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Willisms

« Remembering Johnny Carson. | WILLisms.com | Gratuitous Marketing Pitch »

The Culmination of Ukraine's Orange Revolution.

Today Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as the new president of Ukraine.


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Just prior to the original election in November, Yushchenko's enemies almost certainly poisoned him, which was indicative of the intensely unscrupulous nature of his opposition.
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Months of demonstrations in Kiev, a second vote, and several court cases later, Viktor Yushchenko finally assumed power Sunday under a feeling of national euphoria.

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Echoing the sentiments in President Bush's Inaugural Address, Yushchenko declared:

"This was a victory of freedom over tyranny. A victory of law over lawlessness. We have a single aim - a democratic and prosperous Ukraine. "


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His inauguration marks the culmination of Ukraine's non-violent, democratic revolution, which was marred initially by massive voter fraud and intimidation on the part of Yushchenko's opponents. Yushchenko's victory is a foreign policy blunder for Russia's Vladimir Putin, who strongly supported Yushchenko's opponent, Viktor Yanukovych. Yushchenko, however, being both classy and geopolitically-conscious, will visit Moscow Monday to meet with Putin

Meanwhile, it fits within the pro-freedom American foreign policy President Bush laid out in his inaugural speech:

"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

Indeed, while those of us at WILLisms.com are pleased with Yushchenko's inauguration, Yushchenko did promise during his campaign to remove the roughly 1,600 Ukrainian troops from Iraq. His election is therefore not entirely beneficial for American foreign policy in the short run, although the removal of the troops would be a more symbolic blow to the multilateral nature of the effort in Iraq than any kind of strategic handicap.


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It remains to be seen whether Ukraine will pull out some, all, or none of its troops, and under what timeline they would be drawn down. Colin Powell met with Yushchenko on this and other subjects Sunday in what is likely to be his final diplomatic trip as Secretary of State. While in Kiev, Powell extended an invitation, on behalf of President Bush, for Yushchenko to visit the United States.


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Make no mistake, however. While Ukraine's new president does seek greater integration of his country with Europe, including Old Europe, Yushchenko is no José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and if Ukraine removes its troops from Iraq, it will not be for the same reasons as Spain did (the March 11, 2004 train bombings in Madrid). Yushchenko is also, however, no American stooge, no Bush crony, although his Ukrainian-American Reaganite wife is a clear indication of where his heart lies. He intends to guide his nation to an independent position, free from Russian meddling, directed mostly toward the West, perhaps integrated with NATO.

To understand better the doctrine of President Bush, WILLisms.com recommends The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, by former Soviet political prisoner and current Israeli politician, Natan Sharansky. Because President Bush buys into Sharansky's thesis (you can get a feel for it here, here, and here) whole-heartedly, and because he is not alone, WILLisms.com has no doubt that the 21st Century will indeed be liberty's century.

Sharansky posits:

"I am convinced that all peoples desire to be free. I am convinced that freedom anywhere will make the world safer everywhere. And I am convinced that democratic nations, led by the United States, have a critical role to play in expanding freedom around the globe. By pursuing clear and consistent policies that link its relations with nondemocratic regimes to the degree of freedom enjoyed by the subjects of those regimes, the free world can transform any society on earth, including those that dominate the current landscape of the Middle East. In so doing, tyranny can become, like slavery, an evil without a future."

The Captain's Quarters blog dissects the implications of the past few months of events in Ukraine, in the context of President Bush's Second Inaugural Address:

"If Bush operated under the old 'stability' doctrine, his choice should have been to support Putin and Yanukovych.... He could have shored up his relationship with Putin and assured a strong hand in the Caucasus against Islamofascists gathered there.

Instead, Bush chose to support democracy, and made sure that he diplomatically made clear that the American government would only accept a clean election in Ukraine. Bush gave us an advance look at what he meant in his inauguration speech when he told the world, 'When you stand for liberty, we will stand with you.'"

Indeed, when WILLisms.com declared Bush, following his inauguration speech, to be both an "idealist and a pragmatist," we meant it. Ukraine is the real-world manifestation of what some like Peggy Noonan argue was a too-idealistic, too-lofty, and too-theoretical Inaugural Address. Bush talks the talk, and walks the walk. In the short-term, the Bush doctrine may require ruffling some feathers and enduring modest setbacks, but in the long-term, the promotion of freedom and democracy in the world, above all, is in the best interests of the United States, as well as global stability.

Stay tuned to WILLisms.com for more commentary on a variety of topics, including Ukraine, geopolitics, as well as domestic politics and policy.

Posted by Will Franklin · 23 January 2005 10:35 PM

Comments

Dear People

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In addition we have many categories so your site will be place on an appropriate page.

If you would like to trade links please send me your website details.
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Best Regards,
Helen Williams

Posted by: Helen at July 28, 2005 01:05 AM