On Friday, former Representative Ron Paul was a guest on Newsmax TV. The subject of the shootdown of Malaysia Air flight MH-17 came up. This exchange ensued with host John Bachman, via Mediaite:
Speaking with Newsmax TV’s John Bachman earlier today, Paul said “Putin is a little bit smarter than that. I don’t think he would ever come close to participating in an act like this.”
“At the same time, there have been these new sanctions from the White House,” Bachman replied. “And there have been a lot of fingers pointed in Putin’s direction for not directly being involved but being complicit with the fact that some of these weapons — he might turn his back to it — but they’re Russian weapons.”
Paul’s response: “That may well be true, but guess what? ISIS has a lot of American weapons. We send weapons into Syria to help the rebels and if al Qaeda ends up getting it, it doesn’t mean our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons.”
There are a couple of points to be made here. First, had Paul stopped at his first statement no reasonable person could criticize him. Though there is no doubt whatsoever that the Russian-funded, Russian-armed, Russian-led, and Russian-directed Ukraine "separatists" shot down a civilian airliner either by accident or just for grins, it is hard to see what Putin would gain by encouraging it. I've no doubt that if it worked to his advantage, Putin would shoot down as many civilian airliners as needed but this does not help him.
The follow up comment is simple vintage Ron Paul blame-America-first-and-always morally-blind response. First, let's clear away the foliage. ISIS is not using US weapons. A quick look at any picture of ISIS shows they are using 99% Russian weaponry. This should not be surprising. The Iraqi Army was and is equipped with that weaponry. The arms flowing into Syria were primarily Kalashnikov rifles and RPGs because that is what the rebels are familiar with. The Syrian Army is also equipped with equipment made primarily by Russia.
Though it is certain that some, and I think a large percentage, of the weapons provided to Syrian rebels ended up in the hands of ISIS that does not equate with anyone actually arming ISIS. They are really different concepts.
The fact that ISIS is not operating with US leadership, US strategic direction, and US armaments should be clear to anyone. This serves as more than enough reason for someone of even mediocre intellectual gifts, hell, even Ron Paul, to discern these two things, ISIS and Ukraine separatists, are not like one another.
Ron Paul seems to have a huge man-love, NTTAWWT, with Vladimir Putin. No matter what atrocity Putin commits, Paul is always there to defend him and to compare the US, in a negative way, to Russia. Such as:
The former Republican congressman and libertarian icon has long enjoyed a mixed reputation in the United States. While many admire Paul for his small government views on civil liberties, other shy away from a politician who has criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and allowed a series of racist and conspiratorial news letters to be published under his own name.
However, the former congressman whose presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 helped elevate libertarians from a political afterthought to a key constituency in the Republican Party and whose son, Rand Paul is poised for a 2016 bid for the White House, has now started a new chapter of his career. He's defending the chauvinist and imperialist Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin.
Over the past several weeks, Paul has become one of the most vocal American supporters of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea, a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine. In the aftermath of a revolution that drove out its ally in Kiev, Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow is attempting to annex the province by holding a “referendum” Sunday in hopes that it will provide a patina of legality to its blatantly illegal land grab. Paul, long a foe of military action and democracy promotion efforts overseas, has not been content to limit himself to criticisms of American policies in Eastern Europe. He has gone out of his way to legitimize and justify the actions of Putin.
“He’s no angel but actually he has some law on his side,” Paul said earlier this week on the Fox Business Network. “They have contracts and agreements and treaties for a naval base there and the permission to go about that area.”
Fortunately, Paul is sliding off into senile irrelevance. Unfortunately, his son, Senator Rand Paul, is still on the national stage and pushing the same hate-America isolationist crap that will inevitably kill thousands of people.