Rand Paul on Ukraine: Some people on our side want to “tweak” Russia all the time

posted at 4:01 pm on February 26, 2014 by Allahpundit

He means McCain, of course, but maybe not just McCain. Quick, which Senate Republican issued the following statement in January as the Euromaidan protests in Kiev were heating up?

“The United States must not turn a blind eye to the struggle for freedom in a country where we have such a clear strategic interest. Putin’s proposed Eurasian Customs Union, of which Ukraine would be a cornerstone, is a thinly veiled attempt to re-assimilate the territory of “greater Russia” that made up the old Soviet Union. His offer of economic assistance is a first step in binding Ukraine to this new bloc. Given Ukraine’s economic and security significance to both the U.S. and our NATO allies in western Europe it would be a mistake to allow this expansion of Russia’s sphere of interest, especially given the tenacity with which Ukrainians have fought against it in recent months.

Next-gen superhawk Marco Rubio? Nope. Here’s another statement from the same guy, this one just a week old:

The people of Ukraine need to know that the free world stands with them as they protest the actions of President Viktor Yanukovych designed to destroy their constitutional rights and drive their country into the sphere of influence of Vladimir Putin’s resurgent Russia…

A free and prosperous Ukraine is a natural partner for the United States and our European allies. We should be defending our interests in Ukraine both by quickly imposing economic sanctions against the government officials responsible for human rights abuses and by offering mutually-beneficial economic cooperation in the event that real democratic reforms are implemented.

Lindsey Graham? Nope. It’s Paul’s frequent ally Ted Cruz, who’s building his brand as a more hawkish tea-party alternative. If anyone’s going to thwart Paul’s plan to tilt grassroots conservatives away from neoconservatism on foreign policy and towards paleoconservatism, it’s not Maverick but Cruz. (Or Marco Rubio, if/when he ever fully recovers his tea-party cred.) Makes me wonder whether Cruz, against all odds, might not end up with some grudging campaign boosters among the GOP’s more hawkish establishment. They don’t want him to win, but as an expert debater who’s willing and able to defend certain forms of interventionism against Rand onstage, they can do worse.

As for Paul, his point here has less to do with Ukraine than with NATO: We should be a guiding light for freedom, he says, and it’s fine to support Ukraine joining the EU, but pushing NATO membership for a Russian satellite (as McCain has done) will hurt U.S. national security by antagonizing Russia more than it’ll help to have an extra NATO buffer on Russia’s western border. Okay, but then why support Ukraine’s aspiration to join the European Union at all? That’ll antagonize Putin too. For that matter, why support any lesser power’s wish to be free of domination by a greater one? There’ll always be more to lose in theory by siding with the underdog. This line in particular brought me up short:

“The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”

Right, but that’s the crux of the issue: Western Ukrainians are tired of being in Russia’s sphere while Russians see Ukraine as “little Russia.” Sounds like Paul’s conceding that the country is under Russia’s umbrella (note the point in the Cruz excerpt about the Eurasian Customs Union), not the EU’s, or at least that he’s prepared to concede it if Putin gets too grumpy. I understand the realist argument for that position but it’s odd to see the country’s most famous libertarian (which is what he is now, c’mon) even rhetorically ambivalent about whether a west-leaning population should remain eternally under the sword of an authoritarian neighbor. Should we be “fine” with Ukraine joining the EU, should we be neutral, or should we oppose it because Putin can make it worth our while to do so irrespective of what that means for the liberals next door?


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Apple fell under dad’s tree.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM

And some people, namely Obozo, want to twerk Putin.

Flange on February 26, 2014 at 4:03 PM

I like Rand, but this is one of the reasons why I support Cruz.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Is he naive enough to think that Putin will play by the same rules he wants us to play by or does he just not care what Putin does?

Mark1971 on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

I’m with Cruz on this one.

bluegill on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

“The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”

The area north of Mexico has a long history of either being a part of Spain or within that sphere.

itsnotaboutme on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

He means McCain, of course

Are you sure? McCain seems more driven to tweak Arizona.

Stoic Patriot on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Putin will take 2/3rds of Ukraine and the EU and obama have already given him the green light.

Paul, like his dad, is just pandering.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I’m for Cruz on this.

the_nile on February 26, 2014 at 4:06 PM

And some people, namely Obozo, want to twerk Putin.
Flange on February 26, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Hahaha. :-)

You and Pork-chop are my favorites.

bluegill on February 26, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Putin doesn’t give a damn about what obama or anyone says. He knows the temperature of the EU and of DC, better than anyone.

The thug has filled the vacuum left by the weasel in DC.

p.s. such vacuum was created by obama on purpose.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2014 at 4:07 PM

The area north of Mexico has a long history of either being a part of Spain or within that sphere.

itsnotaboutme on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Sudetenland has a long history of either being a part of…

the_nile on February 26, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Dear Rand,

Every time you tell this crap it tweeks the Russian shrapnel in my back implanted there when we jumped a camp full of Russian and ones of China “advisers” just west of Lan Veigh special forces camp.

Some chance the IED’s of Russian make and help may have the same reaction by all the Iraq and Afghanistan vets without legs.

Possible the aid and comfort by the Russians for the ones of islamic terror operations from Iran is real and not a happy face thing.

The fact if you trace it all the crap going down world wide from 1960 to now can be laid at the feet of the no good thug Russian leaders.

The people of Russia have no say in any thing.

Sad but true.

Rand your enabling evil.

Thanks for nothing.

Vietnam Vet 1966 to 1969

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 26, 2014 at 4:12 PM

The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”

Jimmy Carter called. He wants his foreign policy talking points baxk.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:15 PM

“The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”

Ukraine also had a long history of being part of Poland and/or Lithuania.

agmartin on February 26, 2014 at 4:15 PM

** Lurch Sabre Rattley:

Ukrainian political crisis
48m
Secretary of State John Kerry: Possible military intervention by Russia in Ukraine would be a costly decision – @Reuters
end of alert

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Give the Crimea back to the Russkies and move the rest into the Western orbit.

vnvet on February 26, 2014 at 4:24 PM

HISTORY:

In the Middle Ages, the area became a key center of East Slavic culture, as epitomized by the powerful state of Kievan Rus’. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, Ukraine was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but Ukraine remained otherwise divided until its consolidation into a Soviet republic in the 20th century, becoming an independent nation-state only in 1991.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 4:25 PM

The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”
Jimmy Carter called. He wants his foreign policy talking points baxk.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:15 PM

So does Gerald Ford”

Statement: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, an there never will be under a Ford administration.”

Explanation: There’s no question I did not adequately explain what I was thinking.I simply left out the fact that at that time in 1976, the Russians had about 10 to 15 divisions in Poland.

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Holodomor Facts and History:

The term Holodomor refers specifically to the brutal artificial famine imposed by Stalin’s regime on Soviet Ukraine and primarily ethnically Ukrainian areas in the Northern Caucasus in 1932-33.

In its broadest sense, it is also used to describe the Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with the massive waves of deadly deportations of Ukraine’s most successful farmers (kurkuls, or kulaks, in Russian) as well as the deportations and executions of Ukraine’s religious, intellectual and cultural leaders, culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed millions more innocent individuals. The genocide in fact continued for several more years with the further destruction of Ukraine’s political leadership, the resettlement of Ukraine’s depopulated areas with other ethnic groups, the prosecution of those who dared to speak of the famine publicly, and the consistent blatant denial of famine by the Soviet regime.

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Check the relative distances between Moscow and Kiev, and DC and Kiev.

Not

Our

Problem…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Agree with Rand. No sense in getting into a confrontation with Putin over Ukraine.

Tasha on February 26, 2014 at 4:39 PM

“The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”

Who cares? Maybe they’ve got a longing to be something different. Not grooving on Paul lately.

rrpjr on February 26, 2014 at 4:39 PM

bluegill on February 26, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Thanks Bluegill. Laughing at the news is the only thing that keeps me from crying about it.

Flange on February 26, 2014 at 4:40 PM

“The Ukraine has a long history of either being part of the Soviet Union or within that sphere.”

Translation: Throw them to the lions.

thebrokenrattle on February 26, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Check the relative distances between Moscow Berlin and Kiev, and DC and Kiev.

Not

Our

Problem…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Your sentiment was pretty common in the early 1940.

It was wrong then and wrong now.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Makes me wonder whether Cruz, against all odds, might not end up with some grudging campaign boosters among the GOP’s more hawkish establishment. They don’t want him to win, but as an expert debater who’s willing and able to defend certain forms of interventionism against Rand onstage, they can do worse.

Which puts the hawks in a touch conundrum as I think Cruz is the only person that can argue for some level of interventionism while having conservative voters listen. The hawks have made it public that they despise Cruz, referring to him as an isolationist “whacko-bird,” but by doing that they have damaged the entire hawk brand with conservative voters.

midgeorgian on February 26, 2014 at 4:45 PM

From Daily Caller:

“We don’t know what’s in Putin’s head,” the Lt. Col. later said, “except that he is not going to back down. He’s not like President Obama. When Putin threatens something, he carries through with the threat.”

“We’ve seen Act One. It’s intermission,” Peters concluded. “Act Two is coming, and it could be very ugly and bloody, Gretchen.”

IMO Putin will never give up Crimea. It is of strategic importance. It has a large ethnic Russian population. And his macho image would be destroyed which would lead to political problems for him in Moscow.

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 4:48 PM

https://twitter.com/KyivPost

KyivPost ‏@KyivPost 8h

Official: #Crimean parliament not raising question of Crimea’s secession from #Ukraine http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/official-crimean-parliament-not-raising-question-of-crimeas-secession-from-ukraine-337657.html
Expand
=========

Official: Crimean parliament not raising question of Crimea’s secession from Ukraine
Print version
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:52 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
********************************************************

Crimean Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Konstantynov has described as misleading reports in some media that it is planned to take radical decisions at an extraordinary plenary meeting of parliament, even as far as Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, the press center of the Crimean Supreme Council reported on Wednesday.

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/official-crimean-parliament-not-raising-question-of-crimeas-secession-from-ukraine-337657.html

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

davidk on February 26, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Once is enough

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Every time you tell this crap it tweeks the Russian shrapnel in my back implanted there when we jumped a camp full of Russian and ones of China “advisers” just west of Lan Veigh special forces camp.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 26, 2014 at 4:12 PM

So, I’m guessing a trip to downtown Saig…. errrrr… HCM City is out then?

Well, too bad the US State Dept disagrees with you. The Vietnam War ended. The Cold War ended. Not every Russian foreign policy move is part of a great game with the US, and as such, every move doesn’t need to be countered.

Ukraine is comprised of something like 20% of people who identify as Russian. And there’s not a damn thing the US can do to stop that.

Nor should we…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Translation: Throw them to the lions.

thebrokenrattle on February 26, 2014 at 4:41 PM

What do you want us to do? This isn’t the 1980′s anymore, we’ve thrown away the leverage we had on the global stage. Meanwhile we have our own problems over here, we’re not really in the position to aid the people of Ukraine.

midgeorgian on February 26, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Your sentiment was pretty common in the early 1940.

It was wrong then and wrong now.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Are you really comparing Germany marching into France to Russian Ukrainian border tensions over a part of Europe dominated by ethnic Russians…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Check the relative distances between Moscow Berlin and Kiev, and DC and Kiev.

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Your sentiment was pretty common in the early 1940.

It was wrong then and wrong now.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Worried about the Germans marching on Kiev, are we…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

And some people, namely Obozo, want to twerk Putin.
Flange on February 26, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Hahaha. :-)

You and Pork-chop are my favorites.

bluegill on February 26, 2014 at 4:07 PM

…another list?

KOOLAID2 on February 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

The Cold War ended.

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014

This naïveté is why libertarians can never be trusted on foreign policy.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

This naïveté is why libertarians can never be trusted on foreign policy.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Or to understand the Left.

rrpjr on February 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

This naïveté is why libertarians can never be trusted on foreign policy.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

So, is it your argument that Cold War didn’t end?

Because I suspect I could find quotes from Reagan hailing the end of the Cold War, if I looked hard enough…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM

weakness always invites aggression, in that respect Obama and Paul are two sides of the same coin. We are now on the verge of 2 major wars with Russia and China because of the Weakness Obama showed to the world, and to threaten these countries after you have showed your hand and proclaimed you would never seek a violent response is the height of danger and invites mass death and geopolitical strife

golembythebay on February 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Worried about the Germans marching on Kiev, are we…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Does Germany still have an army? I think they spent all their money on socialism and cut their military to the bone. Like Obama wants to do to our military.

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

We are now on the verge of 2 major wars with Russia and China

golembythebay on February 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Really??? Ambassadors been recalled, have they? Troops been mobilized? Industry been put on war footing? china dumping our debt? Russia cutting off European gas and oil supplies?

Or are you, as is far more likely, merely speaking from your rectum…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Are you really comparing Germany marching into France to Russian Ukrainian border tensions over a part of Europe dominated by ethnic Russians…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:53 PM

I would certainly compare it to Nazi Germany marching into the Rhineland, Austria and the Sudetenland.

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Does Germany still have an army?

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Supposedly masters of counter-attack…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Supposedly masters of counter-attack…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM

LOL

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

So, is it your argument that Cold War didn’t end?

Because I suspect I could find quotes from Reagan hailing the end of the Cold War, if I looked hard enough…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM

So when Obama declared the War on Terror for being over, you believed him too?

http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2013/05/29/obama-declares-war-on-terror-over-n1607729

Again, your naïveté is showing.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Russia cutting off European gas and oil supplies?

Or are you, as is far more likely, merely speaking from your rectum…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

The political and economic leverage this gives Moscow is not just theoretical; Putin has applied it repeatedly. The most recent major dispute occurred in 2009, when Russia cut off gas supplies for nearly three weeks. Officially, the dispute was over the price of gas and outstanding payments. Unofficially, Moscow was seeking to undermine leaders in Ukraine who had reoriented the nation toward the West after the 2004 Orange Revolution.

The shutdown didn’t just affect Ukraine. Many U.S. allies unfortunately must consume Russian gas as well, much of which flows through pipelines in Ukraine. The shutoff impacted NATO allies like Poland and the Czech Republic.

Not all of Moscow’s levers are as blunt as a fuel cutoff in the dead of winter. When he was the leftwing chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroder joined with Russia in an attempt to rally an international coalition against the U.S. and its allies over Iraq. He also pushed hard for a new $4.7 billion gas pipeline that made Germany more dependent on Russian gas, while simultaneously allowing Putin to isolate Ukraine and cut it off without halting gas exports to all customers. After German voters ousted Schroder, Moscow rewarded him with a well-paid sinecure as chairman of the new pipeline company. Russia has been busy behind the scenes.

Most reporters have cited a pending trade agreement between Ukraine and the European Union as the spark for recent crisis. As an alternative, Putin offered Ukraine membership in his own trading bloc and energy concessions — an offer Yanukovych decided to take, especially since the steadily higher cost of Russian gas was depleting Kiev’s foreign currency reserves.

But what finally caused Putin to make his play may have had less to do with the European Union’s trade offer, and more with the prospect of Ukraine eroding Russia’s monopoly. In December, Ukrainian and Slovakian officials were set to meet and put the final signatures on a deal to get cheaper, more reliable gas supplies from Slovakia. Even though diplomats thought the deal was complete, the Ukrainians unexpectedly skipped the ceremony. In retrospect, it is obvious Moscow was moving not only to preserve its influence, but to turn events dramatically toward its advantage in Ukraine.

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

I would certainly compare it to Nazi Germany marching into the Rhineland, Austria and the Sudetenland.

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

And had Germany stopped at that, rather than invading Poland, nobody would have said anything further.

Now, is it your contention that this is a prelude to Russian expansion towards Western Europe…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Rand Paul thinks he can enable Russia like Chamberlain enabled Germany. Of course, he thinks enable is really spelled contain… Peace in our time!

astonerii on February 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

So when Obama declared the War on Terror for being over, you believed him too?

http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2013/05/29/obama-declares-war-on-terror-over-n1607729

Again, your naïveté is showing.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Well, when al Qaeda starts selling us their fissile material, like Russia, you’ll let me know, right…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:12 PM

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

So, can I take that to mean that Russian supplies of gas and oil are, in fact, moving through pipelines towards Europe…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

And had Germany stopped at that, rather than invading Poland, nobody would have said anything further.

Now, is it your contention that this is a prelude to Russian expansion towards Western Europe…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

The people who were being sent to death camps might have said something further.

And no it isn’t a “prelude” to Russian expansion to “Western Europe” – it is Russian expansion in Europe.

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

“If you like the Ukraine, you can keep the Ukraine”

BobMbx on February 26, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Now, is it your contention that this is a prelude to Russian expansion towards Western Europe…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

It could be a prelude to Russian expansion into much of the former USSR, which happens to include current NATO/EU member nations like Estonia and Latvia.

Both of which countries by the way includes a higher percentage of ethnic Russians than what Ukraine currently has. So if we let Russia use the “ethnic Russian” excuse for military force against a sovereign nation twice (Georgia 2008 and potentially Ukraine 2014), I am sure a third time won’t really be that much of stretch for him.

Putin is also on record stating that the the break-up of the Soviet Union was the “greatest geopolitical disaster of the last century”. I tend to believe he is serious.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Not

Our

Problem…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 4:38 PM

You do realize that is what often ends up making it our problem, right? Oh well Blue Buddha can’t get them all correct.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

This seems like another of those situations in which vital American interests are involved. Send the fleet.

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Maybe the Chinese can pick up the slack for a change.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 5:21 PM

****Heads UP:

Arizona anti-gay bill
3m
Sources say Gov. Jan Brewer will be announcing her decision to veto SB1062 at 4:45 today – @KVOA
see original on twitter.com

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 5:20 PM

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 5:22 PM

It could be a prelude to Russian expansion into much of the former USSR, which happens to include current NATO/EU member nations like Estonia and Latvia.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:17 PM

And when tehy trheaten a NATO member state, then of course, you’ll let us know.

Last I checked, the Ukrainian parliament rejected NATO…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

This seems like another of those situations in which vital American interests are involved. Send the fleet.

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I hope to hell you forgot a sarc tag…

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Rand Paul seems to be channeling his father here, while Cruz is making a common-sense argument about the importance of American involvement in foreign affairs.

We need to avoid going to either extreme, of either total interventionism a la McCain, or total isolationism a la Ron Paul, but carefully consider the benefits and costs of any intervention in foreign affairs, not only militarily but economically.

Ukraine does have strategic importance, probably more than either Libya (where even Obama intervened militarily) or Syria, where we don’t have any friends, and we have not intervened, YET.

If a substantial fraction of the Ukrainian people have stood up to Russia and want more economic freedom and closer ties with the West, this is a good time to help them, especially since Putin does not seem to want to intervene for now, although he might have some tricks up his sleeve.

If Russia were allowed to take over the entire Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea, Russia could also impose a naval blockade on Bulgaria and Romania, effectively isolating them from trade with the West.

Many posters have pointed to the Russian dominance of the natural gas market in Europe, but as an earlier thread mentioned, even Ukraine’s Russian-friendly former leader Yanukovich was interested in developing Ukraine’s own gas resources by fracking, in cooperation with Western corporations. Access to Ukraine’s natural-gas market is vital for Western Europe, and the United States could also benefit by exporting its own natural gas to Western Europe.

Ukraine is not totally deprived of resources–it provided nearly all the wheat consumed by the former Soviet Union. If allowed to remain free, it could become a net exporter of food, and might even work out a “gas for food” trade deal with Russia.

If Putin starts flexing his muscles in Ukraine, we do have some non-military weapons at our disposal. Russia’s only warm-water ports are on the Black Sea, but the straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean are controlled by NATO member Turkey. A smart strategy for helping Ukraine turn to the West would be economic development aid for the gas industry, and a threat to close the straits of Istanbul to Russian ships if Russia intervenes militarily in Ukraine.

Steve Z on February 26, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Why are we even getting involved with this Ukraine problem? Just to get Putin POed? Venezuela is in our own backyard and I haven’t seen the saber rattling about that?

OliverB on February 26, 2014 at 5:24 PM

And when tehy trheaten a NATO member state, then of course, you’ll let us know.

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I know this may come as shock to you, but Russia have threatened the Baltic NATO states for years.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:31 PM

I know this may come as shock to you, but Russia have threatened the Baltic NATO states for years.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Once again, mobilized troops? Recalled ambassadors? Stopped trade? Any of the things that we traditionally associate with a run-up to war…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM

We are now on the verge of 2 major wars with Russia and China

golembythebay on February 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM
Really??? Ambassadors been recalled, have they? Troops been mobilized? Industry been put on war footing? china dumping our debt? Russia cutting off European gas and oil supplies?

Or are you, as is far more likely, merely speaking from your rectum…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Since Obama’s presidency China has turned into 1800′s Germany, seeking to reunify “lost lands”, and acting in an increasingly aggressive manner, going so far as to establish military zones as a prelude to seize entire waterways in which a large majority of the worlds goods are traded from. After showing his weak hand, Obama then makes vague useless threats, thus setting the stage for a major confrontation.

Same situation in Russia, now we have the groveling uber dove Kerry threatening a autocratic KGB nutjob who probably cries himself to sleep at the loss of the USSR with war.

Paul and Obama are 2 sides of the same coin, weakness invited these stand-offs

golembythebay on February 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

…a threat to close the straits of Istanbul to Russian ships if Russia intervenes militarily in Ukraine.

Steve Z on February 26, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Would Turkey actually fire on Russian ships? Turkey, nor Europe, nor NATO can take on Russia without the intervention of the US.

I believe that Putin is willing to go to war over the Crimea as his minister recently said. I’m not sure that we are nor should we.

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Maybe the Chinese can pick up the slack for a change.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Historically they don’t really get very involved in conflicts beyond their own borders.

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Paul’s attempts to finagle and finesse his fathers isolationist worldview by twisting himself into verbal pretzels to explain why we shouldn’t get involved in every geopolitical affair is quickly wearing thin with me. Don’t insult my intelligence and pretend there is a valid reason why you don’t want to wade into this affair, just say “it’s none of our business i’m an isolationist” and leave it at that. Playing the GOP base like a mark at a carnival is no way to go about it.

golembythebay on February 26, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Since Obama’s presidency China has turned into 1800′s Germany, seeking to reunify “lost lands”, and acting in an increasingly aggressive manner, going so far as to establish military zones as a prelude to seize entire waterways in which a large majority of the worlds goods are traded from.

golembythebay on February 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Seize entire waterways… with their one aircraft carrier. A used aircraft carrier, at that. (I wonder if they got it from Cal Worthington.)

I case you haven’t noticed, China has lent us a couple of trillion dollars. And given our profligacy, I’m guessing it’s just because they like the cut of our jib.

And we’re “on the verge” of war with them?

With enemies like that, who needs friends…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Once again, mobilized troops? Recalled ambassadors? Stopped trade? Any of the things that we traditionally associate with a run-up to war…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Yes and Yes.

Just two months ago (December 2013); Russia announced they would place short-range nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad Oblast (formerly East Prussia), which borders Baltic NATO member Lithuania.

Earlier in 2013; Russia stopped importing agricultural goods from the Baltic, and artifically increased the price of gas multifold (The Baltic states are currently paying 15x more for their gas supply than the European average).

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:51 PM

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I guess that is about right. Last time being what? 1959 Of course with the world going the way it is they might be open to change. Seems that there are some disputes on land boundary lines that interest them.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Since I think the people are doing a good job and fixing their government, I think goading Putin into thinking he needs to do something is stupid. Just tell those people we support their fight for freedom and wait and see what they need.

Cindy Munford on February 26, 2014 at 5:56 PM

I guess that is about right. Last time being what? 1959 Of course with the world going the way it is they might be open to change. Seems that there are some disputes on land boundary lines that interest them.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 5:55 PM

1959? What?

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Just two months ago (December 2013); Russia announced they would place short-range nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad Oblast (formerly East Prussia), which borders Baltic NATO member Lithuania.

Earlier in 2013; Russia stopped importing agricultural goods from the Baltic, and artifically increased the price of gas multifold (The Baltic states are currently paying 15x more for their gas supply than the European average).

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 5:51 PM

So, Russian gas is flowing to the Baltic. And they’ve found a new source for food. (Once again, I wonder if they know something about the Ukraine that we don’t.)

Will this freeze never end…?

JohnGalt23 on February 26, 2014 at 6:00 PM

1959? What?

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Sorry your knowledge of China is far greater than mine. I guess it really should have read 1950, culminating in exile 1959.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Typical ignorant twaddle from Ted Cruz. Rand Paul is correct. We keep talking about Western Ukraine, and conveniently forget about the East, which is predominantly Russian speaking and wants closer ties to Moscow. Unlike the U.S., Russia has genuine security interests in Ukraine; for example, the Russian fleet is stationed in Sebastopol. It’s not just the Russians who see Ukraine as “little Russia”; half of Ukraine does, too.

Moreover, the Western-leaning opposition is populated by thugs and anti-Semitic scum: corrupt oligarchs, ultra-nationalists and neo Nazi’s. It’s not a pretty bunch.

Paul is being entirely consistent here as a libertarian – it is only liberal interventionists and neocons who worry about bringing Western-style democracy to the unwashed. This business is in Putin’s back yard. Leave it there.

Joseph K on February 26, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Since I think the people are doing a good job and fixing their government, I think goading Putin into thinking he needs to do something is stupid. Just tell those people we support their fight for freedom and wait and see what they need.

Cindy Munford on February 26, 2014 at 5:56 PM

That seems like a reasonable position more or less.

I wish the best to Ukrainians wanting to clean up their government and empower the individual.

I don’t see how the US getting involved will really help matters that much.

aryeung on February 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Sorry your knowledge of China is far greater than mine. I guess it really should have read 1950, culminating in exile 1959.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Are you referring to events in the Province of Tibet, a part of China since the 13th century?

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Of course.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

And I was just thinking on the way home that I am leaning towards Rand Paul right now, and he goes and says this…

MidniteRambler on February 26, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Of course.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

I guess you didn’t have a point then

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:15 PM

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Perhaps. Though I do know a Man who might take issue with the historical record of which you speak.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Oh, DarkCurrent, keep in mind I am references a world globe made in the early 1900′s.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:20 PM

references=referencing

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Oh, DarkCurrent, keep in mind I am references a world globe made in the early 1900′s.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Does it look anything like this?

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:21 PM

We keep talking about Western Ukraine, and conveniently forget about the East, which is predominantly Russian speaking and wants closer ties to Moscow.

This is what a lot of people are missing, the Ukraine is a country basically divided by two distinct cultures only united by historic boundaries.

midgeorgian on February 26, 2014 at 6:22 PM

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Nope. Mine is an actual globe. A real one. Before the changes.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Nope. Mine is an actual globe. A real one. Before the changes.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM

An actual globe? Definitely definitive.

Take a picture of it for us and post it along with the list of countries that now or ever have recognized the Province of Tibet as anything other than a province of China.

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Typical ignorant twaddle from Ted Cruz. Rand Paul is correct. We keep talking about Western Ukraine, and conveniently forget about the East, which is predominantly Russian speaking and wants closer ties to Moscow. Unlike the U.S., Russia has genuine security interests in Ukraine; for example, the Russian fleet is stationed in Sebastopol. It’s not just the Russians who see Ukraine as “little Russia”; half of Ukraine does, too.

Joseph K on February 26, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Again, more foreign policy ignorance.

Half of Ukraine is not Russian. Less than 17% per the latest census is ethnic Russian. More speak Russian because it was the official language of the USSR for nearly 70 years.

Last time there was referendum in Ukraine on whether to remaing tied with Russia, more than 92% voted in favor to seperate and form their own nation (1991 referendum). This included 85% majorities for Ukrainian independence in every Oblast (state) of Eastern Ukraine, as well a majority in Crimea and Sevastopol. Since that referendum, the number of ethnic Russians in Ukraine has decreased.

Russia has a long-term lease on the naval base in Sevastopol until 2042, it was recently renewed without much fanfare. Their security interests are not threatened whatsoever.

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Sorry won’t be able to do that for you. Its okay. Some know why it was referred to as Tibet before the bloody and brutal overthrow of its sovereignty by the viscous communists People Republic of China. Funny, when the word Tibet is used, no one I have ever known thinks, oh they mean China. It is still Tibet.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

It will always be Tibet.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Half of Ukraine is not Russian. Less than 17% …

Norwegian on February 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

The 17% figure is the CIA number for the whole of Ukraine. In Crimea it is more like 80% depending on who is doing the counting.

Sevastopol just elected a Russian citizen as their new mayor. There have been mass demonstrations against the government in Kiev and asking Russia for support. In Kerch they tore down the Ukrainian flag and put up a Russian flag.

Until 1954 Crimea had been part of Russia for 200 years. That’s when Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine during Soviet times. Most Crimean Russians consider themselves to be Russian not Ukrainian.

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

It will always be Tibet.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:42 PM

I had a lengthy response to this. It’s apparently going through moderation (I didn’t even spell out the s-word).

I don’t get the point. This is like saying Texas will always be Texas. True. I don’t think there’s a serious movement of Han Chinese that plan on absorbing Tibet into another Chinese province.

aryeung on February 26, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Sorry won’t be able to do that for you.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

I knew you wouldn’t be able to. That’s why I posed the challenge.

Fail better next time.

Here’s a map of China during the Qing Dynasty.

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:47 PM

The 17% figure is the CIA number for the whole of Ukraine. In Crimea it is more like 80% depending on who is doing the counting.

Sevastopol just elected a Russian citizen as their new mayor. There have been mass demonstrations against the government in Kiev and asking Russia for support. In Kerch they tore down the Ukrainian flag and put up a Russian flag.

Until 1954 Crimea had been part of Russia for 200 years. That’s when Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine during Soviet times. Most Crimean Russians consider themselves to be Russian not Ukrainian.

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Quick question, Bmore.

The Crimea will always be the Crimea. Should they be allowed to leave the Ukraine (FWIW, I’m fine with that)?

aryeung on February 26, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Fail better next time.

Here’s a map of China during the Qing Dynasty.

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Sorry, wasn’t going for success. Are you competing? Perhaps you could bring it up at the next meeting. With the elected officials in your area. Of course if yours are any bit like ours. They won’t care.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Sorry, wasn’t going for success.

Bmore on February 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Nice good-spirited try anyway. Maybe next time

DarkCurrent on February 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Ukraine revolution: 150,000 Russian troops on alert as US warns Putin

Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defence minister, said Moscow was “carefully watching what is happening in Crimea” and that measures were being taken to ensure the security of the facilities and arsenals of its Black Sea naval fleet, which is based in the fiercely pro-Russian Crimean city of Sebastopol.

Plus there are 25,000 Russian troops already stationed in Sevastopol with the Russian Navy. I think Putin is taking it seriously.

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Ukraine tensions mount in pro-Russian Crimea

Dozens of pro-Russian protesters rallied Tuesday in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea against “the bandits” in Kyiv who are trying to form a new government — with some even speaking of secession. A lawmaker from Russia stoked their passions further by promising them that Russia will protect them.

Events are moving fast. (Emphasis is mine.)

Kaffa on February 26, 2014 at 7:19 PM

His point is if we antagonize from a distance, it’s going to lead to more people being killed.

The message is consistent. Support your principles, but if you’re going to push from someone else to take them on, then prepare to get dirty and bloody.

Russia is not a weakened state, ala late 80′s/early 90′s. Putin has shown he’s the best in the world right now in marshaling nationalism. Why give him that lever to pull?

We’re better helping through the EU since it’s their geographic territory.

As for Cruz, it’s an easy position to take. He has no effect since he’s not apart of the national foreign policy debate like Rand, so why not?

budfox on February 26, 2014 at 7:23 PM

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