Video: Ron Paul defends Crimea's referendum on annexation by Russia

Via Noah Rothman, it comes in the second half of the clip below on NSA spying. This about sums things up:

The setting here, interestingly, is Fox Business’s new libertarian-themed show “The Independents.” It’s “Reason” editor Matt Welch who challenges Paul on the uselessness of trying to hold a free and fair election in a province that’s being threatened by 80,000 Russian troops across the border. Paul’s among people who respect the non-interventionist approach to foreign policy, in other words, and even they seemingly can’t believe that he’s trying to frame this as a matter of “self-determination.” Even if the election were free and fair, remember that Crimea has an ethnic Russian majority in no small part because Stalin purged it of its Tatars decades ago. “Self-determination” has always been … problematic in Crimea. And not just Crimea, needless to say.

But never mind all that. Nowadays, Ron Paul’s foreign-policy pronouncements matter politically mostly to the extent they agree or disagree with Rand’s. The disagreement in this case is sharp. Which raises the question: Even if you think Rand is privately more sympathetic to his father’s views on international relations than he’s letting on, how would he govern if he ended up being elected? Either he’s telling the truth in his Time op-ed about wanting to be tough on Russia or he’s lying but too afraid of how voters would react if he revealed his true views. And if he’s too afraid now, presumably he’d also be too afraid as president — during his first term, at least. Paint me a picture of how President Rand metamorphoses into President Ron without facing a nasty backlash from Democrats and Republican hawks. We’d all prefer a candidate who votes the right way out of principle to one who votes the right way because he fears the wrath of the electorate if he doesn’t, but in the end they’re both voting the right way. Romney clearly fell into the second column, not the first, and we went and nominated him, didn’t we? That’s the devil’s-advocate view of why Rand’s private foreign policy views don’t matter, even if you’re suspicious about them.

Anyway. I’m sorry to report that four Russian websites known for criticism of Putin’s government are now enjoying less self-determination than they used to. In lieu of an exit question, read this Cathy Young piece responding to isolationists on the far left and far right who blame America for spoiling relations with post-Soviet Russia. Moscow had plenty of opportunities, replete with financial incentives, to play nice with the west. Putin has his own agenda.