From the “What the hell?” files
Here is Rand Paul, trying to score libertarian points against the Biden administration’s policy of supporting Ukraine against Vladimir Putin’s invasion:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “The countries that have been attacked, Georgia and Ukraine, were part of the Soviet Union … since the 1920s.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “That does not give Russia the right to attack them.” pic.twitter.com/jnlRP6wAsN
— The Recount (@therecount) April 26, 2022
Blinken: [Russia] has not attacked NATO countries, probably for very good reason.
Paul: You could also argue the countries they’ve attacked were part of Russia…[“oops, my underwear is showing again”]…were part of the Soviet Union.
Blinken: Yes, and I firmly disagree with that proposition. It is the fundamental right of these countries to decide their own future and their own destiny —
Paul: I’m not saying it’s not, but I’m saying that the countries that have been attacked — Georgia and Ukraine — were part of the Soviet Union, and they were part of the Soviet Union since the 1920s.
Blinken: But that does not give Russia the right to attack them — on the contrary…
Paul: No one’s saying it does….
Then what in the world are you saying, Senator Paul? If you believe that the U.S. should not spend tax dollars supporting the war, then just say that. Justifying that position by saying the war is “none of our business” on the grounds that the countries being attacked were “part of the Soviet Union since the 1920s” sounds like a direct citation of Vladimir Putin’s speeches over the past twenty years. The U.S. and the “free world” in general never thought those countries were legitimately part of the Soviet Union, but understood that they were being enslaved by one of the most brutal tyrannies the world has ever known, and worked for decades to break up the Soviet Union precisely to push the Kremlin’s sphere of influence back to its proper geopolitical proportions. So why would the fact that Russia is “only” attacking former Soviet countries constitute a reasonable argument against getting involved again this time? On the contrary, is not Putin’s effort to rebuild that empire and its oppressive influence, and by implication to expand it further west in a threat to Europe and the democratic world, as the Soviet Union always sought to do, precisely the argument in favor of getting involved?
Rand Paul has a lot of decent things to say about domestic policy within the U.S. As soon as he starts on foreign policy, however, he sounds every bit as foolish and morally compromised as his father. I suppose that’s just the libertarian way, at least since the movement’s godmother, Ayn Rand (who understood a thing or two about Russia), passed on to Objectivist Heaven.