"I think there is a group of people, you know them well, the Neo-Conservatives who really want to diplomatically isolate us. They really are diplomatic isolationists" -- Rand Paul
Ron Paul Liberty Report host Ron Paul is joined by his son, Sen. Ron Paul (R-KY), to discuss the Senator's recent trip to Russia. What was discussed? Where is this new dialogue going? Will Sen. Paul's efforts pay off and result in better relations? Or will the neocons, Democrats, and deep state continue to collude to invent a new Cold War? Join today's Liberty Report:
Former U.S. Representative of Texas, host of the Liberty Report, Ron Paul:
Hello everybody and thank you for tuning into the Liberty Report. With me today we have a special guest that I am very excited about, it's my son, senator Rand Paul. Rand, welcome to our program!
U.S. Senator of Kentucky, guest, Rand Paul:
Glad to be with you, thanks for having me on!
Well, good! You've been in the news lately. From our viewpoint its been very good, but I understand that not everybody welcomes you with open arms because you are willing to go and visit with and maybe open up some doors with Russia, which we've always thought was a good idea. We would like to visit with you on that.
Just refresh our memory about when you went over there and how long were you there and then we will talk about what went on exactly in Russia with your visit.
You know, we were there for about a week and we were lucky enough to get meetings with their Federation Council, which is like the Senate, that's the upper body of their parliament. And also with the Duma, which is like our House of Representatives.
We also had an exciting meeting with Gorbachev. I think a lot of Americans have forgotten that Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev got together, despite our differences, despite the long history of human rights violations by the Soviet Union, we still came together because we thought it was important to try to reduce nuclear weapons and to try to lessen nuclear tensions. I think people have forgotten about that and I think it's a good idea to remind them that dialogues important. Currently the Soviet Union and the United States still have about 90% of the nuclear weapons and I think its incredibly important that we have dialogue.
Well, Rand, one of the things that interests me is what the reaction might be with your colleagues, because they didn't all of a sudden cheer. Before you left, were people criticizing you and saying "Why are you doing this?", and when you came back did they have a more reasonable approach? Is what they say publicly much different from what they tell you one-on-one?
You know, my goal this week is - I've just returned to Washington - is to meet one-on-one with members of the foreign relations committee, both Republican and Democrat, to see if any of them are interested in a follow-up meeting in the Fall where some of the members of their (the Russian) parliament would come over here for discussions. I'm not sure what will happen, whether or not anybody will embrace this or not. I can tell you that when the President met with Putin in Helsinki, that almost every Democrat came out and said that he shouldn't even have the meeting.
So, really we are at a point I think where our dialogue is worse than it was at any time in the Cold War, which it's remarkable that it's this bad. But, I think there is a group of people, you know them well, the Neo-Conservatives who really want to diplomatically isolate us. They really are diplomatic isolationists in the sense that they want no conversation, they want only sanctions, and really as we ratchet up the sanctions they are talking about now trying to limit any interaction between our oil companies and any oil interest in Russia. Russia is perceiving this as basically economic warfare, and I think this is a tragic turn because as you have often said, you are less likely to fight with people you trade with and the less we have trade the more likely we are to get into conflict with Russia.
You know, I think there is a lot of truth to what you said, but what I can't figure out is why is it that some pretty good progressives, who would have been on our side, all of a sudden they have reversed themselves. Can you explain why they do that? Is it connected to pure politics and partisan politics? It seems like it came out more that the progressives lost their way once this fight over the last election occurred, you know, who was colluding with Russia and that sort of thing, and all of a sudden they are unified. On a one-to-one basis have you talked to anybody and have you said "Hey how come you're not joining us, you used to believe in this stuff"?
Historically I think the Democrats were actually more open to discussions on nuclear arms reductions and they were more open to dialogue with Russia than some Republicans. Now, almost to a person, the Democrats are hard-liners, they want more sanctions and they want less trade, and they really - part of the problem of sanctions is the sanctions are actually on their (the Russian) legislature, so we can't even have communications. What I keep trying to tell them is even if your whole purpose is to complain about Russia, you can't even complain to them because you're not allowed to talk to them because of the sanctions! And so, I think it is a huge mistake to have sanctions on their legislators.
So, the chairman of the foreign relations committee in the Duma and in the Federation Council are both banned from traveling here. So I'm trying to get that reversed, if I can get that reversed where we can actually meet in the United States that would be good, if not, then I am telling them that I am willing to meet in a neutral third country like Switzerland next year if we cannot allow them to come to the United States. But I think we need to reverse those sanctions that prevent them from traveling here.Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!
Yeah, isn't it strange that we who believe in a little bit of openness and conversation, we are called "isolationists", at the same time the people that put on the sanctions and won't talk to people they are the "good guys" and they are "pro-American", we are "un-American" and we are "isolationists". And I know you've been confronted with that word too and I think you've done a lot to educate people about, you know, isolationism versus non-intervention.
(?)... surprise you in Washington is that things aren't always what they seem and so it's kind of the opposite of what they say. The true isolationists really are the people who do not want to have any diplomatic exchanges with Russia. They don't want to trade with Russia and they are involved with military interventions that actually cause us to be more isolated around the world. One of the things, and one of the reasons we need to talk to Russia, is not only do we both have 90% of the nuclear weapons, we are both in the midst of a military conflict in Syria and I think there is always a danger of accidental war by being so close together and in such proximity.
Also in Syria most people, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, foreigner or domestic, most people are now saying there is no military solution in Syria. So the solution to Syria really is going to involve diplomacy, and really Russia has had a long presence in Syria, I don't think they are going away. I don't think it's in our national interest to try to push them out of Syria, but it is in our interest not to have millions of people being killed in Syria and hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing and destabilizing Europe. So, people who don't want to have conversation with Russia are making a big mistake and they really risk greater calamity in Syria if we have no conversation with Russia.