Ron Paul’s Think Tank Denounces “Conspiracy Theory” That Crimea Was Invaded by Russia

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 26 2014 12:42 PM

Ron Paul’s Think Tank Denounces “Conspiracy Theory” That Crimea Was Invaded by Russia

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The good doctor makes his latest appearance on The X Factor.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

That didn't take long. On Monday, Students for Liberty founder Alexander McCobin came out swinging for the Cato wing of the libertarian movement, and criticized Ron Paul's statements on the Crimea crisis. Today Daniel Adams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, published a piece denouncing McCobin's "screed" and congratulating SFL for distancing itself from it. Where does McCobin get off calling Russia's action an "invasion"?

We know what an invasion looks like -- it's called shock and awe and it happened eleven years ago this month, in the US illegal invasion of Iraq. It happened fifteen years ago this month over the skies of Serbia, another illegal US attack. 

If it had happened earlier this month in Crimea would we not have video? Everyone has cell phones these days.
Surely if the referendum had been taken at gunpoint we would have seen evidence of those on the receiving end. Or does the writer wish us to believe that the Russian military rounded up more than 80 percent of the population and forced 93% of those to vote in favor of joining Russia without having to shoot a single Crimean? That sounds like a pretty wild conspiracy theory. 
Perhaps McCobin is simply unfamiliar with what an election at gunpoint actually looks like. As a long-time election monitor in places like civil war-torn Albania (1997), violent Montenegro (1998), and elsewhere, I can attest to the fact that elections at gunpoint produce casualties. Often many casualties. 
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McCobin has already responded, point by point, specifically on the idea that the invasion was entirely peaceful and desired.

Denying that Russian military actions were illegitimate and aggressive is false. Many first hand sources show how Russian soldiers besieged and finally took over Ukrainian military bases on Crimea even before the questionable referendum took place.  See thisthis, and this, amongst many more.

But McCobin is convincing no one in the Paul think tank. He's actually fitting snugly into the role of a naive Paul-hater, one of the type that Paul denounces in a new fundraising letter.

This week, arch-neocon Bill Kristol unleashed his attack dogs against my Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Our dozens of media appearances and hundreds of articles opposing their plan for war with Russia over Ukraine is just too much for them. This week, in the Daily Beast and in Kristol’s own Washington Free Beacon, a coordinated attack has been launched to defame, discredit, and silence my Institute.
Why? Because the American people are hearing our message, and by an increasing majority they oppose US intervention in Ukraine – and everywhere else the neocons want to bomb. My op-ed this week in USA Today, the nation’s largest circulation newspaper, was highlighted on the hugely popular Drudge Report. Our ideas are getting even more traction – and they cannot stand that. So they are using their enormous resources to try to silence our message of peace and prosperity.
We want engagement and diplomacy; they want sanctions and war. We may not have nearly the resources of the war party, but the good news is that we can do much more with so much less because we work harder and we have the truth on our side!

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.