Thursday, March 27, 2014

Understanding the Koch-Funded Organizations that are Pushing for Action Against Russia

By Robert Wenzel

It has been highlighted here at EPJ that Koch-funded supposed-libertarian organizations have been pushing for the U.S. to take action against Russia (SEE: Cato Shrugged Calls for Action Against Russia and Did Students for Liberty Leader Really Attack Ron Paul?)

What could possibly be behind such a position, since it is clear that the U.S. instigated the coup in Ukraine, and Russia has only been reacting to the unfolding crisis. Do the Koch brothers really care about Ukraine?

Perhaps comments by President Obama, while he is on his trip to Europe may prove enlightening. Yesterday, he held a joint news conference with European Council leaders.

At the news conference, he said:
Energy is obviously a central focus of our efforts and we have to consider [it] very strongly. This entire event, I think, has pointed to the need for Europe to look at how it can further diversify its energy sources.
 Obama and EU leaders said in a joint statement;
The situation in Ukraine proves the need to reinforce energy security in Europe. We are considering new collaborative efforts to achieve this goal.
"We've asked the President to consider increasing the rhythm and scope of authorizations for export of gas," said Joao Vale de Almeida, the EU ambassador in Washington.

FOX News reports:
Obama says Russia's energy sector could be target of new sanctions...He also acknowledged that additional sanctions could affect Russia’s neighboring countries but said the United States was committed to helping those nations find energy alternatives.  
AP notes:
 A trans-Atlantic free trade deal would allow the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russian energy...Currently, the EU imports more than a third of its gas from Russia and tapping into the plentiful supplies in the United States would alleviate a pressing problem...Experts say exporting more gas might lead to slightly higher gas prices in the U.S., but becoming a major exporter would also give the U.S. new geopolitical clout in the coming years. 
So to summarize, Russia's attempt to protect its warm water port in Crimea, which they have a legitimate lease on (Ratified in 1999 by both the Russian and Ukraine parliaments) may lead to sanctions against Russia's energy sector, and Obama is in Europe telling EU members that the U.S. will help make up the difference, though this would put upward pressure on energy prices here in the U.S.

So if we follow the money on this one, the big gainers from sanctions on Russia's energy sector will be U.S. energy producers. They will benefit from a huge new market, higher prices and the crippling of a major competitor. Koch Industries is one of the largest energy producers in the world.

So we have two options here as to why Koch-funded organizations are pushing messing with Russia:

1. The Koch-funded organization employees know who writes their checks and have gotten the memo from Wichita and it says sanctions against Russia are good, and they dare not ask why it must be good. In other words, they have compartmentalized from their conscious minds that a couple of twin billionaires may actually want more billions and that sanctions on Russia may help them get more billions.


2. Charles Koch and his minions all took their shoes off, sat around in a circle, thumbed through Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty, for guidance and inspiration, and reached the conclusion that, despite U.S. meddling in Ukraine and Russia's purely defensive response, that Russia was evil and must be punished and that the billions the Koch brothers will make from this punishment has nothing to with their meddling, anti-Russian position. The billions is just a side benefit of being good world citizens.


  1. Re-read the Students For Liberty piece. McCobin explicitly calls for non-intervention.

    1. And what sanctions then? From the man he said had the right response-

      Trust me, read the article, then re-read McCobin

  2. McCobin says he loves Ron Paul too and abhors factionalism.
    He does invite him to address a forum on Crimea.
    Please read hilarious comments below.

    Someone needs to check out Panam Post....Lots of new media HQ'd in Ecuador, Panama and BA strike me as....well, you know what...

    McCobin and SFL are Millenial Libertarians (new "brand")

    Daily Bell promotes Millenial Libertarians after McCobin's attack.

  4. Come now, RW. Surely the Koch brothers deserve the benefit of the doubt. It isn't like they stole Murray Rothbard's shares in the Cato Institute or anything... oh... oops.


    McCobin, close friend of Cato'sDavid Boaz, strong supporter of GOProud, says "gay marriage" is THE civil rights issue of the 21st century and wants it to be a plank of US foreign policy (it already is).
    That is the source of his support for Victoria Nuland-Kagan and her neocon family.

    1. What the HELL does gay marriage have to do with foreign policy?

      As a matter of fact, what does trying to impose ANY sort of cultural values have to do with state policy?
      Apparently McCobin hates factionalism, but does he seriously expect support for this culturally imperialist attitude in which he sees a role for the state?

      At least it explains where his rant about Russia's actions are really coming from. This isn't "Crimea" so much as it is "Pussy Riot"

  6. @Anonymous at 9.44 am

    We know he didn't explicitly call for intervention. But, we already addressed that several times.
    He supported Rand; he wanted a condemnation of Russia (which would up the ante); he showed remarkable ignorance of the facts on the ground, including CIA intervention, detailed at length by many extremely competent analysts. He presented a one-sided picture; he stirred up factionalism and his close associates/friends sent out headlines, demonizing the Paul position, referring to it as pro-Putin and libertarians who were right about Crimea as Putinistas.
    He sided with the version of events retailed by Slate, the CIA, and the statist, interventionist media.

    So, no, he didn't CALL for intervention. We know that.
    Raimondo, until now a supporter of Rand Paul himself, reverses and analyzes McCobin here:

  7. @Anonymous 9:44AM

    We already addressed your specious point:

    ZachMarch 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    You missed this, "In contrast to his father, Senator Rand Paul gets it right by condemning Russian aggression while not subscribing to hawkish calls for military intervention at the same time. It is one thing to not intervene; it is another thing to applaud an autocrat for the sake of blaming our own government."

    The author aligned himself with Rand, and then misrepresented Rand's position to make it more palatable. Rand called for intervention, therefore allying oneself with an advocate for intervention, but calling it non-intervention, is pure skilled propaganda. But to get away with it, he needs to first tear down true non-intervention so comparisons can't be made.

  8. This is actually a cogent and accurate analysis. I'm a senior attorney at a large international law firm (the largest actually) and represent energy companies. The majors dedicate tremendous resources to lobbying for the exports of gas, which in a vacuum, would be a good free market thing to do.

    But of course the Koch-circle wants to additionally cripple the competition with sanctions, much like Rockefeller. These anti-Russian measures have been openly discussed by former senators, CEOs and trade groups even before the Crimea crisis at industry events and speeches in the energy industry that are focused on the majors and large independents (not the type of independents I represent who do not play this game). I was at one in DC just this past year.

    In the usual pattern, the elites tend to telegraph and prepare the intellectual business class before they pounce in response to the next opportunity.


    More "new media" co-opting young people, by posing as Ron Paul supporters, while advocating liberal positions (check out the posts carefully).

    Notice the website was begun in 2014, January.
    Just like that website by the "Ron Paul supporter, Jack" who showed up on this site recently defending Tucker.
    So many websites suddenly begun that claim to be Paulians, but advocating mainstream liberal positions or Beltwaytarian positions.

    So, file this along with Defend: Liberty...and many other astroturfed sites.

  10. As they tighten the screws on us non-elites they are laughing all the way to the bank. Any way you slice it, it's still baloney. I love the way they pledge billions of dollars more from Mother America's (sic) bare cupboard.
    Should I call this a Fraudian slip?


    Please read the actual so-called anti-gay legislation and you will see it is an attempt to stop Western NGOs from propagandizing children. It doesn't prevent actual LBGT youngsters from seeking counsel.
    This analysis from the prisonplanet site shows how a PR campaign has misled people on this.