There is rift among libertarians concerning Russia and the recent annexation of Crimea. Alexander McCobin, a co-founder of the group Students for Liberty, co-authored a column for the PanAm Post claiming that Ron Paul is wrong in viewing Crimean actions as a secession.
According to the column, Paul’s “views are interpreted by many as wholly representative of the libertarian movement.” Not so, said McCobin. There are differences of opinion among libertarians, he contended, and Paul is wrong about Crimea.
“Make no mistake about it, Crimea was annexed by Russian military force at gunpoint and its supposedly democratic ‘referendum’ was a farce,” McCobin wrote. “Besides a suspiciously high voter turnout with legitimate international observers, the referendum gave Crimeans only two choices — join Russia now or later.”
Only a day later, Daniel Adams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, fired back a response. Adams questioned McCobin’s characterization of Russian actions as 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 U.S. illegal invasion of Iraq. It happened fifteen years ago this month over the skies of Serbia, another illegal U.S. attack,” he wrote, according to Slate.com.
Students for Liberty spokesman Frederik Roeder told Buzzfeed that it’s “important to condemn what Russia’s doing.”
Seeming to address Adams' attack and dismissing claims that the United States was somehow at fault in the Ukraine crisis, Roeder said, “In the Ukrainian case, it’s obviously not the U.S. government who is the aggressor but the Russian government who have invaded parts of a sovereign nation.”
“I think a lot of people got confused by this, including Ron Paul and some libertarians who would say, ‘Oh, that’s secession,’ but we did not observe a secession from Crimea, but a military annexation,” he added.
While the followers of Ron Paul may believe that all of this is leading up to a war with Russia, McCobin argues that outcome is not inevitable. In his column he praised Ron Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul, for his position.
“In contrast to his father, Senator Rand Paul gets it right by condemning Russian aggression while not subscribing to hawkish calls for military intervention at the same time,” he wrote. “It is one thing to not intervene; it is another thing to applaud an autocrat for the sake of blaming our own government.”