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When Do Libertarians Support Military Invasions? Apparently When Russia Does It.

A British Expat who lives in Lithuania set up a Facebook page recently to call out libertarians who are taking the side of Russia in the conflict over Crimea. Calling it “Confused Pro-Putin Libertarians,” Mark Splinter is using his platform to educate people on why Putin’s military invasion and sham election are illegitimate and unworthy of defense by people such as Congressman Ron Paul and others.

We interviewed Splinter on his project to find out more about his worldview and why he believes so many libertarians are confused about what’s happening in Ukraine.

putinpaulThe Libertarian Republic (TLR): First off how about a short bio? Where you’re from, what you do and your degree?

I am a Brit who emigrated to Lithuania in 2004, the day before they joined the EU. I didn’t know I was emigrating, I was only supposed to visit for a week, but I soon fell in love with the place. It’s crazy and beautiful and fascinating and challenging.

I love the idea of personally using all four EU freedoms (free movement of people, capital, goods and services). And I am still sore I missed that magical time when the Berlin Wall fell and everyone had a massive party. I guess part of me was fascinated with the Cold War as a child, and I enjoy being in a part of the world where there is still a struggle for freedom (but not too much struggle, we have high speed internet and bananas are readily available). I also visited Afghanistan, but I think I find the interface between east and west much more interesting than either the east or the west itself.

My background is in internet and music, I now run a company in Lithuania producing software and other projects for the music industry. No doubt your readers will be ecstatic to hear that I am strongly pro-copyright. But don’t worry, I am basically minarchist, having been converted by Lithuanians, who have a mainstream classical liberal’ish party which I can mostly agree with. Putin can try to come and annex my flat if he wants, I know how to swear at him fluently in his mother tongue. And also shoot him in the balls with a handgun.

TLR: Why did you start the “Confused Libertarians” page?

It was an impulsive thing. Facebook is good for impulses, knee jerks, drivebys. I am quite well known in local politics, because I have been active for years on human rights issues, the music business, stuff that interests and affects me locally. But this was the first time I went international.

The reason I started it was because I was sad, seeing Lithuanian libertarians disillusioned with some libertarians’ take on the Ukraine crisis. It seemed like some people are so obsessed with hating supranational organisations that they would even join Putin’s soft power army against the EU. Wow really? Did not see that coming. Putin’s not anti-liberty enough for you people, but the EU is? This was hard for us to understand.

We were already out in force, proudly shouting “Freedom for Ukraine” in the streets, thinking that’s what libertarians are supposed to do. That’s what made sense. Stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers in Ukraine fighting to … shall we say “secede” from Putin’s Plan. We weren’t paid by the CIA to feel like this, we’re not neonazis (they all hate the EU anyway, because it’s gay), and the Lithuanians who visited Kiev, including libertarian parliamentarians, brought back reports of amazing self-organisation of the people, creating a city within a city, providing food and medical services. What’s not to like? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be borderless neighbours and trading partners with these people in a free market? Maybe there are some neo-nazis there and people who like the death penalty and hate gays and stuff, but we have them in Lithuania too, and you have plenty of them in America. We can handle that, because freedom.

Whatever Americans say about the ridiculous statist EU social programs and subsidies, the EU provides an umbrella where I am free to go from London to Lithuania and start a business, with courts that defend my rights, the cheapest, fastest Internet in the universe thanks to intense competition, F-15s overhead, borderless travel for thousands of kilometers west, and a shooting range with a nice range of 9mm pistols just down the road. Imagine you are a libertarian going from living in the Soviet Union, to living in THAT. You would think you had died and gone to heaven.

Sure, there’s a lot of work to be done to reduce the interference of the state in everything, and the state pension here is a total joke, but in Lithuania you have the freedom to write about that, say that in parliament, parade in the street.

The reason Lithuanians love being in the EU isn’t because they are lazy idiots hooked on welfare, and it’s not because they are sheep under illuminati mind control, and it’s not because they can’t be bothered to defend themselves, and it’s not because the EU is a paradise of perfection.It’s because the EU is absolutely fantastic compared to Putin, and that’s the very real alternative.

So, these freedom-loving Lithuanian libertarians were kinda assuming that libertarians everywhere would understand all this, and understand that Ukrainians want the same thing, because freedom, not because NATO New World Order hegemony. There was no question in their mind that libertarians would be against Putin’s constant interference with all his satellites, and especially against annexing part of a country after a fake referendum.

Logically, the free markets brought to eastern Europe should be spread further, because freedom, right? We want to trade with Ukrainians and Belarusians and Russians without stupid barriers and dairy-product wars. We want to travel there, have student exchanges there, and get drunk there, without worrying about being imprisoned without trial. We want to buy their gas at the same price as neighbouring Latvia, not at the specially increased price Putin sets for Lithuania just to be an asshole. We want freedom of movement of people, capital, goods and services all around us. We want everybody to respect international treaties which were signed by democratic governments (not just de jure but also de facto democratic). Is this the spread of an evil western empire? Or the spread of freedom and rule of law and the pursuit of happiness?


From the Confused Pro Putin libertarian page

Then along comes Ron Paul, telling everybody he “doesn’t want to intervene”, but he does find time to spread Putin’s propaganda about how fascists run the universe, because Russia is taking the last stand against tyranny and should be allowed to absorb any territory which “chooses” to be absorbed at gunpoint by Russia, with promises of huge increases in social welfare for people already impoverished by Russian domination, but fed lies that it was all their own government’s fault and Putin can rescue them.

All this seems obvious to us because we know this region well, but when all your western libertarian heroes start getting the wrong end of the stick and gleefully trumpeting Putin’s lies, it’s sad. These people are confused, I thought. They are confused, pro-Putin (indirectly), libertarians (so-called).

It got so crazy, I just couldn’t take any more absurdity, so I decided to make a parody page and just throw even more absurdity in there, partly to try to cheer up my libertarian friends, and partly to let off steam and make myself feel better. I made some jpegs and posted some articles. After I trolled Lew Rockwell it kinda took off. Hundreds of people understood the joke, and they were also feeling bewildered that their freedom-loving friends were so ignorant of Putin’s aims and methods. So the page is now like a medical tent in the middle of the info war, giving light relief and morale boosts to those who need them. We won’t win the war but we’ll make sure some people are properly hydrated.

TLR: Who else have you seen specifically that is a libertarian and supports Putin?

From the Confused Pro-Putin Libertarian Page

From the Confused Pro-Putin Libertarian Page

Well, anyone who is a libertarian would never support Putin, so the answer is NOBODY. I mean, is Abby Martin a libertarian even though she shills for the Kremlin? No. These things are mutually exclusive. Her boss is the most statist statist on the planet, and his human rights record is deservedly in the toilet.

But let me make it clear, that “supporting Putin” doesn’t necessarily mean writing articles about how Putin is a great leader and deserves to have all of Eastern Europe back. Nobody is gonna write articles like that. The support is indirect. What’s happening is many people are writing about “non-intervention” (Putin loves that) and then adding ten paragraphs about how the NWO is encroaching on Putin’s “traditional lands” (read: lebensraum) and forcing him to defend himself “legitimately”. Always this word “legitimate”. Well – Russia was founded by military coup and Putin is illegitimate, if you wanna go there. Hell, I even did a ridiculous jpeg about how America was founded by racist tax-evaders who staged a military coup funded by a European empire.

Putin just uses words like “legitimate” and “fascism” to screw with you. He knows which libtard buttons to push, and he has completed extensive research into the libtardosphere via his propaganda channel Russia Today, where you can get the latest news on “things they are not saying in the mainstream media” (i.e. lies aiding Putin’s soft-power campaign). And no, Abby, Russia Today is not “the same thing as France 24 and the BBC” in any way except that they all use electricity to send pictures.

TLR: What are some of the arguments you have heard and how have you combatted them?

Well, first of all, I didn’t start the page to have a logical debate with rational people. This interview is the only chance I have had to discuss anything. Everything else is trolling or being trolled. I started the page as reckless trollbait, I admit, making it so double-sarcastic that hardly anyone can figure out what I am saying, just throwing sh*t out there and waving two British fingers at the world via comedy jpegs. I didn’t really plan for it to have more than 25 followers, it was just a flippant stunt. Blowing off steam. Preaching to the choir. If anyone tries to argue back, I just ask them ridiculous rhetorical questions or tell them to f*ck off. That’s all they deserve, those pieces of sh*t making excuses for the most fascist fascist in the world right now, aka Vladimir Putin.

I mean I live here for ten years, sleep with an ethnic Russian, speak Russian and Lithuanian, I have contacts in Ukraine explaining the situation to me, and then some d*ckhead from Arizona tries to give me a lecture on my region’s history, which he has “researched” for ten minutes on YouTube, I just think it’s best to throw nonsense in his face. I don’t wish he would get cancer or anything, I just think there’s no point arguing with people who have no basic grip on logic or humility. It becomes a red herring war, which is very tedious and not fun at all. I want to have fun, and my readers want to let off steam too, so I make jpegs and tell the retards they’re retarded.

If I change one floating-voter’s mind, that’s pretty cool. Otherwise it’s just satire for people who like satire and hate Putin.

The main arguments are the same nonsense I heard back in 2003 when I opposed the invasion of Iraq, basically, international bankers (why not just say Jewry like your hero Hitler said in his awesome book?) collaborating with some kind of shadowy all-knowing superforce oil-hungry elite that wants to make the world under one single president and put a chip in everybody’s brain.

Well, you know what, I live in a “NATO puppet state” in the “federalist EU”, and I am much more free here than I would be in Russia. Maybe 10000 times more free. This kinda bursts the bubble of the rabid “anti-neocons” because they seem to be a bit annoyed to find out that actually, America isn’t the most evil country in the world, it’s pretty good, and the EU is OK too, and most people in the world would rather live there than in Russia, for bloody good reasons (such as AIDS epidemics, alcoholism, homophobia, disappearing journalists, gulags, a five-term President who is openly against democracy and convinced his population to submit to his absolute power, etc).

TLR: Are sanctions from the west a necessary and effective response in your mind?


From the Confused Pro Putin libertarian page

Everyone’s just guessing. Putin can make it up as he goes along and he has no regard for his people other than as fodder. Whatever hurts his economy, he will blame on the “fascists”, and scarily – millions might be prepared to fight for him.

One thing I know pretty well is – the Soviet mentality. Yes I have seen into their souls, and I can almost see Russia from my house. I have drunk more vodka with these people than you could fit in your house, let alone your stomach. I know these gangsterish guys, and Putin looks like a typical example. They think having gold bath taps is awesome, they love showing status, they love bling, they love their mothers, they are all a bit latent homosexual and like to take their shirts off all the time, they bang bottles down on the table hard, as if calling on The Gods to bless their house with a neverending supply of vodka and cucumbers, and they simply MUST own a car, or preferably the largest country in the world. Social status is more important to them than money (because Soviets all have the same amount of money and traded friendships and bartered goods and services instead of using currency, your bank account does not define you). They think that getting something by illegitimate means is OK, as long as you get away with it (because stealing in the Soviet Union is always stealing from the State, never from family businesses or neighbours, and if a Lithuanian steals from Moscow – it’s patriotism).

Putin is surviving by dishing out oil money and influence to his inner circle, he’s getting away with it, and those guys love driving around London in Ferraris. I guess, the day those assholes have to tell their trophy wives that they are no longer allowed to drive around London in Ferraris, is the day Putin starts to lose his grip on power. And God/FSM help us all when that happens, because he is already mentally unstable and might possibly transform into a Bond villain of epic proportions if he feels like he’s losing. That’s my guess.

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.

  • rick

    So since Putin loves the fact that we don’t we don’t want to intervene, that makes it wrong for us not to want to intervene? I have news for you- in every single conflict in which we don’t intervene, SOMEONE is going to be happy we didn’t. Kind of goes without saying. I’m not going to throw one of basic tenants of Libertarianism out the window because it might make a bad guy happy.

    And the meme about the neighbor being raped is stupid and insulting. It insinuates that Libertarians are inhuman. This page is, or used to be, better than that.

    • marksplinter

      Read the whole “putin loves that” paragraph in context. And understand that you aren’t supposed to take jpeg memes literally. Cheers.

    • ZPT205

      I think you’re missing the point. There’s a difference between saying “we shouldn’t intervene in Ukraine because we have no good policy options, sanctions won’t work and we can’t afford to fight a potentially nuclear war” and saying “we shouldn’t intervene in Ukraine because Putin’s actually not all the bad compared to [irrelevant tangent about bad things the US has done].”

      Yeah, sometimes the line gets blurred, but when Ron Paul for example says things like “actually he [Putin] has some law on his side,” Ron Paul is being a Confused Pro-Putin Libertarian. Russia signed multiple treaties that explicitly recognize Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea, attacked without trying to resolve the issue peacefully first, and even began with a false-flag attack– Russia claimed its un-uniformed troops were “local militias,” when they obviously weren’t. There’s absolutely zero ambiguity here, and Ron Paul is trying to create a false equivalence as if there was.

      • David Digi

        I know you have the typical low IQ of an American sympathizer, but did you actually just say “they go on irrelevant tangent about the bad things that the US has done” excuse me? Irrelevant? So when the US does it , no one should complain & they should just forget about it? How biased can you be. The US is the worst aggressor in the world by a LONG shot, so no it’s not irrelevant .. Putin is no angel, what he’s doing in the Ukraine is bad, but compared to Americans? The man is the second coming of Jesus. Americans have fucked up the world so far beyond return it’s not even funny. You made the Middle East so much worse then it was under Saddam, you lied to get in there, spread to your own people that there was a WMD threat just to scare them so they’d agree with the stupid war .. That’s the way your country does things, invading countries illegally all for corporate interests, the US has ZERO right intervening in anything, it’s not their country. The US isn’t the policemen of the world. Why do you think you guys are so far in debt? All the BS foreign “aid” you put out when you can’t even pay for yourself, the US can’t throw stones when they live in a glass house. But I guess they see an opportunity to intervene & make some money off of their innocent troops lives, like the US always does. By the way, this isn’t coming from a Russian OR an American, it’s coming from a totally impartial view because I’m not living in either. I’m Canadian, you know .. That part of North America that was actually given brains?? You idiot war mongering fucks will believe anything your government tells you.. If the US ever does intervene, id take deep consideration in moving to Russia, & serving them, so I can help fight the true enemy in the world.

        • ZPT205

          Wow, I’ve met the world’s only rude Canadian. Lucky me!

          First of all, you’re missing the point. Ron Paul wasn’t comparing the US to Russia to criticize the United States (as you are doing); he was explicitly defending Russia and claiming that Russia had “law on its side.” More recently than this article, he’s supported the absurd Russian claims that Ukraine shot down that Malaysian flight. Nowhere in that post did I say nobody should criticize the United States, nor that the US should intervene in Ukraine– your entire rant is a big fat straw-man fallacy, and should make you question your reading comprehension.

          Second of all, your comparison of the US and Russia hilariously ignores Russia’s habits of using its military to screw with many of its neighbors (such as Georgia and Moldova), leveling civilian neighborhoods (see Grozny), selling weapons to anyone who’ll buy them, and opposing any international intervention that isn’t a Russian intervention in Eastern Europe, even when America isn’t the primary country proposing intervention. Not to mention, you put the US not just above Russia but above every other country in the world. Seriously? The US is worse than a country (NK) that puts its own citizens in concentration camps and randomly shoots at its neighbors to extort the international community for money? And by the way, the United States spends about 1% of its budget on foreign aid, so it has little to do with our fiscal woes. But please, tell me more about how your IQ is so much higher. I guess it’s possible to have a high IQ and just not bother to inform yourself before making arguments, I suppose. Keep up the poor spelling and grammar too.

          Third, you’re relying on the strange moral principle that if an entity does enough bad things, they lose the right to do good things. Why does a government have the “right” to intervene to use force protect non-consenting citizens inside its borders but not victims of aggression overseas who are actively asking for assistance?

          Oh, and lastly, if you were being literal when you said you’d join the Russian Army just because it would let you fight the “true enemy,” even if it means assisting an autocrat’s illegal occupation, militaristic expansionism, and murdering of civilians, there are plenty of North American terrorist groups you can join. Your willingness to ignore all moral perspective just to fight the United States would make you fit in perfectly, and you’d save a trans-Atlantic plane ticket.

    • Davy Goossens

      The longer I frequent libertarian circles, the more I understand why other people think of libertarians as morons

  • Target4Tyrants

    2 sh!tbags with shotguns walk into the bar with a hot chick. Which one will you buy a drink for? I hope you say none of the above like Ron Paul says.

    Just because he points out the hypocracy & insanity of once again starting a cold war & arms race doesn’t mean he supports Putin.. Sheesh~

    Nobody said liberty is easy.

    • Trevor

      You, like others, are falsely equating the evils of Putin vis a vis the leaders of Ukraine. He is much, much worse and them, and much more dangerous to everyone. So your metaphor fails.

      • Target4Tyrants

        Sir. It is all perspective. Is Putin trying to take my guns? is putin trying to spend my country to death? Is Putin attacking my first amendment & 4th amendment rights? is Putin spying on my whole country..every single call, every single forum chat? Did Putin bomb the hell out of Libya? Did Putin invade and destroy Iraq under completely made up, unproven reasons?
        I understand that the lesser of two evils is good enough for you since you probably vote for dems/pubs, but not for me or my family. I am sure you can create a list of crap Putin has done & i know that. All I am trying to point out is that since neither hands are clean, we should stay out because I fear the draft will be coming soon if WWIII begins & I do not want to see my loved ones get forced to die for someone elses cause~

  • Larry Bishop

    If the majority of people want to be part of russia then what is the big deal. Guess what, the minority that do not want to be also have the right to oppose it with force if they want to. Or they can leave. The options are endless. The one option that should not exist is other nations getting involved.

    • marksplinter

      But what if, as stated in the article, the referendum was a sham and Putin is a liar? Then would you keep repeating that “crimea voted to secede”?

      • Vikrant1993

        The vote may have been a sham, but there is no doubt that in Crimea.Many people logically for a while favored being part of Russia, and the spark of it was the Euromaiden.

        • marksplinter

          Then have a democratic referendum. Simple.

          • Vikrant1993

            And how do you propose to do that without outside corruption? Its a known fact that Crimeans would still join Russia or even be Independent over under Kievs bew ultranationlist government.

          • Mark

            not necessarily the last truly free election – the Reunite with Russia party got 4% of the vote – the leder of that party is now the President of Crimea- gee a coincidence

          • marksplinter

            There is such thing as international observers, the same ones who validated Yuschenko’s election. Although what Yuschenko did AFTER he got in power is utterly anti-freedom and clearly pro-Putin. He couldn’t get away from Putin. The people had to kick him out. HOOORAY!!!! FREEDOM FOR UKRAINE!!! said no Ron Paul fan ever.

          • Vikrant1993

            Yes, I am aware of International Observers.

            Yuschenko may not be the greatest, and he deserved what came at him. But, at the same time. The ultra-nationalists that replaced him took things a lot further then they should of. Just cause Ukraine took out a brute, then it does not justify rounding up people and forcing them to resign just cause they dont think exactly like them. Is that freedom? If thats what you call Freedom, then you must not know what freedom really is. The fact is simple, Crimea decided there own fate.

            Yes, No Ron Paul fan will agree there is freedom in Ukraine, nor will they ever side with Ukraine’s new government. They will stick to that Crimea must decide for themselves. And they have. Other then a few nations calling a sham, a Austrian official at a polling site saw no violations. If you knew the history of that region, you would realize Crimea vote to join the Russian Federation was going to happen.

      • Ricardo Alberto Rivera Chevez

        So the referendum was sham, yet I havent heard of protests or oposition from the crimean people. Was the sham so good that crimeans dont know whats going on. Or maybe they are ok with been part of Russia.

  • Mark123USA

    As a Ukrainian this author pisses me off!!! Lithuanians
    have been known to be biased of Russia and made up lots of false accusations against the Russian Federation in the past, the author who lives in Lithuania really is naive.The
    Author does not mention how many Luthianian politcians supported the
    Murder of Russians, Ukrainians, and other Non-Lithunians when they
    seceded from the Soviet Union 1990. Also Russians living in Lithuanian
    still face discrimination. Why is this guy also supporting the
    socialistic Euripean Union which his country is a part of?????? This article is preposterous and stupid. Full of idiotism and lack of historical knowledge.

    • Juozas Čepulis

      You are stupid thats is all what can i say for you..

    • Furious

      These are the kind of sheer lies and propaganda, we, lithuanians put up daily coming from Russia.

    • ZPT205

      So because Lithuanian politicians were dicks in the 90s, anything anyone living in Ukraine writes about Russia is automatically wrong?

      Your inability to argue with any of the actual facts or claims in the article shows who really is “full of idiotism [sic] and lack of historical knowledge.”

    • Trevor

      You are either a troll, or are literally insane.

  • Wzp01

    Because I oppose my country taking sides in a conflict that has no bearing on American freedom or sovereignty, I’m “supporting Putin”?

    Why? I don’t think he’s a good guy. I don’t like his authoritarian government.

    I just don’t think it’s my country’s place to get in the middle of their dispute.

    • marksplinter

      How about you wait until he invades a NATO country then. I’ll meet you back here to talk about your genius plan to dissolve NATO.

      • Mario Lawrence

        Why should the U.S. get involved again?
        People around the world, especially in Europe, got nothing but shit to say about Americans, but Americans are the ones that need to stand in the line of fire with them, when that “shit hits the fan”?
        Fuck that shit. Not this time. Go bug the E.U.

        Sentiment aside…

        With all that crap surrounding the (not-so-possible) escalation, have folks demanding U.S. intervention not paid attention to what was happening to their precious Euro?

        I can’t blame them for not looking at the Big Picture. The big economic picture, and how much MORE damage would be caused by U.S. intervention. There are people in the regions Africa and South America that would like U.S. intervention too. They hardly get any, and far worse happens to them.

        Here’s a comparison between The Fed and The ECB:

        Ukraine is stuck in a situation between two jerk-offs, and we’re supposed to get involved because one jerk-off happens to be slightly nicer than the other? No. Let the two idiots finish fight.
        If you have free means of travel within the E.U. then you need to get out.

        • Trevor

          Your false equation of the leaders of Ukraine and Putin invalidates your argument. Putin is one of the 5 worst people on Earth, a danger to the rights, freedoms and property to millions of people around the world, whereas the leaders of Ukraine are at worst poor leaders of their own country.

          • marksplinter

            The leaders of Ukraine have been corrupt, true, and have been under the boot of Putin de facto, true, and deserve a chance to become freer and then free.

      • Wzp01

        Being a dick to me isn’t making me any more sympathetic to your plight.

        • marksplinter

          I do not require sympathy. Look at what’s happening and decide for yourself whether or not millions of people over here should go back behind Putin’s new shiny iron curtain. Don’t do it for me, do it for science!

          • Wzp01

            Should they go back to an authoritarian government? No.

            So they should take up armed resistance. Get the EU involved, since Ukraine wanted to be part of the EU.

            But the US has no interests in any of it and should not take sides.

          • Eštebáčik Ivanko L.

            I see, your signature has the same price as signature in the name of USA on the Budapest Memorandum from 1994…wait… it is worthless.

          • Wzp01

            Either way, my opposition to Russia’s aggressive acts do not give me or my government justification to take action.

          • Eštebáčik Ivanko L.

            Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances

          • Wzp01

            Analysis heading:

            “The Budapest Memorandum was negotiated as a political agreement. It refers to assurances, not defined, but less than a military guarantee of intervention.”

            Read footnote 1. I tried to paste that link, but it was not approved by the mods.

            The Budapest Memorandum does not oblige the US to take any sort of action on Ukraine’s behalf.

          • marksplinter

            Forget the Budapest Memorandum, Putin will be on NATO territory soon enough. Already his soft power is everywhere, including BULLSHIT NEWS NETWORK America, and he has infiltrated politics everywhere too.
            Lithuania recently had a huge “citizen’s campaign” for a referendum to ban the sale of land to foreigners (the constitutional court ruled that this would require leaving the EU), among other things. It was pretty obviously a Kremlin fuelled campaign, like the anti shale-gas campaign, and the TV channels. This is real, Putin’s already got his claws out way beyond his borders, and it’s not a fantasy to suggest that he would “do a Crimea” in other places too, e.g. NATO territory (which is full of ethnic russians, so if you keep repeating that bullshit about ethnic russians then you are excusing Putin’s takeover of Latvia, for example. That’s dangerous, and if that happens you are going to have a hard time wriggling out of NATO commitments.)

          • Trevor

            It doesn’t oblige them so it is meaningless? That is a pretty sad position to take. How does that jive with the principles of supporting diplomacy? Why would anyone engage in diplomacy with us if our assurances are meaningless? Your position is self-refuting.

          • marksplinter

            Meaning is given to these documents by actions, not by signatures. You simply have to oppose breaches of peace and freedom, instead of putting your own personal crusade in front of objective enquiry.

          • Wzp01

            I have no issues with being diplomatic. I’m all in favor of diplomacy. Yet diplomacy isn’t a guarantee of security, which is what the comment seemed to be referring to.

            My statement regarding taking action is solely regarding military action to secure Ukraine, which we are not obligated to do at all.

  • Rickyyy

    Why is this man boy being interviewed? He comes across as a little prick.

    • marksplinter

      You kinda sound a bit like a prick too. Hi.

  • Running the Show

    Because most of us know that the USA is run by anti Christian New World Order scum and Putin appears to be sticking his middle finger up to them… Hate to tell you people but this country is F’d..

    • marksplinter

      Well done for not even reading the article.

  • Spot

    OK, so I researched this topic more extensively than 10 min on the Internet, as I had to do a Graduate paper on the topic. I was surprised to find that I fell on the side of Putin in this. If the Crimean people do not want to belong to the Ukraine, they have every right to secede. They happen to have a larger country that wants something from them in exchange for helping them? Holy crap! You mean they have another choice besides existing with the status quo or civil war? I accept that this guy lives in the region and may have a differing opinion. I understand that not everyone in the Crimea wants to secede. Same thing happen during the Revolutionary War. Not everyone wanted to separate from the British either. Like I said I don’t necessarily like that it looks like Putin maybe coming down on the side of liberty in this. The one major question I have is why the hell is the US sticking it’s big fat nose into this? This is a situation between Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia.

    • dinkster

      They are involved because of the nuclear nonproliferation treaties. If the US and NATO doesn’t follow through with protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty, then they won’t be taken seriously when they ask to disarm Iran under the same contract. Really creates a rock and a hard place.

      • Spot

        The question was rhetorical. I fully understand the “reasons” the US is involved. I don’t agree with them and I don’t believe the Ukraine is right in this. I also am sick and tired of the endless conflicts and excuses to go to war.

        • marksplinter

          I also understand that in theory libertarians might disagree with the concept of NATO. But tough shit.

          • Spot

            Why are you commenting on a Libertarian site if you don’t agree with Libertarian ideals?

          • marksplinter


          • Spot


          • marksplinter

            Well… sorry, is that the rules here? You made me chuckle. Do we all have to agree with your definition of Libertarian ideals, otherwise we might be asked why we don’t agree with Libertarian ideals?

          • Spot

            My exposure to the Libertarian community has been mostly welcoming, but every once in a while I run into some a*shat that feels it’s necessary to make statements like tough shit, that’s the way it is. What is the purpose of discourse, if not to discuss how we would change things like NATO. Or are you one of those people who like to use these comment sections to get on a soap box and tell everyone else that you are right and all knowing? If so, I feel badly that you have nothing better to do.

          • marksplinter

            I think I feel more of a sense of urgency because literally within months and within kilometers, this NATO deal might get very real for me, so I don’t really feel like debating hypothetical “worlds without NATO” at the moment. I understand your reaction though.

          • Mark A. Duckworth

            Who funds NATO? What happens when the Euro and Dollar crisis are upon us or the American Empire starts to crumble? Who will protect “NATO countries” on the border with Russia’s sphere of influence?

    • ZPT205

      “If the Crimean people do not want to belong to the Ukraine, they have every right to secede.”

      Notice how the Crimean government only “asked” to secede after Crimea was invaded. Big “if” there.

      Besides, saying “anyone can secede if they want to” sounds appealing but is actually a terrible political principle. It begs the question of where you should draw the lines in the first place– why Crimea and not only, say, the most Russian parts of Crimea, or the parts within a few miles of the naval base, plus “Russian” areas inside the rest of Ukraine? Democratic societies can’t function if anyone can leave at any time, which is why the Ukrainian constitution doesn’t allow this sort of referendum (something Russia even recognized in multiple treaties), and why the US fought this civil war you might have heard of. I’m no say secession is never justified– if an ethnic group is being oppressed or massacred, for example, it makes total sense– but none of that happened here. Putin and his Crimean puppets, not the Crimean majority/plurality, indicated that Crimea needs to seccede to prevent abuses that *haven’t even happened yet* by a supposedly neo-nazi government that isn’t remotely close to being run by neo-nazis.

      • dinkster

        “It begs the question of where you should draw the lines in the first place–”

        Easy, you draw them at the individual. Governments should be nothing more than security firms with contracts given to willing participants.

        • ZPT205

          That’s a philosophically defensible position (although I think there are legitimate problems with it– have you read Anarchy, State, and Utopia?) but it provides very little guidance in this circumstance, since neither Ukraine nor Russia function that way.

      • Spot

        “Democratic societies can’t function if anyone can leave at any time” Are you slow? Democratic societies exist on the very idea of voluntary participation. And yes I have heard of the Civil War and I don’t believe the northern states should have attacked the southern states. The southern states had a right to withdraw themselves from a system they did not believe in. I don’t know whether these people are being oppressed or not and I wouldn’t advocate US involvement in either case, but there is no proof one way or another.

        • Spot

          Haha I love the argument that I am now a racist because I don’t believe that the north had a right to prevent the south from seceding. This is a straw man argument if I have ever heard one. First of all the Civil War had about as much to do with the idea of freeing the slaves as tennis shoes did. Read your history people, Lincoln did not want to free the slaves. Second of all just because I don’t agree with the war does not mean that I don’t agree with the outcome. Stop playing the damned you’re a racist card, your argument is weak and when you pull that crap everyone realizes your argument is weak.

      • Mark

        Simply not true- Russia allows no referndums- 5 yeas in jail- Ukrainian law allows it – 300,000 signatures and the whole Ukraine votes on that referendum—

        • ZPT205

          Not so fast. Ukrainian law allows referendums on *some things,* but the Ukrainian constitution doesn’t allow separatism.

    • marksplinter

      Once again, your presumption that the people of Crimea chose this is false.

      • Spot

        How do you know? Are you from the Crimean region? Have you witnessed or spoken privately with everyone in the country? Your presumption that the people of Crimea did not choose this may be false. But at least I am willing to admit that my opinion may be incorrect, notice I said Putin MAY be coming down on the side of liberty. You assuming that you know how everyone in a country feels is a bit arrogant. no?

        • marksplinter

          I am also willing to admit that my opinion may be incorrect, but I bet you one million dollars that Putin fakes election results after rolling the troops in in unmarked uniforms.

          • Spot

            I don’t base my arguments on assumptions and suppositions. I base my arguments on research and I am willing to listen to well thought out supported ideas. So far all I have heard is propaganda from both sides. Oh I know it’s a shocker that the US and the EU would use propaganda to misinform. I choose to question both sides and still maintain that the Crimeans should decide for themselves.

          • marksplinter

            I know, it’s crazy, right? A lunatic dictator actually is encroaching on NATO territory and ppl are like whoa that sounds like something out of a movie, that’s never gonna happen, we should just probably stay out of this, like we do every time.
            I also agree you have to look at evidence and make up your mind and never stop looking further, and I just think if you do that then you will see that liberty is happening in Europe and Putin doesn’t like that because it clashes with his tinpot oil-dependent human rights abusing AIDS epidemic alcoholic suicidal mess. I totally want all those people to be free from that and I think it’s possible, if people cleverer than me figure out a way to show Putin that laws will be respected. The law that defines the US border also defines Ukraine’s, so it simply makes sense to at least denounce the antifreedom ppl, in this case clearly Putin.

          • Mark

            no just watch a 82 year old woman pushed to the ground protesting against Russian intervention while a ninja turtle soldier watches – very proud troll aren’t you

          • Spot

            Not a troll, just a person with a different opinion than you. Funny how when someone differs from your stance they are a troll.

    • Vytautas Šilinskas

      Spot, you, your farther and probably your grandfather lived in free country ruled by law and you can not imagine that reality could be different. It seems like you are that average middle ages person who believed that Jesus lived the same way as they do, because nothing changed thorough the lifespan such person. At the same way you believe that Russia is a democratic country.

      We’ve seen how democracy was build after USSR collapsed, how fragile it is and how easily people can be manipulated (they still are). Why do you think Ukrainian/Crimean TV stations were shut down and replaced by Moscow’s propaganda immediately after the military invasion?

      Why do you think there is no freedom of speech in Russia and, sadly, now there is no such right in Crimea…

      Why do you think referendum was not held (or at least offered or demanded by Russia) before the invasion of Russian military?

      Just to give you an example: would you cheer up if North Korea would free the South Korea’s people? Would you believe referendum results held after military invasion stating that they want to join North? Would you believe North Korea’s propaganda saying that people really wanted this, even if some of South Koreans would believe the propaganda?

      Probably not, then why do you believe Putin’s propaganda?

      I am not saying that Russians in Crimea are unhappy now, I am saying they had no free will, starting with the facts that questions at referendum were: a) join Russia b) grant bureaucrats controlled by Russia a right to join Russia; furthermore there were no debates and at last there were no foreign inspectors and Russians (who have no free will in their country) were to count the votes….

      • Spot

        First of all you have no idea where my father, my grandfather or I am originally from. ASSUME much? Nor did I ever say that I believe Russia was a democracy. All I said was that I don’t know for sure what the Crimean people want and neither do you. It’s a tad arrogant for you to yet again ASSUME that you know the hearts and minds of an entire region. As far as N. Korea I would ask the same questions I am now. I would not ASSUME that I knew anything and would instead want confirmation before I stuck my big fat meddling nose into a sovereign nations affairs. Because for how much everyone is crying about Ukraine’s sovereignty the US and EU don’t seem to care about it when they too are sticking their noses in.

        • Vytautas Šilinskas


          I will apologize you if my assumptions were wrong or if I have insulted you. But I do not see you stating that I have made wrong assumption. .

          To be clear, nobody says that statement: “It is not US business and US should not do anything” is somehow pro Putin. It is not.

          But when you continue saying that although Putin is bad person, he did good to Crimea…. This is definitely not libertarian. Lets see what Putin did:

          1. Military intervention to a democratic country;
          2. Abolished freedom of speech and replaced it with propaganda;
          3. Abolished right to free elections (there are no democratic elections in Russia);
          4. Introduced forced military service (more than 2500 persons die there every year, more that 25 % of them kill them self).
          5. Crimea, as whole Russia, is now ruled by the KGB agent.

          Are these really the values that Libertarians support?

          You see, we know Europe’s history too well, not to know where this is leading. Few important facts, maybe you are aware about some of them, but maybe you are not:

          1. Russia has deported Crimean Tatars (nation originally living in Crimea) from their home after WW2, and those that have returned back to Crimea are now afraid it will happen again and they have boycotted the fake referendum (they do not want back to Russia).
          2. Did you read how Hitler took Austria and part of Czechoslovakia? Russian history professor lost his job for stating the similarity (I am not sure if he is not in jail already). Is this what Libertarians support?
          3. Did you read how after WW1 some countries (including Lithuania) got free from Russian empire, but it took Russia 20 years to rebuild it’s military power and invade Baltic countries and hold fake referendums to join Russia.
          4. Did you notice that there were no communists countries in Europe until Russian military forces came in and suddenly they hold referendums and ALL turn to be in favour of communism (including East Germany).
          5. Chechnya – the nation has declared independence from Russia… Long story short, after it lost the second war against Russia and there were Russian military everywhere, suddenly referendum showed that 95.5% wants to join country who was bombing and raiding them for decades.

          Knowing these (any many more) history facts you should understand that Russia was never democratic, always imperialistic and they use both soft power (propaganda, culture) and hard power (military forces) to take away free will, freedom of speech and right to vote from millions of people. And when you say, that maybe this is what people want, you at least should not say that you are libertarian.

          • Spot

            You did not insult me I am merely pointing out that this type of argument is rooted in assumption. YES, PUTIN IS A BAD MAN! I have stated this before. I never said that unequivocally what he is doing is right. I said I don’t know cause I am not there, I don’t know anyone who is there. I will not say that the Crimean people do not want him there, believe it or not they may actually not agree with the western way of life. Believe it or not there are people on the earth that see the western countries as the bad guys and that it is OK for them to have a different culture and a different point of view.

            It is Amazing to me that Nonintervention is the Libertarian way until its a freaking NATO country. Until its Israel. If the US and EU don’t want to do business with Russia because of human rights violations then stop doing business with them all the time. Not just when it will look like you are defending Ukraine.

    • Trevor

      Russia INVADED Crimea. There is no referendum, you cannot trust the results of the vote. Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine in the 50’s, they have no claim to it. And there is no right for a country to send troops into another country because some people in that country speak their language. The question I have for you is why is Russia sticking its big fat nose into this?

      • Spot

        I don’t agree that Russia should be sticking its nose into it other than if the Crimean people asked them to. Which no one has yet to prove to me did not happen. As I understand it the legitimate President of the Ukraine was illegally ousted from the Ukraine parliament and then fled to Russia. Ever think he asked for Putin’s help? And yes he is the legal President as according to the Ukraine constitution you need 2/3 vote to vote him out and they didn’t even have that many present to vote.

  • marksplinter

    Be non-interventionist if you want, but we do have the internet over here, so your stuff online directly affects us, it’s influential, it fuels Putin’s online army of fake bloggers who agitate and provoke and brainwash our people. It can help change referendum results. it’s kinda intervening in our shit. It means I have to fight back online. I wish some commentators would take a purist nonintervention stance and just stfu, saying only “let’s not intervene” instead of repeating Russia Today stories about Crimeans freely voting to “secede”.

    • Spot

      Hold on, wait a second. If the referendum is a sham and the people did not freely choose this then how is my comment going to sway them? If the fix is in, it’s in and my comments don’t mean anything. Choose which side you are arguing for. Either we can influence a free vote or the fix is in?

      • marksplinter

        You can denounce flagrant transgressions of basic liberty. It will help people to get the freedoms you already enjoy. It’s the nice thing to do.

        • Spot

          Except that I am not entirely convinced that Russia is harming the people of Crimea. Nor am I entirely convinced that Ukraine is harming them. Which is why I don’t believe we in the US should be interfering and instead allow the people of Crimea to decide. The people of Crimea know better than anyone who is oppressing them and should decide their fate.

          • Guest

            OK, fair question.
            So let’s start with the level of economic freedom in Russia, compared to what the transition to the EU would offer after a few years, using Lithuania as an example:
            Economic Freedom Index, Lithuania v Russia
            Also, let’s look at the last place Putin “liberated”:
            NYT If History Is a Guide, Crimeans’ Celebration May Be Short-Lived
            And let’s remember that half of Crimea never uses the internet and gets their information from posters like this:
            Referendum poster offering the choice between the nazi swastika and the Russian flag
            Taking all that into account, it becomes even harder to say that Crimea chose freedom freely. And I didn’t even mention the military fait accompli or the bigger-than-100% turnout in this “overwhelming expression of the will of the people” certified by Vladimir Putin who wants the whole Ukraine because it’s potentially rich. But he doesn’t want the Ukrainians to be free to develop their economy and benefit from it, he wants to dominate them and line his pockets.
            He’s so bad, and millions of people suffer so much from his autocratic antilibertarianism, that you need a very very strong argument if you are going to make excuses for him.

          • Spot

            I do have compassion for the people within the region. Do not get me wrong there. The history of US intervention has done far more harm than good and I don’t want to see another interventionist mistake. The media and government over here is jumping the gun and has been against the idea of Crimea seceding from the get go, without even investigating the notion that Putin may for once not be lying. If the Crimean people are being oppressed under Ukrainian rule then they should secede and the thought that Russia may be the ones defending liberty kinda makes me ill. I am not so naive as to think Putin would help the Crimean people without getting something out of the deal, but I don’t necessarily see that as reason to rail against him for it.

          • marksplinter

            Putin causes misery for his people, apart from a tiny minority, who he makes billionaires. His aim is not to grow his economy and allow his people to pursue happiness, but to keep his population compliant. He is the antithesis of (almost) everything Libertarian. He makes the EU look good, like I said. Just google “AIDS in Russia” if you want a horror story. Here’s what happened to the last place he annexed and promised to give loads of money to: tinyurl .com / pllhukm
            I can also recommend the documentary Putin’s Kiss for many reasons, but I hate giving up on an argument just by saying “google this” and “go look at this documentary”. But anyway. It’s about the leader of the Putin Youth who switched sides and spoke out about journalists getting beaten up. She’s more interesting than Abby Martin. I think you would be interested, and I promise you there are very dark reasons to rail against Putin and his cronies and satellites.

          • Spot

            I find this discussion to be intriguing and I do believe there are many reasons to rail against Putin. I do not by any means think this man is a good one. I am merely trying to explain why I caution intervention, even bad people can do just things whether they know they are doing them or not. I do not believe in US intervention in most matters. The Libertarians I know agree with me on this point: It is a rare time that we should intervene. I urge caution in all things and I do hope that ultimately someone will listen to the people of Crimea as it is their land, their home and their decision. I have plans so I have to go now. It was nice debating with you. Perhaps we can do it again sometime.

          • Keith Hutchison

            Sounds to me like your describing Obama.

            “His aim is not to grow his economy and allow his people to pursue happiness, but to keep his population compliant . He is the antithesis of (almost) everything Libertarian.”

            Listen I’m sorry the Ukrainians weren’t happy with the government they elected, but our country should have stayed the hell out of it. Nazi’s? Really you think we should be siding with neoNazi’s that want to replace the government with a single all powerful supreme commander? Ukraine couldn’t keep their crap together, we are having enough trouble keeping our crap together and the last thing we want is a line drawing ninny with absolutely no rational foreign policy and a kindergartners take on diplomacy puffing up his chest like he gonna do sumthin’. We have no idea what Russia is doing right now in Cuba, we have no idea where China’s allegiance lie, we have no idea who in the hell would step up to back us. I’m sorry but how about you make a phone call to the UN or NATO, oh sorry I forgot we are UN and NATO or at least their muscle. We are the ones that caused this mess playing in others world affairs on the whims of the EU and the worldwide banking cartels. Obama listens to his own hype men and this time it’s biting US in the ass. Sorry maybe this country will elect somebody with balls next time round I hear Hillary has got Bill’s now maybe that she knows how to deal with a bully Obama sure as hell don’t and if he’s not careful he’s gonna get a hell of a lot more hurt than W did.

            By the way Putin is a POS dictator, only problem is our wannabe dictator sucks at his job.

          • marksplinter

            OK, but it’s a Putinist myth that “nazis run Ukraine”. You need a very nuanced understanding of local politics and history, and you need to step away from youtube videos with RT in the corner. The fascist government of Ukraine does not exist. The percentage of “nazis” is manageably tiny. I don’t even have to provide proof here, because it’s your claim. Please show me more than a couple of jpegs of antisemitic flags and people hitting policemen, because it really is not that simple.
            Here is some background info from a guy who has written detailed histories of the horrors of stalinism and nazism, and he knows more about it than you or me, so give him some respect and read it.
            preview.tinyurl com / kpqy72r

          • Keith Hutchison

            OK, but it’s a Putinist myth that “nazis run Ukraine”.

            No it’s more of an exaggeration than a myth.
            Connotation and denotation often confuse people, Svoboda is a “nazi” group that is dedicated to Ukrainian purity, a Fuhrer type of government, and a seat at the Nuclear table. They recently got 37 seats in parliament, the parliament runs Ukraine, therefore the statement you suggested I inferred, which I didn’t is actually true. Nazi’s run Ukraine. But it is an exageration.

            You need a very nuanced understanding of local politics and history, and you need to step away from youtube videos with RT in the corner.

            I find when someone feels a source of information should be shunned they either assume the consumer of the information is to stupid to differentiate fact from opinion or they have an emotional reaction to information which I think is suspect. Like when people say don’t watch Fox it’s all lies or CNN is the Communist News Network. I’m fairly intelligent and don’t need anyone to tell me that RT is a Russian tool to sell their agenda, but if you’ve never watched it you might be shocked at the information you’re missing by only watching American news sources. Of course maybe you were one of those that thought the Obama administration had a good idea in putting monitors in news stations to make sure “fair” reporting was going on.

            The fascist government of Ukraine does not exist.

            Well again we have to go back to connotation and denotation. Let’s just say you’re wrong on this unless you think stripping Ethnic Russians of rights is not fascist. The enlightened status that we enjoy here in the US is not exactly the same in Ukraine, if I’m not mistaken that whole fascist thing they overthrew Yanukovych was for being too fascist. Modifier intended. It’s the brand of fascism which causes the argument.

            The percentage of “nazis” is manageably tiny. I don’t even have to provide proof here, because it’s your claim. Please show me more than a couple of jpegs of antisemitic flags and people hitting policemen, because it really is not that simple.

            Yeah we simply disagree. When I see racists at a political rally I don’t say yeah but there are just a few, I don’t want to be associated at all with a racist (not somebody who makes off color jokes but someone who actually thinks other people are less than them because of their race [yeah I’m a stickler for that whole connotation and denotation]). I’ll assume by your insistence that Naziism isn’t that simple you’re still working out the nuances of racism and anti-semitism in the EU as we speak, hating people and wanting Jews dead is really a difficult thing to get your head around, Europe watched a bunch of Jews die because of it and the still struggle.

            Here is some background info from a guy who has written detailed histories of the horrors of stalinism and nazism, and he knows more about it than you or me, so give him some respect and read it.

            preview.tinyurl com / kpqy72r

            Yeah I read read it but it did little to answer any of my questions. It actually reinforced some of my opinions about what a fascist we have in our own country, a benevolent fascist of course, he simply tramples our rights not our bodies. It’s laughable that I would make such suggestions of an American president, of course he allows the NSA to continue acting illegally, the IRS he allows (or directs) to intimidate people because they get involved in the political process, actually using IRS, FBI, and OSHA to gang up on at least one person, but I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence. I hear not even a smidgen of corruption happened under Obama’s never watchful eye. It’s still better to have a coincidence with the Obamas than the Clinton’s. You can still breathe after a coincidence with the Obamas.

            Yeah I got side tracked.
            As a person with libertarian principles I say Putin is not a great proponent for liberty. Sadly it is not an ideal held close to the heart of the people in the Ukraine. The US and the EU have entered into a squabble that will inevitably turn into a civil war if western escalation doesn’t cease. And I fear we are on the wrong side. There is no clear moral authority. It’s two (or more) different bickering factions wanting their way. I have no idea what Ukraine wants and I’m not too sure they do. I am sure the US put its nose where it doesn’t belong. Had we stayed out of it the overthrow of Yanukovych the Crimea takeover may have never occurred. Without that destabilizing force, Putin had made no indications that he wanted Crimea separated from the Ukraine, regardless of prophetic statements by Mitt and Sarah. Intervention has already occurred and I hope the “if you break it you bought it ” foreign policy mantra died with the Iraq action.

          • Jeremy Keat

            The executive and congress are any better here in America? Even the EU? You have got to be kidding me.

            This isn’t people like me going “who do I like and want to side with?” I don’t like either side and don’t want to side on oppressors at all. But let’s be honest and keep things into perspective, Putin and Russian government has been pretty reserved unlike the US. Russia isn’t exporting terrorism and they are only a hop skip and a jump from the mid east. They don’t have bases and militarily engrossed in numerous nations across the world. They don’t dramatically try outspend everybody else in military funding.

            Of course the Russian government is just another group of government thugs in the world, is that anything new? The US and EU is doing far worse to it’s people, worse yet they export it to the rest of the world tenfold as well.

          • Mark

            isn’t it funny how the Ukrainian oppression? – just suddenly becomes a issue one week after Yanukowych flees – your argument doesn’t hold water – guess what – you know how many schools were teaching Ukrainian in Crimea under the oppressors- zero

          • Spot

            How do you know that it was an issue just one week after he fled? Ever occur to you that it just wasn’t announced to the rest of the world? Ever occur to you that the Ukrainian news may have been misreporting what was happening? I don’t propose to know anything for sure and when I hear reports from the majority of the Crimean people saying they don’t want Putin there I will take that as fact.

          • Trevor

            There is no chance that Putin is not lying. As bad as U.S. intervention has been in many cases, Russian intervention is and always has been worse. The EU is not perfect, but it is exponentially better than Russia, plain and simple.

          • marksplinter


          • Spot

            According to you. I will not say that the EU is a better choice for everyone. Believe it or not there is a chance that the people of Crimea want to be a part of Russia.

          • marksplinter

            Dang it, reply deleted because of the URLs, I’ll try again.
            The people of Crimea are subject to poverty, oppression, propaganda and de facto occupation.
            The electoral oversight is non-existent.
            These are not situations in which you accept the official referendum result as a fair and democratic expression of the will of the people.
            Here is what people want:
            Index of Economic Freedom, Ukraine v Lithuania v United States tinyurl .com / plh7nt2
            Things should be clearer from that graph alone.
            Here is a survey of people before the crisis kicked off – only 12% placed “relations with russia” in their top 3 issues. They want a better economy.
            Crimea Residents Survey 2013 tinyurl .com / p2nw7pa
            Then Putin came along and promised them… well… a shit ton of money and increased welfare. And he put posters everywhere offering the choice of a nazi swastika or a russian flag, to explain to people what the referendum is all about. Half of the people never use the internet.
            tinyurl .com / p8kcpv3

          • Vikrant1993

            Though lets be honest, the nationalists in Ukraine are taking far more serious routes then Putin has in the area. If Crimean people leave, or even side with Russia. It’s primarily related to the actions committed in Kiev. Be honest, what would you choose between a raging maniac who goes all around government offices detaining officials for what they stand for. One thing Putin is doing wrong, is taking advantage of this situation. Though then again, any other nation world with interest in the region, would do the same. All I am saying is, Putin in this situation looks like the nice guy. At least based on the actions by the ultra-nationalists in other parts of Ukraine.

            I’m not saying what Putin is doing is right, but it’s not at all surprising. And for your further comments below, which I rather not go and create another reply for. Yes, Putin doesn’t care for his people. Though he does care about Russia, he doesn’t see his people as people. He knows he needs them to achieve his goals, and that is to re-create the USSR, but in a more stable and constructive way. He wants Russia to be symbol once more, he wants it to be the top dog. And he will go to great lengths to restoring that.

            He also has done many things leading to Russia’s rise after Yeltsin Boris. But, in recent years there is no doubt that he’s just become power hungry as Yeltsin. Though even if Putin was removed from power, many far more worse people would take his place. It’s sad, but Russia tends to fall back to its authoritarian ways. All I’m saying is, Putin may not look so great to us. But he is a key factor keeping Russia alive in a unconventional way. If Russia does not have a stern leader, it tends to collapse within itself. And well more people die because of it. I’m not pro-putin, or am I saying his actions is Crimea is justified. All I’m saying is ,this is politics. Things will always happen for a reason, and this includes nations all over the world that aren’t stable, like Ukraine. The unstable nations of the world who play a key strategic value for another bigger nation,such as Ukraine. Will always be manipulated one way or the other. There will always be manipulation of voting for the occupying forces, take Afghanistan,and Iraq for example.You can’t frown down on Putin’s actions, yet not mention their counterparts doing the exactly the same thing he is.If it wasn’t Putin’s grab of Crimea, it would of been the US & NATO (through the new govt led Ukraine). Sorry, but thats how this world works now. No one is exactly the good guy anymore. There is a difference between freedom, and blinding freedom. Freedom, is where you know you’re free to do what you need to do. Blinding Freedom, is where you think you’re free, but all you are is a person blinded by material goods, and services endorsed or given by the state. As I see it, the EU is not free. They may more freedom than the people of Russia, but they definitely are not free. I just don’t see any of the parties involved in this crisis in the right mind to make a proper decision.

            Overall, I see Russia’s intent very clear. And that is to counter the US& NATO’s influence. An influence that has gone unchallenged for a long time. Neither side is right, but as much as we don’t like Russia, and Putin’s actions. Its a necessity, to balance out power in the region. Atleast thats what it looks to me.

          • Trevor

            “Except that I am not entirely convinced that Russia is harming the people of Crimea.” Then you aren’t paying attention. It clearly is. Russia sees this as a matter of acquiring territory, prestige, and financial gain. They do not care at all about the people of Crimea, and in fact, the only reason why there is a majority of Russian speakers in Crimea is because of ethnic cleansing carried out by Stalin during and after WW2. Russia does not care about human or individual rights, and they never have. Period. Arguing otherwise invalidates any position you have on the matter.

          • marksplinter

            It is so clearly on record that being under Putin’s rule is bad for the most basic human rights and freedoms, there’s no need to even start comparing with the EU, where half the people get compensation for falling over on the public sidewalk and getting a bit hurt.

          • Vikrant1993

            Its also clearly on the record that US-NATO backed governments also are bad for most basic human rights, and freedoms. Just saying it goes both ways.

          • marksplinter

            Really? Why is there a gay parade in Lithuania then? Why do journalists not get beaten up by the government? etc.
            If you want to make a comparison, “US-NATO backed governments” are much better for basic human rights than Russia, even if neither are perfect. It’s that simple. Your hatred for “US-NATO” should be in proportion.

          • Vikrant1993

            I dont have hatered, I have facts. Just cause the US backed countries in the europe are fine doesnt qualify the other nations backed by the US being alright. Once the US stops sppon feeding you crap,and you end up being aganist there intrests. You’re paradise ends. Go anywhere in Africa or Asia. All nations backed by the US,are aganist ideals of liberty of any kind. So don’t give me that crap,im not defebding Russia either. But Russias aggression is needed to bring balance to the world.

          • Spot

            But you still haven’t offered any proof that the people of Crimea don’t want to rejoin Russia. You are arguing, like everyone else, that anything Putin does should be condemned on the grounds that its Putin doing it. If the people of Crimea want to be Russian, who are you to deny them that?

  • Stormtrooper

    If you EU Libertarians love “Freedom” so much…….why don’t you get your shit together and stand up for yourselves?? No… succumb to some Brussels bullshit while letting Greece, Spain, Itlay, etc. fall to the wayside. Tired of spending American blood and treasure for your F^&%ing condescending attitude. We have our own Dictator to deal with idiot. It ain’t no picnic here, we’re being attacked from within. Grow some balls and stand up for yourselves!!! We’ve got our own freedom to protect! Put down the Vodka and fight for it!

  • Abigail Moreno

    Isn’t Ron Paul a republican?

  • vongoh

    I can be a sarcastic troll under similar circumstances, and sometimes I even think I’m funny.

    But that doesn’t necessarily make me more perceptive.

    If this guy looks around at the western world and it looks all good to him right now – ‘because’ cellphones and burgers and 24/7 infotainment … apparently he’s completely missed the core concept of “what is seen and unseen”: (see Hazlitt)

    Also, the metaphor of the boiling frog seems to be lost on him as well.

  • Mark Stewart

    Strange, some of the commentary in here sounds like how it was in 1939 in the US. With the current western society’s mindset, it appears that history has a better chance to repeat itself now than any time since 1939….

  • Morten “dradeel” Rolland

    Looks like there’s a bunch of b*tthurt Libertarians in the comment section here. Nothing gets the point in the article across more than that.

    There are historical reasons for why Ukraine in general was a domestic political bomb waiting to go off. Crimea sadly shouldn’t have been part of Ukraine to begin with. Then again, they have nothing to gain by being part of Russia either. Crimea should always have been its own country. Then they could choose which evil to ally with. Sadly, it seems like they’ll just go from the ashes to the fire this time.

    After the horrible Soviet Union exploded, it left many time bombs undetonated in the satellite states. We all know Ukraine has been boiling for the past decade, and now Putin jumped to the occasion and has been making the most of it. Actually, Putin did have some agreements on his side that he made use of to get the balls rolling. This is the “legitimacy” that people talk about. Moral legitimacy? No. Stupid political/legal legitimacy? Sadly, yes. It’s a very complex situation in today’s political environment. Much more so than what the good man being interviewed in this article would like to admit to. This is the problem of completely blacklisting Russia as a huge bad guy in this. They have some defense against such allegations, and Putin can use it for his political propaganda at home. They love his giant steel balls back in Russia. It’s the culture. And we in the West constantly give him excuses to show them off.

    Personally I’ve been fascinated by Putin. Not because I like Putin. He’s a maniac. But it’s fascinating to see how he always gets his way. He’s brilliant at the whole international politics thing. I mean, insanely brilliant. He’s incredibly sneaky and have been playing circles around Obama for years now. He was able to avoid a possible third world war over Syria by playing the political game like a genius and he’s continuously been properly critical of US endeavors in the Middle East. He gets how things work. He wasn’t in the KGB for nothing. He knows. He knows much better than our fluffy leaders.

    So what does it do to me as a freedom lover? It doesn’t make me weak in the knees for Putin. And it surely doesn’t make me an anti-American drone. I love America. I love our Western civilization. This is where my ideals were born as a Libertarian and hardcore Capitalist and Individualist. That’s why it makes me furious that the western leaders are nothing but a bunch of incompetent nincompoops that play straight into Putin’s political trap. It makes me furious when America sends a young, incompetent hipster intellectual as a UN ambassador, to only get her vegan-environmentalist-Harvard knitted sweater laughed at by Russians that were breast fed with vodka from when they were babies. We hold no respect. We talk about principles, but we look like a bunch of hypocrites that show no thought to hold up those principles at home, while John Kerry opens his gigantic jaw just to make some empty and thoughtless threats. Our political class is in shambles; a bunch of pretty boys and bimbo girls that think sweet thoughts and puppies will save the world, and that if we only talk stern enough, all the rowdy kids will eventually listen.

    Putin knows very well he can do what he does without the West daring to do anything about it. Why? Because Americans have become fed up and tired with continuous wars, just like Ron Paul said 6 years ago, the EU are a bunch of pansies and Putin and China can completely silence the UN. There is nothing left. The only ones left that knows how to play hardball are Israel. But how are they going to stand against Russia when they can’t even handle Hamas?

    So if goal of the West (and us freedom lovers alike, for that matter) is to lead by example and make Russians rebel against Putin, we’re doing a terrible job at it. We’re just feeding his “whataboutism”, we set up these silly situations where we make it legitimate for him to annex land masses by sneaky tactics, and we’re incapable of doing anything about it when he starts to line up his military along our borders. That’s sad.

    But indeed, there have been potential for Ukraine to get something good out of this. Ideally, they should just have forcibly excluded the areas of anti-Ukrainian sentiments, like Crimea, and offered complete assimilation to anyone in Ukraine who wish to live in a pro-Western, independent Ukrainian republic. Yes, they should have played ball before Putin did. Kick out all the pro-Russian puppets and oligarch jerks, get on the freedom train and ally with the US and EU. That would have been brilliant for the people of Ukraine. The excluded areas would be turned into independent states that could choose which side they wanna be on: Become Russian satellites or friends and trading partners with the West. Then if Putin would get trigger happy, we’d bomb his ass into oblivion – no ifs or buts.

    That is actually a very Libertarian response. Americans, do you remember these words?: Give me Liberty or give me death! Don’t tread on me! Live free or die!

    What do they mean? Be moral and peaceful as far as it goes, let people decide over their own land and their own destiny, and always seek the most freedom for the individuals, always… but as soon as someone wishes to trample on the individual moral rights of someone, make the greatest use of your right to self defense and fighting tyranny by shooting them up, blowing up bombs and kicking in their faces until they can’t trample on your rights any more. Always loving and kind to the loving and kind, but show no mercy to evil. I know this political situation is not the fault of Libertarians. Far from it. But when push comes to shove, please fess up, Libertarians. There are both rights and wrongs in the situation, yes, but there’s never any reason to take it up our asses. You may think that America doesn’t have a say in this situation as of now, and yes, that is completely true. This is a stupid situation that only Ukraine should settle. But if Russia comes knocking on our collective doors, like Hitler in the late 30s, we should all dare to take to arms against evil yet again. Not for Obama. Not for the socialist EU. But for our liberty to live without fear. We should dare to say and think that. We’re not the same pansies like the hippie-socialist-environmentalist crazies that run our nations and wants to take our guns from us (or as in my country, not allow me to have a gun to begin with). At least we should strive not to be. We should dare to speak up for the right of our brethren. That is what the heroes of the Age of Enlightenment would have done.

    But then again, we can’t afford to take a hard line against tyranny, because we’ve been slowly destroying the Western civilization from within. We’re old and tired. We’ve gotten lazy. And that just frustrates me even more. Our leaders have really f-ed us over really good. And again, Putin knows this. And that is reason enough to be angry.

    • Trevor

      Russia has no claim to Crimea, whatsoever. They gave it up in the 50’s, and the fact that many people who live there speak Russian is irrelevant. You are right that Crimea should be its own country, and all of the Tatars that evil incarnate Stalin deported and their descendants should be allowed to return there.

  • Mike Schneider

    They’re not “confused”; they’re fakes.

  • ProperModulation

    Please tell me just ONE Soviet/Russian invasion or take over that the US actually used military force to stop? Hungary? no. Czechoslovakia? no. Afghanistan? no Georgia? no. What make this ANY different?

    • marksplinter


    • marksplinter


  • Trevor

    I have lost much respect for Ron Paul on the issue of Ukraine.

  • Lamenter Captain

    More neo con lies trying to shame US people into supporting another war… Maybe you people will be happy when the world is a radioactive wasteland.

    • Guest

      hit that bong, yo

    • marksplinter

      oh, i see you are an antisemite nutcase who knows nothing about the soviet union. makes perfect sense.

      • conspiracygirl

        The Soviet Union doesn’t exist. It dissolved in 1991. Just FYI….

        • marksplinter

          It is possible to know something about something in the past even if the thing doesn’t exist any more in the present. FYI.

  • Ohala Nomar

    We have no business there. PERIOD !! Let them sort it out. We need another war like a hole in the head.

    • marksplinter

      Nobody wants a war, and I guess Putin doesn’t either. The important thing is to ensure he knows where boundaries are. He is a global problem, you can’t pretend he doesn’t have the power to attack the USA, and you can’t pretend that other crazy autocrats aren’t watching. So pay attention maybe. Or at least stop helping him by spreading his lies.

      • Ohala Nomar

        No one is spreading his lies. But We cannot honestly believe ( given everything We are now aware of ) That our own government is being forthcoming with us either. I remember in the early 90’s of a campaign to assist in the Ukraine’s oil explorations. It was a campaign that Exxon was in on. But, as My memory serves, I can only recall seeing the commercial for it only a few times.

        • marksplinter

          No one is spreading his lies? Have you heard of the Ron Paul Institute and Lew Rockwell and RT America?

  • conspiracygirl

    The libertarians who are confused are the ones who think Ukraine had a right to secede from the USSR but don’t think Crimea has a right to secede from Ukraine. The confused libertarians adamantly refuse to recognize the ethnic, linguistic, and cultural ties that Russian-Crimeans have with Russia — even though their own strong family ties to Ukraine make them apoplectic.

    The confused libertarians are the ones who make unfounded assumptions about the motives of Russians who want to secede.

    The confused libertarians are the ones who think it is A-OK for the USA and the EU to finance and support a coup and to topple an elected government. Normally they would condemn such actions (like when the CIA toppled an elected Iranian government to put in a leader of its choice) but in the case of Ukraine they call this legitimate. Then they get their panties in a twist when ethnic Russians object, pretty much saying, “WTF, Russians have no rights or valid interests. Their concerns are just Putin propaganda.”

    The confused libertarians are the ones aligning themselves with neocons and adopting their philosophy of spreading democracy by force.

    The confused libertarians are people who generally recognize that governments are wont to enact policies without thinking through the consequences — but in the case of Ukraine they believe the newly unelected government can do no wrong. They regard it as pure and sinless and wise and believe it can never make rash, unpopular policies the way governments all over the world do pretty much all the time — even when the new government sets out to poke sticks in the eyes of the Russian population. Then they all get all surprised and pissy when Russian separatist sentiment climbs to the max. “But that’s just Putin propaganda!”

    The confused libertarians are the ones who refuse to acknowledge that Crimea has always remained a de facto Russian province — and that being annexed by Russia does nothing more than change the letterhead on its official stationary.

    The confused libertarians are those who refuse to acknowledge the role of geography in this crisis — who think Russia should be peachy with NATO moving onto its doorstep — even though they would have an aneurysm if, say, Russia ever decided to send missiles to Cuba….

    The confused libertarians are the ones who think that Ukraine’s future will be brighter if they overthrow one massively corrupt politician and replace him with another massively corrupt politician.

    The confused libertarians have random double standards. And despite their enthusiasm for military intervention to save Crimea from Putin and imminent authoritarian hell, they oddly aren’t lining up at the recruiting offices so they can go fight for what they so fervently believe. They expect American taxpayers to pay for what they want, American businesses in Russia to suffer for what they want, and American soldiers to fight for what they want. Such overt parasitism is atypical of libertarians, but like I said, they’re confused.

    • marksplinter

      It’s a shame that most of what you said was unsupported assertion.

  • John Voidust

    go russia save us from NWO!!!

    • marksplinter

      Have you seen Russia?

  • Alex Affixiation

    Ukraine is just being bribed with stuff.
    It weakens russia which is bad for us in the US. What happens when there is a monopoly over the world?

  • Davy Goossens

    This is a very good article. Ron Paul, like Rothbard is very naive.