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“Ron Paul Defends Russia,” the Associated Press headline reads. Neocons are fond of painting Ron Paul and libertarians as people who just hate America. If that’s not the case, then why do they sound like they do?

After a civilian airliner was shot down over Ukraine, Paul rushed to defend Putin from allegations that he was involved in supplying the missile launcher to separatist forces who may have shot down the plane. And how did this former congressman defend Russia? He did it by pointing out how America is supplying arms to the ISIS rebels who are currently destabilizing Iraq. He also directly blamed the destabilization in the region on the West, saying:

“They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored ‘regime change,’ it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened,” Paul wrote.

Whoa, whoa, whoa there Dr. Paul. Now you’re just assuming and speculating. Not everything evil that happens around the world is because the United States intervened. I’m a non-interventionist libertarian, but I think it’s possible that foreign countries will do evil things, even if we don’t have anything to do with it. And that’s just it, logically Dr. Paul might be correct, but tactically (if the goal is to get Americans to embrace libertarianism) he’s totally wrong.

During the Cold War, The Economist magazine coined a term called “Whataboutism,” where every time something bad happened in Russia, the Soviets would say: “Well what about,” and then insert some vaguely related negative event in the West. This was used to deflect criticism from major events such as the crisis at Chernobyl. Was Chernobyl the fault of American intervention?

If libertarians don’t want to sound like America-hating Russian apologists, maybe it’s time to put down the old Soviet rhetoric and adopt something a bit more palatable to the American people, at least if we care about actually having our ideas implemented. Don’t give your political enemies an easy headline to write that can make you look bad.

All that and more on this incendiary episode of The Freedom Report podcast!


About The Author

Austin Petersen

Austin Petersen is the founder of The Libertarian Republic, as well as the CEO of Stonegait LLC. Formerly an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano's show "Freedom Watch", on the Fox Business Network. Austin was referred to by the Judge as "The right side of my brain". He built Judge Napolitano's social networks with over 700,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. Austin graduated from Missouri State University. He has written and produced award winning plays and videos, and previously worked for the Libertarian National Committee and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

  • Ross Trent

    So be a good American and blame Russia, because even so much as questioning the State Department’s narrative is anti-libertarian and un-American!

    • You don’t have to blame Russia, but you also don’t have to blame America, which is what Paul did.

      • Ross Trent

        So are you saying that Western intervention in what was an internal issue in Ukraine did not lead to the current crisis whatsoever?

        • I’m saying that is only speculation, not a fact. The crisis in Ukraine could have happened even without that intervention. Not everything that happens overseas can be blamed on the U.S.

          • Target4Tyrants

            When the US is admitting to dumping $5,000,000,000.00+ dollars into a country to overthrow the democratically elected government in power, you can blame everything after that point on them. YES

          • Inconsistencies

            Oh yes it can. “We” have CIA assets everywhere.

          • CMJO

            If you actually read what you wrote yourself, you’d see where you are wrong. Ron Paul never said it would have never happened. He said it was “unlikely” to have happened. That’s the truth, too. The overarching theme he’s presenting you ignored, as well.

            If you can’t acknowledge the wrong that we’ve done, then you will never be a part of the solution. Acknowledging that we are demanding the Russians “fix” their foreign policy when we are doing the same thing is not hating America.

      • CMJO

        No he didn’t…..

  • Dayne King

    Yeah, the truth hurts sometimes. Being slightly educated though, I don’t hear “I hate America” anywhere in his statement. A disdain for CFR policy enforcement and implementation, yes, but not a hate for America. Unfortunately, this country is full of idiots who would agree with you.

  • Frank_in_Spokane

    When Paul pointed out that the US had (with intentionally or unintentionally) provided weapons to ISIS, I didn’t hear him “blaming America.” I heard him saying, “Remove the log from your own eye before you try to remove the sawdust from your neighbor’s eye.” We have a LONG way to go cleaning up our own foreign policy house before we go criticizing Russia or anyone else.

    • Ross Trent

      And this is not a difficult message to understand. Rationalizing that as “blaming America” is a significant straw man fallacy, which is quite disheartening coming from a supposed libertarian.

      • Target4Tyrants


    • Target4Tyrants

      The problem is ALL SHEEP identify the government as “We the people” and that is the furthest from the truth. They can’t separate the government from themselves because the government has become the mommy and daddy to many of them whether they admit it or not and everybody defends mommy and daddy.

  • youdid notseeme

    Non intervention is what he preaches. If we had not meddled in either of those situations Syria or Ukraine we would not have blood on our hands. Yes he did speculate but it was not that far off. Had we not provided arms, money and influence in either of those situations things would have been very different. There was indeed a spark already existing that we Americans through our intervention policy provided the fuel that brought forth the subsequent flames. We cannot now wash our hands and blame Syria or Russia for what we a part of starting. Likelihood is the elected government in both of these cases would have squashed the rebellions had we not intervened and these stories would be long over with minimal casualties.

    Our house is a mess. We cannot close our borders and our government is running amuck. We have not business spending tax dollars intervening in these countries.

    You claim to be a libertarian, but this sounds like libtard rhetoric to me.

    • youdid notseeme

      I am an Oath Keeper and by no means do I dislike America. Love of country and our people is vastly different than disagreeing with the poor decisions our government chose to make in our name. Ron Paul is a great thinker and though I do not agree with all his points he is man of values and discipline that has served this country with honor where so many others in his position have failed us.

  • conspiracygirl

    There is a great deal of evidence that the USA did indeed plan to overthrow the elected Yanukovych administration, including a recorded phone call by a State Department official describing how she planned to install a new government. That you stubbornly refuse to read or acknowledge the overwhelming evidence — because it doesn’t fit what you want to believe — does not mean Ron Paul is making wild, unfounded statements. He’s the one with the uncomfortable but verifiable facts.

    It saddens me that our government does this. I would much prefer that our government act honorably and be trustworthy, but sometimes the truth is hard to accept. The US government has also sanctioned a coup in Egypt that overthrew another elected government. I would much prefer that our government lived up to what it professes to believe: It claims to revere democracy but schemes to overthrow democracies when people don’t vote the way our government wants them to. How disappointing is that…? Fortunately, our government is not the same thing as America.

    Is it really so hard for some Americans to acknowledge that Putin might occasionally be correct…? Does their worldview completely dissolve when this is the case…?

  • Target4Tyrants

    I hate having to defend Ron Paul from his own because the author cared more about his own “Libertarian agenda” rather than Veritas. Ron Paul knows that truth will lead you to the Bill of Rights & Constitution and he has the balls to say it how it is.

  • Timothy Wenners

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa there Dr. Paul. Now you’re just assuming and speculating.”

    Ironic coming from a retard who is assuming and speculating that Ron Paul hates America..

  • Joao

    I get that Uncle’s point was wasted on the AP and the public in general.

    However, I strongly disagree that the world hates US for prosperity, etc,. They crash airplanes into buildings because we are over there.

    Good points about the fact that most countries are Socialist/Cronyist, tho. Most folks don’t realize how Commie/politically-opportunist the rest of the planet is.

  • Drum

    We’re all “hardcore libertarians” — except when we’re not.

  • Robert Van Tuinen

    Petersen’s ego knows no bounds. He thinks it is his movement. I wish he would go away.

  • CMJO

    When I first saw the post from the RP Institute for Peace and Prosperity, I thought it was a joke, now I see they were serious, and that you are seriously wrong here. Of course you won’t think you are. You never do. To say that Ron Paul sounds like he hates America is seriously naive. When I heard him talk about us supplying weapons to ISIS, I didn’t think, “Oh, he hates America! Down with the libertarians!” I thought, ” We can’t blame someone else for something if we are doing the exact same thing.”

  • Idiotland

    I just love the hypocrisy of a guy who claims to be a “libertarian” all bent out of shape because someone else expresses a different opinion from his and refuses to just blindly believe government claims.

  • Ron doesn’t hate America- he may hate what it’s become though. Those at the helm openly flaunt the Constitution and talk frankly of dissolving what’s left of the nation’s sovereignty. Meanwhile defrauding those they’ve sworn to protect. The world watches in horror as these people openly contemplate the possibilities for first strike nuclear warfare, and extol the virtues of greed and deception.
    Today’s Imperialists envision the US as world policeman, the “center of a new international system.” The JINSA academic Alexander Joffe: “The end of the General Assembly as a credible body may plausibly be ascribed to the infamous ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution” and with the UN thus being shelved as a vehicle for world government, “we have an opportunity and obligation to begin again. ” The 21st century UN will be “an exclusive, members-only group.” “The best way to preserve the American Empire is to eventually give it up. Setting the stage for global governance can only be done with American leadership and institutions.” Thus the US has been chosen to be the instrument of its own destruction. Being ‘anti-American’ goes hand in hand with being anti-NWO. The world will go back to being pro-American when America once again is a force for Peace and Justice.

  • J.

    So it’s more important that people/politicians avoid saying unpopular things than it is that they speak honestly and truthfully..?