Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Ukrainian rhapsody

This Magazine Staff

There’s something about the reaction to this week’s Ukrainian presidential vote that bugs me. There’s a whole lot of hubbub about electoral fraud, about Russia’s undue influence in getting their preferred Viktor (that would be Yanukovich) elected, about the thousands rallying in the streets to overturn the result and annoint the other Viktor (that would be Yushchenko) president. Tomorrow’s National Post has a column (I believe it’s Goodspeed’s) harping on Russia’s renewed imperial desires. And what nation has the loudest voice on these issues? The United States, of course.
I don’t dispute that Ukraine is a torn nation, with as many supporters of free-market Yushchenko as pro-Russia Yanukovich, but the last country that should be complaining about Russian imperialism or Ukrainian electoral irregularities is America.
The double standard is astounding. Cries in the U.S. of voter fraud in their election (like the thoughtful examination by Greg Palast) are laughed off as conspiracy theories or Democratic sour grapes (forget that most of the critics aren’t even Democrats). Suggestions that American motivations abroad might be anything other than making the world safe for democracy are excitedly stifled by anyone with a mainstream newspaper column or radio call-in show.
Can we get some perspective here, people?
I needed to get that off my chest. Thanks.

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