Tuesday, November 30, 2004
At least the world's getting this right ...
Instapundit (of course) has been tracking the news and views that are permeating the blogosphere on this ... be sure and check there regularly.
A few pseudo-random thoughts of my own:
- The apparent corruption there makes other shady elections (from Chicago's cemetery voters to Saddam's coerced consenses) look like minor addition errors. Next time someone yells "election fraud" regarding our elections, I'll be sure to remind them what REAL election fraud looks like.
- This is also an object lesson about what can happen when political influence gets in the way of media objectivity. The fraud was sustained by the inhibition of media coverage by the government, until people could stand it no longer, went around the media, and found ways to publicize the corruption. (I wonder -- how much of this was by coercion, and how much of this was by the choice of media leadership to voluntarily collude? Given our own media climate, we need to take note here.)
- Amazingly, international leaders are stepping up to the plate -- and into the faces of both the Ukrainian government and Vladimir Putin -- to denounce the fraud and support the opposition. In a refreshing change from our old policies of "non-interference", our own State Department came out strongly on the side of right ... as did the European Union, and many others.
However, as John O'Sullivan notes, this confrontation has also exposed a couple of losers, besides the obvious ones above:
I paricularly like how these members of the Freedom Hall of Fame have stepped up and showed the world what true leadership is. Let us not forget that without their courageous leadership in earlier times, when it would have been easier to engage in the shams of "peaceful coexistence" and "detente", the Ukrainian people would not be able to stand up against the corruption in their midst.
A third loser is French President Jacques Chirac and those European leaders who want the European Union to be an anti-American counterweight to America. International crises involving Russia tend to remind Europeans that the United
States remains a very valuable ally in a dangerous and unpredictable world. Fantasies of a superpower Europe seem insubstantial delusions by comparison with this tested alliance.
The final losers are the U.N. and Kofi Annan. The U.N. has been invisible. As Kofi Annan has been trying to keep his head above oil, he has issued his usual appeal for restraint. But this crisis has brought forth the heroes of the Cold War from retirement -- Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa and Margaret Thatcher -- to encourage the orange revolutionaries. And Annan cannot begin to compete with their moral authority or the legitimacy they can bestow.
Let us also not forget one other who made these days possible ...
Thank you, Mr. Reagan.
Thanks to you, the Ukrainian people ... and a world who now sees your wisdom ... can "win one more for the Gipper."