Ron Paul: US 'democracy promoting' kills democracy
The staunch anti-interventionist and longtime member of the US House of Representatives has weighed in regularly about the situation in Ukraine in recent weeks, and just last Monday wrote an editorial published in USA Today advocating for the American government to distance itself from further involvement in the recently passed referendum in Crimea that’s considered by the White House to be illegal.
On Sunday this week, Paul again penned a new column, this time condemning the US Department of State’s ongoing efforts in Ukraine that are being billed as democracy-building endeavors.
In his latest op-ed, Paul recalls being in Congress nearly a decade ago and becoming concerned “about millions of dollars that the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its various related organizations spent to meddle in Ukraine’s internal affairs.”
According to remarks made by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland last December and cited by Paul in this week’s column, the amount of US funds going towards the NED’s efforts in Ukraine have totaled more than $5 billion since 1991.
“That five billion dollars appears to have bought a revolution in Ukraine,” Paul wrote. “But what do the US taxpayers get, who were forced to pay for this interventionism? Nothing good.”
And according to Paul, high-funded intervention doesn’t equate to spreading democracy. Instead, he wrote, the US has invested in a country where power has been passed along not by the way of a democratic election, but rather the ousting of the country’s presidents by his opponents.
“Supporters of NED and its related organizations will argue that nothing is wrong with sending US dollars to ‘promote democracy’ overseas. The fact is, however, that NED, USAID, and the others have nothing to do with promoting democracy and everything to do with destroying democracy,” he added.
“It is not democracy to send in billions of dollars to push regime change overseas. It isn’t democracy to send in the NGOs to re-write laws and the constitution in places like Ukraine. It is none of our business,” he added.
Paul’s latest remarks come less than a week after he blasted the White House for meddling in the Crimea situation by asking, “Why does the US care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?”
“Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by US troops was called a ‘triumph of democracy’?” he asked.
This week, Paul wrote that the US could actually perhaps promote democracy overseas, but first sanctions and blockades should be lifted.
“We can promote democracy with a US private sector that engages overseas. A society that prospers through increased trade ties with the US will be far more likely to adopt practices and policies that continue that prosperity and encourage peace,” he wrote.
Those remarks come in the midst of an ongoing back-and-forth between Washington and Moscow in which officials have taken turns imposing sanctions against overseas adversaries. On Monday, Russia announced that a new round of sanctions against Canadian officials will be imposed to retaliate against that country’s own recent actions.