren’t meds powerful enough to counteract that kind of psychosis.
On June 15, Rep. Ron Paul gave the following speech in opposition to the Democrats’ new $106 Billion war funding bill, after it was sent back to the House from the conference committee. (The bill passed Tuesday evening.):
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this conference report on the War Supplemental Appropriations. I wonder what happened to all of my colleagues who said they were opposed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder what happened to my colleagues who voted with me as I opposed every war supplemental request under the previous administration. It seems, with very few exceptions, they have changed their position on the war now that the White House has changed hands. I find this troubling. As I have said while opposing previous war funding requests, a vote to fund the war is a vote in favor of the war. Congress exercises its constitutional prerogatives through the power of the purse.
This conference report, being a Washington-style compromise, reflects one thing Congress agrees on: spending money we do not have. So this â€œcompromiseâ€ bill spends 15 percent more than the president requested, which is $9 billion more than in the original House bill and $14.6 billion more than the original Senate version. Included in this final version — in addition to the $106 billion to continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — is a $108 billion loan guarantee to the International Monetary Fund, allowing that destructive organization to continue spending taxpayer money to prop up corrupt elites and promote harmful economic policies overseas.
As Americans struggle through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, this emergency supplemental appropriations bill sends billions of dollars overseas as foreign aid. Included in this appropriation is $660 million for Gaza, $555 million for Israel, $310 million for Egypt, $300 million for Jordan, and $420 million for Mexico. Some $889 million will be sent to the United Nations for â€œpeacekeepingâ€ missions. Almost one billion dollars will be sent overseas to address the global financial crisis outside our borders and nearly $8 billion will be spent to address a â€œpotential pandemic flu.â€
Mr. Speaker, I continue to believe that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home from Iraq and Afghanistan. If one looks at the original authorization for the use of force in Afghanistan, it is clear that the ongoing and expanding nation-building mission there has nothing to do with our goal of capturing and bringing to justice those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. Our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make us safer at home, but in fact it undermines our national security. I urge my colleagues to defeat this reckless conference report.