Category Archives: Foreign Policy

‘Putin’s Libertarians’

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Ron Paul, Russia, The State

The proper libertarian foreign policy, in my opinion, is without the slobbering sentimentality adopted by many libertarians toward the putative push for freedom across the Middle East and beyond. Whomever—and wherever—they are, I wish freedom fighters well, but they’re on their own. Americans have their own tyrants to tackle. We no longer want to defend to the death borders not our own. I’ve promised, moreover, that when liberty deprived peoples the world over support patriots stateside (such as the Hage and Bundy families), I’d return the courtesy. It’s safe to say, however, that the world’s statists do not care about American liberties.

Not all libertarians share my detachment. Via my friend Yuri Maltsev comes another perspective on Ukraine (to which I’ve not devoted a second thought since penning “Presstitute-Cultivated Ignorance On Ukraine”). Yuri himself has written the following:

I am glad that there is a growing opposition to Putin’s regime in Russia itself. The list of eminent Russian intellectuals against aggression in Ukraine is much longer than those confused libertarians who support “Russian national interests” (Mises and Hayek would detest such an expression). …
There is nothing libertarian in the neo-Stalinist Putin’s regime. Stalinism is an exact opposite of freedom. It is the same as to embrace Hitler just because he disliked FDR. Enemy of my enemy is not necessarily a friend . . . I think that socialists Timoshenko and Yushchenko [the Orange revolution politicians elected after mass protests in 2004] squandered Ukrainian prospects for freedom and prosperity and should be blamed for that, but the alternative (Putin-Yanukovich) proved to be way more disgusting.

Youri’s recommended analysis is “Putin’s Libertarians” by Roman Skaskiw. Excerpts:

… I have been horrified by the libertarian coverage of events in Ukraine. Much of it has been such an uncritical parroting of Kremlin propaganda, so devoid of journalistic integrity, and such a betrayal of libertarian principles, that I can’t decide whether the authors, many of whom I’ve long admired, suffer a bias toward contrarian narratives or are on the Kremlin payroll. …

Paul Craig Roberts attempted to de-legitimize Ukraine’s protests by praising the now-deposed Yanukovych regime and turning a blind eye to its barbarity. His praise includes the term “human-rights trained Ukrainian police”, this after the police had begun kidnapping injured protesters from hospitals. One such protester, Yuriy Verbytsky, a seismologist from the Geophysical Institute in Lviv and mountain climber was injured in the protests, hospitalized, kidnapped from the hospital, severely beaten, and left in the woods where he froze to death. “Human-rights-trained” police do not strip and humiliate captured protesters in -10 C degree weather.

The corruption and savagery of Ukraine’s police is neither secret nor new. Last summer, police stepped aside during a violent raid against the business interests of opposition politician. The business manager was later assassinated. This sort of corporate raiding has been fairly common, though most victims quietly give up their businesses without a fight. There was also this story of policemen connected to the Party of Regions raping a young woman and going free until a rioters sacked the police station, it was a tragic repeat of a brutal rape-murder that happened the year before, also by politically connected persons who were also released by Ukraine’s “human rights trained” police.

It’s one thing to oppose intervention. I’ve done so myself. It’s another to mischaracterize the barbarity of the Yanukovych regime in an attempt to discredit the uprising against it.

Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace has made the libertarian circuit — lewrockwell.com, the Tom Woods Show, the Scott Horton Show, and of course, RT. He makes a number of ridiculous claims, including the argument that the Russian military already had free reign in Crimea: “How can you annex and invade a territory in which you are already legally present?”

I really don’t know what to make of this. Can anyone help me? I find it equally unlikely that he is this disconnected from reality or that he is deliberately spreading disinformation. Are there other explanations? …

MORE.


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Wages Of War Waged By A ‘Good Country’

Foreign Policy, Iraq, War

As was pointed out in “Where’s America’s Right To Referendum, Secession?,” military intervention by the US is considered a good thing by the Bill-O’Reilly school of “thought,” because the US is “a good country.”

Naturally, the American media are not chronicling the wages of a war waged by their “good country,” but Al Jazeera is. Here’s what Iraqi’s must endure daily thanks to the war waged by Bush (who is surely not a “thug” like Putin):

“According to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq [UNAMI], a total of 703 Iraqis were killed and another 1,381 were injured in February. These figures do not include those killed and injured in Anbar province, where 189 were killed and 550 were injured in Ramadi and 109 were killed and 648 were injured in Fallujah.”

A series of deadly attacks in Iraq have killed about 50 people and injured 80, police officials have said.

In one of Friday’s incidents, an explosive-laden tanker was driven into the federal police headquarters in the village of Injanah, 55km north of Baquba, killing 12 people and wounding five, including the head of the federal police, Brigadier General Raghib al-Umairi, and his assistant.

In Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, an attack killed 10 people and injured 27.

AFP news agency reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral inside a mosque. Anbar has been the scene of protracted fighting between anti-government fighters and security forces, leading to months of bloodshed and the internal displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

In the Sarha region of Salaheddin, clashes early on Friday led to a series of explosions, including one near an army base, that killed 12 people and injured 13.

In separate incidents, police said gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint near the city of Samarra, killing two people, while car bombings killed nine and injured 25 in Dibis, a town located near Kirkuk.

Medical officials confirmed the casualties from Friday’s attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media, according to Associated Press news agency.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

MORE.


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Where’s America’s Right To Referendum, Secession?

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Military, Multiculturalism, Neoconservatism, Political Correctness, Russia

“Where’s America’s Right To Referendum, Secession?” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

From a node in the neoconservative network, a Fox News studio, Charles Krauthammer has complained about the eviction of the Ukrainian Navy from the city of Sevastopol, where it was headquartered. Not a word did the commentator say about the city’s location: Sevastopol is on the Crimean Peninsula. It would appear that the city now falls within Crimean jurisdiction—starting on March 16, the day the people of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine.

By most estimates, between 97 and 93 percent of Crimean voters said yes to a reunion with Russia. High too was voter turnout. McClatchy pegs it at 83 percent of registered voters in Crimea. BBC News was agreed, also reporting a ballot of ‘more than 80 percent.’ Zerohedge.com counted a ‘paltry’ 73 percent turnout, still ‘higher than every U.S. presidential election since 1900.’

As rocker Ted Nugent might say, the Russians and Crimeans are blood brothers. Nugent got into trouble for using this perfectly proper appellation to describe his affinity for a politician, of all people: Texas Republican gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott. Notwithstanding that in the land of the terminally stupid, linguistic flourish can land one in hot water—blood brother is a good, if colorful, turn of phrase that denotes fealty between like-minded people. Steeped in state-enforced multiculturalism, America’s deracinated, self-anointed cognoscenti have a hard time grasping the blood-brother connections between the people of Russia and Crimea.

For no apparent reason other than that it is pro-Russian, Americans have reflexively aligned themselves against the swell for secession in southern Ukraine. Separatist referenda in Kosovo, Catalonia, South Sudan and Scotland have been accepted without demur by a political and media establishment unprepared to countenance a similar referendum in Crimea. …”

Read on. The complete column is “Where’s America’s Right To Referendum, Secession?” now on WND.

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UPDATE II: If We’re So Free, Where’s America’s Referenda? (And If We’re So Free, Where’s Our Right To Secede?)

Conflict, Democracy, Elections, Europe, Foreign Policy, Media, Russia, States' Rights

The pack animals of the American media and political establishment seldom fail to shed darkness on whatever topic they tackle. In that venerated tradition, the aforementioned will never stop to ask this: If we Americans are the freest people in the world, why are we not granted a right to a referendum on, say, that “little” legislative blip called Obamacare?

Yeah, I didn’t think the lap dogs and the sheeple cared to pose the question or confront the answer, against the backdrop of the Crimean referendum.

As Crimea exit polls stand, reports BBC News, “about 93 percent back Russia union.”

The quagmires in Ukraine and Crimea are no exception to the darkness-shedding rule. As observed in “Presstitute-Cultivated Ignorance On Ukraine,” “The struggle for Ukraine is a chapter in a series of US orchestrated provocations, which began with the expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eastward to abut Russia’s borders—an expansion pursued by Clinton, Bush and Obama alike. It gathered momentum with the US-backed attempts to incorporate Georgia and the Ukraine into the North Atlantic alliance.

The next stage in goading the Russian Bear consisted in American-funded NGO political-action groups—many of them backed by George Soros—flooding Russia proper. (“Purple” in Iraq, Blue in Kuwait, Cotton in Uzbekistan, Grape in Moldova, “Orange” in the Ukraine, “Rose” in Georgia, “Tulip” in Kyrgizstan, “Cedar” in Lebanon, Jasmine in Tunisia, Green in Iran, still un-christened in Russia and Syria: Dig around and you’ll find American activists à la Alinsky behind these “color-coded,” plant-based revolutions, blessed and backed by Foggy Bottom.) “A US-NATO military outpost in Georgia and missile-defense installations near Russia” completed the provocation.

Reporting from Yalta, Serge Trifkovic, whose commentary is often featured on Barely A Blog, was asked by NBC News to comment about the referendum underway in Crimea. He sent this along:

Serge Trifkovic, an American foreign affairs analyst of Serbian origin, criticized the United States’ involvement in the upcoming referendum.

“Nobody asked the people of Crimea if they wanted to be transferred from the Russian Federation within the USSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,” Trifkovi? said.

He added that it’s “richly ironic” U.S. leaders appear to be upholding the Soviet Communist Party’s legacy by insisting Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, while Russian President Vladimir Putin is “upholding the right of people to self-determination and liberty.”

Another BAB contributor, our friend foreign affairs analyst Nebojsa Malic, attempted to counter the prevailing propaganda in an interview with RT:

RT: They said Russia is violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. But what about the EU and the US politicians propping up the Maidan opposition before it came to power?

NM: I would say that a far greater violation of sovereignty is actually staging a coup and replacing an elected government of a country with unelected stooges, like the United States has specifically done with the Maidan opposition. There was the intercepted phone call, which we all heard, who the United States government was plotting to install in power. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened. That is a violation of sovereignty. Before that is resolved, nobody should really speak about any sort of other violations, real or imagined.

RT: The UK says the new government in Kiev is legit, while Yanukovich didn’t honor the February 21 agreement with the then-opposition and fled. Do they have a point?

NM: Who decides the legitimacy of these things? Normally it would be the Ukrainian people. The last time they were polled, they elected Viktor Yanukovich as their president. The crowd in Maidan didn’t have any sort of democratic legitimacy. What they did have is that they had weapons. And they had money from the West, and the diplomatic support of Western governments. And using those levers, they actually took over power by force on February 22. The agreement that was purportedly achieved between European ministers and President Yanukovich was violated by the Maidan protesters who resorted to violence and forced the issue. So honestly, for the Western governments propping up these rebels, to declare them legitimate is obviously expected. But they don’t get to decide the legitimacy of these things.

RT: We’ve seen how many people in Crimea aren’t happy with the Kiev leaders. Why is the will of the people not taken into account by Western nations then?

NM: Western governments generally don’t take will of the people into consideration at all, anywhere ever. The only will that matters to them is their own. So if they want to achieve something, if they want to carve up Yugoslavia or Serbia or Russia or Ukraine or anywhere else, they just find stooges that they can manipulate, install them in power, and then claim that the stooges’ decisions are legitimate because they represent a will of some phantom people or other. And that’s usually how they’ve been doing business for the past two decades. Sooner or later, somebody is going to have to stand up to them and say, “No, you can’t do this. This is against your own rules, this is against everybody rules. Stop.”

MORE of Mr. Malic.

Kosovo, South Sudan, The Falklands, Scotland and Catalonia represent “5 referendums that the West has not taken issue with.”

RT elaborates on on this bit of western hypocrisy.

“Let’s fret about our own tyrants” was and is my advice:

“It is possible that the vote in [fill the blank] is the product of widespread fraud. Real or not, this is none of the United States’ business. This county has been pulverized economically and constitutionally. American livelihoods and liberties have been put into peril. In case the advocates of muscular responses have failed to notice, we’re pinned down like butterflies by our own tyrants.”

UPDATE I: And If We’re So Free, Where’s Our Right To Secede? Just you watch the philosophical fascists that follow Lincoln’s example, as they proceed militarily against fellow Americans should these Americans attempt to peacefully secede. All in the name of … American freedoms, of course.

Jealous: “Crimea voters overwhelmingly approve referendum to secede from Ukraine.”

UPDATE II (3/18): “Crimea secedes. So what?” by Ron Paul:

… What’s the big deal? Opponents of the Crimea vote like to point to the illegality of the referendum. But self-determination is a centerpiece of international law. Article I of the United Nations Charter points out clearly that the purpose of the U.N. is to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?

Critics point to the Russian “occupation” of Crimea as evidence that no fair vote could have taken place. Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by U.S. troops was called a “triumph of democracy”? …

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Red Line Is Redrum For The Administration’s Street Cred With Neocons

Foreign Policy, Russia

Is drawing another red line in the sand a smart thing for Secretary of State John Kerry to do? Via The Examiner:

Kerry warned of serious repercussions for Russia on Monday if last-ditch talks over the weekend to resolve the crisis in Ukraine failed to persuade Moscow to soften its stance. … The U.S. and Europe on Monday would then unite to impose sanctions on Russia, Kerry told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Thursday during a hearing on the State Department’s budget.

Then again, Refuters has already noted that “Obama’s Syria ‘red line’ has echoes in his warning to Ukraine.”

This red line habit is redrum for the Administration’s street cred with neoconservative.

Yawn.


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Dumb Dogs of War

Barack Obama, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, Russia, War

“Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.” Them’s fighting words belong to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Warbot conservatives want Obama to do something to Putin so as to keep them feeling like the world’s top dogs. Gates was addressing the incongruous nature of the continuous attacks lobbed by the warbots.


Via Fox News Sunday (the only show on Fox News to offer full
transcripts):

WALLACE: You’ve defended President Obama’s handling of the situation this week, but in January you said you thought that President Obama made a big mistake when he set the red line for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Here’s what you warn. “If you cock the pistol you’ve got to be willing to fire it.” By “cocking the pistol” whether it’s on the red line in Syria or giving asylum to Edward Snowden or other issues. You’re really — and then not firing it, you really don’t think that President Obama has emboldened Putin at all.

GATES: Well, all I would say is – what I was saying earlier in the week was simply that I thought in the middle of a major international crisis, that some of the criticism, domestic criticism of the president ought to be toned down, while he’s trying to handle this crisis. My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force, so I think Putin is very opportunistic in these arenas. I think that even if — even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren’t cutting our defense budget, I think Putin saw an opportunity here in Crimea, and he has seized it. You know, the ouster of Yanukovych was a big strategic setback for Putin, and — and I think it’s — it’s testimony to how skillful he is or how agile he is that he’s tried to offset that by the seizure of Crimea and throwing this whole situation into a very different — into a very different light, and I think that –


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