Last week, just as the US-backed rebels were overthrowing the government in Ukraine, RPI founder Ron Paul advised the US government to stop meddling in Ukraine. In "Leave Ukraine Alone," Dr. Paul warned about the interventionists who "keep pushing their own agenda for Ukraine behind the scenes, even as they ridicule anyone who claims US involvement."
How right he was. Since his column, the Ukrainian government has been overthrown and an unelected group claims to rule the country, the Russian-speaking half of the country rejected these new "rulers," Russia was warned of intervention "red lines" by President Obama, Russian President Putin requested and was granted permission to use the Russian military in areas of Ukraine where Russians are threatened, and the world moved closer to a major war than it has been for perhaps a half-century.
Dr. Paul wrote last week:
If you asked most Americans how they feel, my bet is that you would discover they are sick and tired of the US government getting involved in every crisis that arises. Certainly the American people want none of of this intervention in Ukraine.
As the neocons push President Obama to declare war on Russia, or at least bring Ukraine into NATO immediately, the president has thus far avoided any sudden or aggressive moves toward a military confrontation in easterm Europe.
Why? Because he knows that most Americans agree with what Ron Paul says.
As an article in The Week put it this morning: "Obama won't lead on Ukraine because Americans don't want him to."
Wrote The Week:
Critics of President Obama's handling of foreign policy say he must move more aggressively to rein in Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Yet Obama — as he did during past foreign crises in Syria, Iran, and elsewhere — has talked tough about the worsening situation in Ukraine without shedding his light-touch, diplomacy-first approach. And in doing so, he's actually hewing closely to public opinion. As Pew found back in December, Americans' opposition to foreign intervention is at an all-time high.
On that same theme, today a Huffington Post/YouGov poll asked the question, "Do you think the United States has any responsibility to protect Ukraine if Russia were to invade?"
Survey says? Only 18 percent of Americans agree that the US has a responsibitliy to protect Ukraine. Dr. Paul was right. Americans want none of this intervention.
Thus far the president has shown that he is attuned to the growing sentiment away from the neoconservative and "humanitarian interventionist" impulse to shoot first and ask questions later. As Americans move ever closer to the non-interventionism championed by Ron Paul and his Institute, we can hope that the president continues to read the numbers, and to ignore pressure from the interventionists who continue to surround him in both political parties. Peace is popular.