It’s been more than 30 years since the Soviet Union collapsed, but Rand Paul doesn’t seem to have time for semantics about how places like Ukraine are independent nations—or how hard they fought to achieve that sovereignty. Which, oddly enough, is kind of how Vladimir Putin views the world around him, too (much of which he believes is Russia’s for the taking).
As the New York Daily News reports, Paul and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (who also rocks out under the name Ablinken) got into a bit of a verbal scuffle on Tuesday when the Kentucky senator decided to place the blame for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine squarely on the Biden administration for “agitating” and “beating the drums to admit Ukraine to NATO.” Blinken wasted no time in clarifying that it wasn’t a case of “agitating for Ukraine’s admission” but of standing up for the right of independent countries to make “sovereign decisions.”
Paul, perhaps realizing that he was kind of echoing the reasons Putin himself has given for invading Ukraine, made sure to state that “there is no justification for to the invasion, I’m not saying that,” then added, “But there are reasons for the invasion.” Oh, Rand—nooooo!
He didn’t end there either. “In fact,” Paul continued, “had Ukraine been in NATO… we would now have troops in Ukraine.” Which is something Paul admits he “very much” opposes. But Blinken wasn’t about to let him get off that easy.
“If you look at the countries Russia has attacked over the last years,” Blinken explained, pointing to Georgia, Moldova, and of course Ukraine, he noted that “these were countries that were not part of NATO. It has not attacked NATO countries for probably a very good reason.”
Then came Paul’s cringe-inducing defense, which seems to have forgotten that the last 30 years have happened: “You could also argue the countries they’ve attacked were part of Russia… or were part of the Soviet Union.”
“Yes, and I firmly disagree with that proposition,” Blinken replied. “It is the fundamental right of these countries to decide their own future and their own destiny.” Still, Paul wasn’t about to back down—because, dammit, these countries “were part of the Soviet Union, and they were part of the Soviet Union since the 1920s.”
Blinken, understandably at a loss for words, reiterated that “that does not give Russia the right to attack them. On the contrary. They were liberated from being part of this empire by force.”
Wait until someone tells Paul, who seems to be stuck in the 1920s, that women can vote now and Prohibition is over.
(Via New York Daily News)