Category Archives: Russia

UPDATED: Ron Paul On Ukraine (Questioning The Media Monolith)

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Propaganda, Ron Paul, Russia

Ron Paul chronicles what went down between Kiev, the Kremlin and the confederacy of knaves in DC. He asks:

“What if John McCain had stayed home and worried about his constituents in Arizona instead of non-constituents 6,000 miles away? What if the other US and EU politicians had done the same? What if Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had focused on actual diplomacy instead of regime change?”

The history of meddling and regime change:

It was one year ago last weekend that a violent coup overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine. That coup was not only supported by US and EU governments — much of it was actually planned by them. Looking back at the events that led to the overthrow it is clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would not be in its current, seemingly hopeless situation.

By the end of 2013, Ukraine’s economy was in ruins. The government was desperate for an economic bailout and then-president Yanukovych first looked west to the US and EU before deciding to accept an offer of help from Russia. Residents of south and east Ukraine, who largely speak Russian and trade extensively with Russia were pleased with the decision. West Ukrainians who identify with Poland and Europe began to protest. Ukraine is a deeply divided country and the president came from the eastern region.

At this point the conflict was just another chapter in Ukraine’s difficult post-Soviet history. There was bound to be some discontent over the decision, but if there had been no foreign intervention in support of the protests you would likely not be reading this column today. The problem may well have solved itself in due time rather than escalated into a full-out civil war. But the interventionists in the US and EU won out again, and their interventionist project has been a disaster.

The protests at the end of 2013 grew more dramatic and violent and soon a steady stream of US and EU politicians were openly participating, as protesters called for the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. Senator John McCain made several visits to Kiev and even addressed the crowd to encourage them.

Imagine if a foreign leader like Putin or Assad came to Washington to encourage protesters to overthrow the Obama Administration!

As we soon found out from a leaked telephone call, the US ambassador in Kiev and Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, were making detailed plans for a new government in Kiev after the legal government was overthrown with their assistance. …


David Warsh, proprietor of, also questions the media monolith:

… Notice anything funny about this narrative? Putin is always the impulsive actor, never the one who is acted upon. He is never reacting to anything that NATO or the Americans do.

There is nothing here about NATO expansion. Nothing about the brief 2008 war with Georgia. Nothing about the continuing controversy about who fired the shots on Kiev’s Maidan square, nothing about the phone call by US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, taped by the Russians at the height of the crisis; nothing about the Russian naval base at Sevastopol on the Black Sea. Nothing about the sanctions imposed on the Russians since the crisis began. Nothing about the Ukrainian army offensives in the southeast. Nothing about the Ukrainian vote to join NATO that may have triggered the January offensive. Nothing to note that all this is happening on Russia’s doorstep. Is it any wonder Putin is “doubling down”?

The scariest thing of all is that it may be Putin who has been telling the fundamental truth all along: NATO expansion in Georgia Ukraine is unacceptable to him and Russia is willing to go to war to rule it out. He’s been improvising, all right, but often in response to probes – Ukrainian, European, US. For a fuller argument along these lines, see Gordon Hahn’s illuminating commentary on The American Education of Vladimir Putin, by Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill, which appears in The Atlantic for February. …


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Yalta: Where Franklin D. Roosevelt Conceded To Communism

America, Britain, History, Left-Liberalism, Russia, UN, War

Richard Ebeling at Target Liberty (TL) reminded us in advance that “February 4th mark[ed] the 70th anniversary of the most famous and infamous Yalta Conference between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin during February 4-11 of 1945,” who

… determined the fates of hundreds of millions of human beings:
All the people of Eastern Europe who were turned into the “captive nations” in the direct grip of Stalin behind the “Iron Curtain.” The destiny of mass of the Chinese population, as Stalin was given an entrée into Manchuria that opened the door for Mao’s communist conquest of China.
The division of Korea into North and South, that handed over the people of the North to a totalitarianism on a Stalinist model that stills rules today, and set the stage for the three-year Korean War that cost the lives of 50,000 American service men, and more than a million Koreans.
And FDR’s “dream” of the United Nations as a U.S. and Soviet-led organization to manage and redesign the world through the use of economic sanctions and global policemen using force to put down rebellions or disagreements with what the “Great Powers” believed was good for mankind.

At least in the excerpt provided at TL, Dr. Ebeling may have been hasty in lumping Winston Churchill with Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Yes, Churchill rolled over, because he was desperate for FDR’s financial support. But not before he attempted he save Greece, admittedly at a cost to the “rest of the Balkans.”

Franklin Roosevelt, in particular, like many pseudo-intellectuals of his time, explains historian Paul Johnson, regarded the Soviet Union as a “peace loving democracy, with an earnest desire to better the conditions of the working peoples of the world.” FDR’s advisers in Moscow considered Stalin a benevolent, genial democrat. “This monster, who was responsible for the death of 30 million of his own people,” was regarded by the American administration as “exceedingly wise and gentle.” “Grotesquely Stalinist” too were Harold Denny and Walter Duranty, the New York Times’ reporters in Moscow.

In his defense, Churchill was avowedly anti-communist and detested Stalin, which is why FDR thought of him as a “reactionary … an old incorrigible imperialist, incapable of understanding [Stalin’s] ideological idealism.” Against the wishes of Winston Churchill did FDR agree to “give Stalin what was not his to give.”

(A History of The American People by Paul Johnson, pp. 790-791.)

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Smart Elvira Nabiullina Doesn’t Stimulate Russia’s Money Supply

Federal Reserve Bank, Russia

Whether through serving as a reserve for essentially fraudulent banks, or purchasing assets, usually government securities, on the free market, the central, cartelized Federal Reserve Bank is involved in increasing the money supply. For this reason, when a central banker “cuts money supply growth to single digit levels” she deserves some praise. Duly, Robert Wenzel has awarded a central banker of the year award to Russian central bank chair Elvira Nabiullina. Writes Robert:

Despite being under incredible pressure as the Russian ruble collapses on foreign exchange markets, she is staying calm and collected and is not calling for any kind of government interventions that would only make things worse. She seems to get that markets will resolve things themselves. … Contrast this coolness with the panic in the eyes of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson during the 2008 financial crisis, when they caused the US government to intervene one hundred different ways and bail out the banksters.

I suspect that it doesn’t hurt that Elvira is … cute.

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Standing By As East Ukrainians Die

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Russia, UN

Western countries approved sending aid to Syria without obtaining the approval of the Syrian government. Why can’t the hypocrites of the UN and the international community allow Russia’s delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine?

Lugansk and neighboring areas have been repeatedly shelled lately, which resulted in casualties among civilians. Because of damaged infrastructure in Lugansk, there is no water and electricity supply, and phone and internet lines are also down.

We can argue as to who exactly has paid for this aid to east Ukraine, and whether Russia has acquired it at the point of a gun from its taxpayers; a no-no in libertarian law. It is, however, a mistake for libertarians to conflate the act of helping dying people with the act of policing a region. Non-interventionism need not mean standing by as people die. You don’t have to go to war to help people.

RT: According to the Red Cross, there is an “urgent need for essentials like food and medical supplies” in Lugansk, east Ukraine.

You won’t hear this account in the American media, but Nebojsa Malic has provided the “Russian Statement on the Aid Convoy”:

The endless delays hampering the initial deliveries of the Russian humanitarian relief aid to southeastern Ukraine have become intolerable.

A lorry convoy with many hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian relief aid, urgently needed by the people in these regions, has been standing idle for a week now on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Over this period, the Russian side has made unprecedented efforts in all areas and at all levels in order to complete the required formalities. We have met all conceivable and inconceivable demands of the Ukrainian side and have submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhaustive lists of food, drinking water, medications, essential items and diesel generators due to be delivered to Lugansk, where they are urgently needed by women, children and the elderly. These people are experiencing the horrors of daily artillery attacks and air strikes that have resulted in an increasing number of killed and wounded and destroyed the entire vital infrastructure in the area.

Time and again, we met requests to check and recheck the shipment route, to coordinate procedures for the shipment’s delivery, and have signed the required documents with the ICRC. We have provided all essential security guarantees and have ensured similar guarantees on the part of the self-defense forces. These guarantees apply to the Russian convoy as well as other humanitarian relief aid being sent to Lugansk by the Kiev authorities. …


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When An Exceptionally ‘Good Country’ Downs A Plane

America, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Ethics, Iran, Reason, Russia

To extrapolate from Dinesh D’Souza’s illogic (explained nicely by Jack Kerwick), when an exceptionally ‘Good Country,’ as the US surely is, downs a plane, that country deserves mitigation, for it is good. In other words, the properties of the crime, which are the same whoever commits it, somehow change, depending on the identity of the perpetrator.

Thus, because he belongs to a good collective, D’Souza, presumably, would diminish the culpability of the “U.S. Navy captain” who shot “Iran Air Flight 655” out of the sky, on July 3, 1988.

“A quarter-century later,” writes Fred Kaplan of Slate, “the Vincennes is almost completely forgotten, but it still ranks as the world’s seventh deadliest air disaster (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is the sixth) and one of the Pentagon’s most inexcusable disgraces.”

Kaplan compares the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to “The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.”

… In several ways, the two calamities are similar. The Malaysian Boeing 777 wandered into a messy civil war in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border; the Iranian Airbus A300 wandered into a naval skirmish—one of many clashes in the ongoing “Tanker War” (another forgotten conflict)—in the Strait of Hormuz. The likely pro-Russia rebel thought that he was shooting at a Ukrainian military-transport plane; the U.S. Navy captain, Will Rogers III, mistook the Airbus for an F-14 fighter jet. The Russian SA-11 surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian plane killed 298 passengers, including 80 children; the American SM-2 surface-to-air missile that downed the Iranian plane killed 290 passengers, including 66 children. After last week’s incident, Russian officials told various lies to cover up their culpability and blamed the Ukrainian government; after the 1988 incident, American officials told various lies and blamed the Iranian pilot. Not until eight years later did the U.S. government compensate the victims’ families, and even then expressed “deep regret,” not an apology. …

Read “America’s Flight 17.”

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Putin’s PR Quagmire

Europe, Foreign Policy, Russia, Terrorism

Opines Tom Piatak of Chronicles magazine:

Most Ukrainians do not want to be part of Russia’s “near abroad.” In this they resemble most Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians. Those who experienced Russian rule, either under the tsars or the commissars, generally do not harbor any nostalgia for it. Instead, they fear its return. A post-Communist Russia does not pose any threat to us, and the United States should stay out of Russia’s dispute with Ukraine for that reason. But Russia does pose a potential threat to its neighbors, and giving support to rebels who shoot down airliners will do nothing to reassure those worried by a revival of Russian power. Putin’s task should be to allay the fears of Russia’s neighbors, not to stoke them.


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