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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rand Paul Is on a Roll—First the Guns Thing and Now Rushing to Putin's Defense

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 3:59 PM

First the inane junior senator from Kentucky grandstands to insist that our current epidemic of accidental and intentional gunshot wounds isn't a public-health issue, then he rushes to defend Putin just as the Kremlin has ordered a sudden military exercise that seems designed to rattle the fragile situation in Ukraine.

For a refresher on how the Kremlin has been trying to undermine the protests in Ukraine and support its on-the-run President Viktor Yanukovych, see this dispatch over the weekend from Our Man in Ukraine:

The pro-Kremlin press has tried to make it sound like Ukraine is a breeding ground for neo-Nazis and fascists, but that simply isn't the case. These groups by and large have less to do with anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, etc. and more to do with fear of imperialism from Russia (political scientist Anton Shekhovtsov has written extensively about this).

People remember the atrocities carried out by Stalin against Ukrainians very vividly, and to some extent Ukrainians feel like they are fighting to maintain their independence. The other day, there were reports that Ukraine's chief rabbi had warned Jews to flee the country. But that was inaccurate. It was not the chief rabbi, but another Kremlin supporter. (See the correction in Haaretz.) Even my Jewish friends here think it's ridiculous.

The next coming months will be difficult.

And Putin, with an imperialist glimmer in his eye, is making it more difficult. Cut back to Rand Paul:

If you didn’t think Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) comments refusing to rule out containment on Iran were sufficient to disqualify him for serious consideration as president, this should do it: “Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea.”

It is not the only time Paul has come running to the defense of a despot. Paul defended Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the grounds that he is good for Christians.

Apparently this was a poorly timed stab at establishing Paul's libertarian, isolationist bona fides, which one House aide described as, "the perfect foreign policy for the Victorian era. We’ve tried hiding behind two big oceans in the past. That doesn’t do you a lick of good in the fiber optic era."

And others, left, right, and center are getting on the scold train.

A foreign policy guru at a centrist think tank expressed disgust. “This is pretty irresponsible, under the circumstances. If he were president and made statements like that, implying that Ukraine is somehow rightfully part of Russia, I think it would send a very green light to Putin, who just happens, as Paul speaks, to be holding impromptu emergency military exercises on Ukraine’s border.”

... Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Sunday, “The United States should do everything possible to ensure Ukraine remains one country and that their territorial and political integrity is maintained, allowing them the freedom to choose a future within Europe.”

I wish the GOP would run him for president. Can you imagine how much fun the Clinton/Paul debates would be?

 

Comments (13) RSS

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Joe Szilagyi 1
They're all idiots. This crap by Corker is the biggest kicker:

“The United States should do everything possible to ensure Ukraine remains one country and that their territorial and political integrity is maintained, allowing them the freedom to choose a future within Europe.”


Let me try to rephrase what that should say, and I say that as absolutely no fan of Russia for a multitude of reasons including personal family history in Europe:

“The United States should do everything possible that the Ukrainian people ask of us, to allow them the freedom to choose a future that they desire.”
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on February 26, 2014 at 4:14 PM · Report this
MrBaker 2
Why doesn't Rand Paul love America?
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 26, 2014 at 4:17 PM · Report this
3
I got a bad feeling about the Ukraine situation.
Posted by GermanSausage on February 26, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 4
@3 - It's "a bad feeling about Ukraine situation," not "the Ukraine."
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on February 26, 2014 at 4:35 PM · Report this
5
Anyone rwant to talk about the atrocities carried out by Lenin in Ukraine? Apparently Sawant and her followers do not.
Posted by hmmmmm on February 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 6
It seems like people are reading a lot more into his actual statement,
Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea.
than is actually there.

The guy's an ass, for sure, but let's not make him say something he didn't. He's sure to say something truly worth condemning soon enough, or repeat someone else's work.

Of course, replace "Russia" with "Obama", and "Cold War era" with "Election Cycle", and you have some pretty sound advice for his fellow GOP'ers.
Posted by Sir Vic on February 26, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
7
sounds like someone accused you of being sympathetic to an anarchist and your like "oh no, I still believe in the cult of clinton and the technocratic globalists"
Posted by carsten coolage on February 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
8
I think the Rand Paul/Elizabeth Warren debates would be even better.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
The Establishment 9
@5
Anyone rwant to talk about the atrocities carried out by Lenin in Ukraine? Apparently Sawant and her followers do not.

I donated money to Sawant's campaign, and I'd love to talk about "the atrocities carried out by Lenin in Ukraine."

Please proceed, hmmmmm.
Posted by The Establishment on February 26, 2014 at 6:29 PM · Report this
10
Ukraine has been controlled by Russia for most of the last 300 years when many western nations didn't even exist; so, although one shouldn't give Putin the wrong idea, we also shouldn't be naive about historical legacies. Russia will intervene to secure the secession of Eastern Ukraine if they can't get what they want.
Posted by anon1256 on February 26, 2014 at 6:47 PM · Report this
11
@4, oh u. Tee hee.
Posted by GermanSausage on February 26, 2014 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Knat 12
There are plenty of fantastic examples one could cite as to why Rand Paul should never become President. This one seems pretty far down the list, in my opinion.
Posted by Knat on February 26, 2014 at 9:41 PM · Report this
chriscollison 13
Hi! Your Man in Ukraine here. It's also worth noting that Rand Paul's daddy (who was recently featured on Russia Today: http://rt.com/op-edge/leave-ukraine-alon…) also runs a think tank full of Putin defenders called the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. (See: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/20… and http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.com/20…)
Posted by chriscollison on February 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM · Report this

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