« Milwaukee Democrats To Face Felony Charges In Election-Day Conspiracy | Main | First We're Stingy, And Now We Cause Corruption Through Generosity »
In what should be seen as the first example of the new policies articulated in Bush's inaugural speech, Viktor Yushchenko assumed office as President of Ukraine today. As Yushchenko noted on his own inauguration, his presidency would not exist had it not been for countries like the United States dumping realpolitik to stand fast for democracy:
Viktor Yushchenko became Ukraine's president Sunday and vowed to seek a full place in Europe for the people he led in a peaceful revolt against a rigged national election and pressure from Russia.
Watched by Secretary of State Colin Powell, seven presidents of ex-communist states and relatively minor dignitaries from Moscow, Yushchenko took the oath of office in parliament to cap his two-month "Orange Revolution." ...
"I want to assure you that you will continue to enjoy the full support of the American government and the American people as you move forward to undertake the efforts that the Ukrainian people are expecting," Powell told Yushchenko after their talks.
Yushchenko told Powell, soon to step down, that his victory would not have happened "if we didn't have partners that are advocating democratic principles and shared democratic values."
Consider the Bush administration's support for Yushchenko in relation to his bold declarations that redirects America's foreign policy towards the promotion of "human liberty" above all other issues. Bush has had a privileged relationship with Vladimir Putin, Russia's president and a key ally in the war on terror. Putin wanted Yushchenko's opponent, former PM Viktor Yanukovych, to take over in Kyiv and continue Russia's strong influence over Ukrainian affairs. Yushchenko had already committed to an immediate withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the Iraq coalition, which makes Bush's strategy all the more difficult for the upcoming elections and in keeping other coalition members on board. Moreover, Yushchenko may lean towards the West, but in actuality his economic and political viewpoint is Eurocentric, with strong ties to the more socialist policies of the French and Germans than the free-market impulses of his closest East European neighbors.
If Bush operated under the old "stability" doctrine, his choice should have been to support Putin and Yanukovych. It would have been easy enough to downplay the reports of widespread corruption -- just look to see how easy it was in the Palestinian Authority elections earlier this month. 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."
Some people now claim that Bush didn't mean what he said -- that the speech was little more than pretty words on a cold day in January. I submit that not only did he mean to fulfill those words in the future, he already had changed the course of American policy to match his soaring rhetoric. That most people have missed this just shows that Bush continues to be the most underestimated American statesman since Ronald Reagan.Sphere It View blog reactions
TrackBack URL for this entry is
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Exhibit A Of Bush's Inaugural Address:
» After the Inauguration from Watcher of Weasels
Man alive, Peggy Noonan sure has her panties in a twist over the perceived religiosity of Bush's inaugural address... William F. Buckley was also unimpressed, though his complaints mainly focus on the wording of it. And, though Larry K... [Read More]
Tracked on January 23, 2005 12:07 PM
Tracked on January 23, 2005 12:29 PM
» Inauguration reactions roundup from Publius Pundit
I don't think I need to tell you all what I feel about the inauguration of rightful President Yushchenko... because I think it can all be summed up better and more expansively by everyone else. So for your reading pleasure, here are the reactions arou... [Read More]
Tracked on January 23, 2005 7:14 PM
» A bit more Sharansky blogging from A Constrained Vision
My mom emailed me that yesterday on Fox News, she saw Bill Kristol say that Natan Sharansky watched Bush's inaugural address in Israel and got teary-eyed. He said that he only wished that Andrei Sakharov, the great Soviet dissident, had been alive to... [Read More]
Tracked on January 24, 2005 12:06 AM
» The Culmination of Ukraine's Orange Revolution. from WILLisms.com
Today Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as the new president of Ukraine. 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. Mont... [Read More]
Tracked on January 24, 2005 2:45 AM
» Congrats to Ukranian President Viktor Yuschenko from RightPundit
The Ukraine swore in its new, freely elected president, Viktor Yushchenko, on Sunday. Congratulations to President Yushchenko and, most importantly, to the Ukrainian people for successfully fighting off a challenge to their democracy. At my old loc... [Read More]
Tracked on January 24, 2005 9:03 AM
» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
Support for Democracy in the Middle East and North Africa does not guarantee that the resulting governments will be pro-American. To have intellectual integrity with regards to political and economic freedom, we should work for the ideals regardless. P... [Read More]
Tracked on January 24, 2005 9:42 AM
My Other Blog!
Comment Moderation Policy - Please Read!
Skin The Site
Des Moines Register
International Herald Tribune
The Weekly Standard
The New Republic
AP News (Yahoo! Headlines)
Guardian Unlimited (UK)
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
- dave on Another National Health Care System Horror Story
- brooklyn on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- rbj on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- Robin S on Requiem For A Betrayed Hero
- Ken on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- Robin S. on Requiem For A Betrayed Hero
- RBMN on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- NoDonkey on Another National Health Care System Horror Story
- Robin Munn on Fred Thompson Interview Transcript
- filistro on When Exactly Did Art Die?
Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!