Ron Paul: Let Crimea Secede

Any time some politician gets on his high horse and decides that something must be done to save some group of people halfway around the world while turning a blind eye to myriad other atrocities being committed all around the world, including our own country, you know that he’s got ulterior motives. We never really know what those motives are, whether it be some vested economic interests or maintaining our monetary hegemony, but we can be certain that their motives have absolutely nothing to do with humanitarianism.

Ron Paul seems to be one of the few people who understands this. In an editorial in USA Today, he wrote the following:

Residents of Crimea voted over the weekend on whether they would remain an autonomous region of Ukraine or join the Russian Federation. In so doing, they joined a number of countries and regions — including recently Scotland, Catalonia and Venice — that are seeking to secede from what they view as unresponsive or oppressive governments.

These latter three are proceeding without much notice, while the overwhelming Crimea vote to secede from Ukraine has incensed U.S. and European Union officials, and has led NATO closer to conflict with Russia than since the height of the Cold War.

What’s the big deal? Opponents of the Crimea vote like to point to the illegality of the referendum. But self-determination is a centerpiece of international law. Article I of the United Nations Charter points out clearly that the purpose of the U.N. is to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?

Critics point to the Russian “occupation” of Crimea as evidence that no fair vote could have taken place. Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by U.S. troops was called a “triumph of democracy”?

Perhaps the U.S. officials who supported the unconstitutional overthrow of Ukraine’s government should refocus their energies on learning our own Constitution, which does not allow the U.S. government to overthrow governments overseas or send a billion dollars to bail out Ukraine and its international creditors.

Though the Obama administration has applied some minimal sanctions on selected Russian and Crimean individuals, neither the U.S. nor the EU can afford significant sanctions against Russia. Global trade provides too much economic benefit to both sides.

Indeed, international markets rallied on news that the sanctions would be thus far minimal. They understand that trade and economic engagement are the surest roads to peace and prosperity. Let’s hope governments will follow their lead.

So, Scotland, Catolonia and Venice apparently are seeking some kind of secession, but no one in the Obama administration cares. That’s because those regions don’t currently have anything that the U.S. wants. They’re more or less irrelevant to us. But when Crimea, which is mostly ethnically Russian, vote to secede from Ukraine and join “Mother Russia,” we’re supposed to be outraged. Why is this any of our business? Isn’t Crimea’s decision “democracy” in action? Obama and Kerry are the biggest hypocrites in the world.