Ukrainian Democracy: A Barrier to Washington’s Goals
When Ukraine is the topic, the major U.S. media outlets agree: “Europe and the United States have made a priority of fostering democracy in the former Soviet republics,” David M. Herszenhorn wrote in the New York Times. The Washington Post asserted that Ukraine is “a country that has been struggling to become a genuine democracy” with help from Western powers, who keep it “from becoming an autocratic Kremlin colony, like neighboring Belarus.” “Ukraine is the crossroads between a free and an authoritarian Europe,” the Wall Street Journal concurred, while Yale professor Timothy Snyder urged, in a CNN piece, Europe and America to back the Ukrainian protesters—“a chance to support democracy,” he emphasized. Marvelous. But in the real world, Ukrainian democracy is not merely something Washington has failed to support, but is actually incompatible with U.S. governmental aims.
U.S. officials are quite open about their opposition to Ukrainian self-determination and well-aware how unpopular Washington’s preferred policies are. Nearly a decade ago, for example, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Europe met for a hearing on “Ukraine’s Future and U.S. Interests.” Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE) opened the session, noting that “a recent survey conducted by a center for economic and political research suggests that up to 40 percent of Ukrainians believe that relations with Russia should be a priority.”
It’s not just that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was a coward for fleeing in the dead of night from angry and rebellious Ukrainian nationalists in Western Ukraine to what (he hoped) would be a friendlier population in the Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine. Of course, he probably was a coward to run away. However, a coup d’etat had been carried out against him, his government security forces were melting away, and roughnecks with weapons and shields were just outside his door.
But more important than his cowardice is the fact that he is a scoundrel.
He could have easily calmed the rebellion in Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital Kiev early on if he had simply told the crowds the truth about what the Association Agreement with the European Union would mean to their lives and futures, which is one reason he apparently refused to sign it. His refusal to sign this Agreement on November 21, 2013 has been called the “spark” that led to the current crisis and his overthrow. However, if, for example, he had summarized the terms of only one part of it–the Agreement’s “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area”–and explained what it would mean to the Ukrainian people, he would have severely dampened enthusiasm for this Agreement. This Free Trade section alone–removing tariff barriers and export duties–would convert Ukraine into one big “free trade zone,” where the anti-environment, anti-labor, and pro-business laws would prevail.
How the West Manufactures “Opposition Movements”
Government buildings are being trashed, ransacked. It is happening in Kiev and Bangkok, and in both cities, the governments appear to be toothless, too scared to intervene.
What is going on? Are popularly elected administrations all over the world becoming irrelevant; as the Western regime creates and then supports thuggish ‘opposition movements’ designed to destabilize any state that stands in the way of its desire to fully control the planet?
They are shouting and intimidating those who want to vote for the moderately progressive government that is presently leading Thailand. There is no dispute over the electoral process – voting is generally free, as both international observers and most of the local Election Commission members agree.
Freedom, legitimacy or transparency is not what is at stake now.