It used to be that blaming America for crisis abroad was largely the province of liberals. That folk wisdom appears to be changing — just ask Ron Paul. In the days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the former House member has been quick to attack the West and President Obama for pointing any fingers in the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said," Ron Paul wrote in an editorial Sunday. "President Obama held a press conference to claim — even before an investigation — that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, did the same at the U.N. Security Council — just one day after the crash!"
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Paul's argument, which he first made in a Friday television appearance, was quickly picked up by the Kremlin-funded English language outlet Russia Today. And on Monday, the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, a group tasked with facilitating cooperation between Russia and NATO, tweeted out his column.
Ron Paul: Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster http://t.co/DjGLkpkbFE— Russians at NATO HQ (@natomission_ru) July 21, 2014
It's easy to see why they liked the piece. Politically, it's a much sounder line of argument for protecting Russia from blame than what's being reported on Russian TV (much of which is funded by the Kremlin), where conspiracies theories abound. One report promotes the idea that the airliner was already full of corpses when it took off from Amsterdam. Another claims the tragedy was somehow mysteriously the result of the Ukrainian military confusing MH17 for Putin's presidential plane.