Tuesday, November 23


What Bush should do:

President Bush must also end his administration's passivity in the face of massive and malign Russian intervention in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin, who has been consolidating an authoritarian regime in Moscow, now seeks to install a client government in Kiev; he channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into Mr. Yanukovych's campaign and personally traveled to Ukraine before each of the election's two rounds. Yesterday Mr. Putin brazenly issued a statement congratulating Mr. Yanukovych, even though Ukraine's election commission had not finished counting the vote or declared an official result. To its credit, the administration summoned the Russian ambassador in Washington to a meeting with a State Department official, Assistant Secretary A. Elizabeth Jones, who expressed concern about Mr. Putin's action. The next step is for Mr. Bush to clearly and publicly challenge the Russian president on his neo-imperialism -- and to design a U.S. policy to check it.

Somehow this whole thing is such a fresh reminder of the problems we're suffering from right here in the good old USA that I find it amazing that anyone could expect Bush to act with integrity and boldness in the face of his buddy Putin, whose soul he saw shining through Putin's eyes. Bush and Putin are obviously soul-mates, both believers in imperial rule. And I find it amusing to think that Bush will be able to scold Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych with much credibility for voter fraud when I expect that our own questionable election is looked upon askance by a good portion of the world.


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