Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk: Can We Afford Ukraine?

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Officially, U.S. debt stands at more than $17 trillion. In reality, it is many times more. The cost of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq may be more than $6 trillion. President Barack Obama’s illegal invasion of Libya cost at least a billion dollars and left that country devastated. The costs of U.S. regime change efforts in Syria are likely thus far enormous, both in dollars and lives. That’s still a secret.

So who in his right mind would think it is a good time to start a war with Russia over Ukraine? And worse, who would commit the United States to bail out a Ukraine that will need at least $35 billion to survive the year?

Who? The President and Congress, backed by the neocons and the so-called humanitarian interventionists!

The House voted overwhelmingly last week to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine. That is just the beginning, you can be sure. But let’s be clear: This is not money for the population of that impoverished country. The Administration is sending $1 billion from U.S. taxpayers to wealthy international bankers who hold Ukrainian debt. It is an international bank bailout, not aid to Ukrainians. And despite the escalating anti-Russia rhetoric, ironically some of that money will likely go to Russia for Ukraine’s $2 billion unpaid gas bill!

So what happened in Ukraine? The U.S. government and media claim that the U.S. must save Ukrainian democracy from an invading Russian army that is threatening the country’s sovereignty. But in reality the crisis was instigated in part by U.S. meddling. Remember the intercepted telephone call in which two senior Obama Administration officials discussed plans to replace the elected government in Ukraine with U.S. puppets? That is exactly what happened. Is that not a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty? Is that what democracy is all about?

The Obama Administration’s policy toward Ukraine is hypocritical. The overthrow of the government in Kiev by violent street protests was called a triumph of democracy; but when the elected parliament in autonomous Crimea voted last week to hold a referendum to decide its future, Obama condemned it as a violation of international law. What about the principle of self-determination, which is also enshrined in international law?

I have long thought that a referendum to reorganize Ukraine into a looser confederation of regions might help reduce tensions. I still believe this could help, but it seems the U.S. government is not so enthusiastic about democracy when there is a chance for an outcome it opposes.

I strongly believe that Crimeans have every right to transfer sovereignty over their peninsula to Russia if they wish. The only question that remains is whether there will there be an honest election, and I don’t see any reason there can’t be.

The U.S. government tells the rest of the world, “We want you to be good democrats and have elections.” But if they don’t elect the right people, then we complain about it and throw them out, like we did in Egypt. In Crimea they want to have an election to determine their future. Obama condemned those plans for a vote by saying, “We are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders.” Does he not remember that the authorities in Kiev were installed just weeks ago after a U.S.-backed coup against the Ukrainian constitution?

Congress will likely vote for sanctions against Russia. Though many mistakenly believe that sanctions are a relatively harmless way of forcing foreign countries to do what we say, we should be clear: sanctions are an act of war.

Cooler heads in the United States are not currently prevailing. There is a danger of an unimaginable conflict between the U.S. and Russia. We must demand a shift away from a war footing, away from incendiary rhetoric. We are broke and cannot afford to “buy” Ukraine. We certainly cannot afford another war, especially with Russia!

Ron Paul

Former Representative Ron Paul has maintained a steadfast consistency in speaking out against executive power, taxation and war. Unlike many of his Republican peers, as a Congressman, he voted against the Patriot Act and against the Iraq war. He has voted against farm subsidies and regulating the Internet, which is in line with his interest in reducing government spending and the role of the Federal government. Paul has also expressed his opposition to the war on drugs, saying that the government's efforts have actually been a war on doctors. These and other controversial opinions have often caused tension with his Republican counterparts. Paul is the author of many books, including End The Fed, Liberty Defined and Revolution: A Manifesto. Along with a lengthy political career as a Congressman and Presidential candidate, Paul has also worked as a respected obstetrician in his home State of Texas. Since his retirement from Congress in 2013, Paul has stayed busy encouraging Americans to fight for liberty by founding the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and his own news channel.

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