Inside the American libertarian movement their is large support (for lack of a better word) for people like Vladimir Putin, Bashar Al-Assad and the guy in charge of Iran (I will focus on Putin and Assad) along for support for groups like Hezbollah and the Houti (tho we won’t get into them). Common characteristics among Vladamir and Assad are that they are brutal, oppressive and one has imperialist ambitions. Things that you would think dogmatic supporters of freedom would be marching against (or at least condemning them with memes).
Over the last year I have made a major observations. That, almost as a rule, libertarians become more pro-Putin and Assad, generally, the farther they get from the dictator. Libertarians in Eastern Europe are in shock over the reaction of libertarians in America. They look up to Ron Paul and others and were effectively betrayed when major American libertarians came out and began apologizing, and in cases denying, Russian invasions into Crimea and Donbass, excusing the illegal annexation of Crimea, denouncing the semi-libertarian Maidan, and repeating Kremlin talking points to the libertarian rank and file.
A similar phenomenon is seen with Syria. Libertarians search for ways and reasons to support the regime. Repeating talking points such as Assad consistently fights ISIS, the FSA is aligned with ISIS or is full of Islamic extremists, and that Assad is Syria’s only hope for stability. These talking points and others are easily demonstrated as false as I did in my last blog post.
The libertarian movement rallied behind Ron Paul and his message on non intervention in 2008 and just six years later apologize (including Paul himself) and excuse the invasion of Russia in Ukraine. When they, rightfully, come out against police brutality but support a dictator who attacks peaceful protesters, uses chemical weapons, cluster munitions and barrel bombs. When they rail against the NSA , again rightfully, but not a peep comes from them condemning Putin’s surveillance state. I don’t expect them to plan their activism around foreign countries but supporting these states is hypocrisy.