Monday, December 06, 2004

I agree with the National Review!
In an amazing and mathematically improbably convergence, I must admit that I am in total and unconditional agreement with something written in the foremost conservative publication in America. The editors, in rightly praising the magnificent, non-violent revolution in Ukraine, actually acknowledge that the Bush administration has tilted too far toward Putin's anti-democratic Russia:

All of this is an alarm bell about Putin's intentions. But there is a limit to our direct influence over Russia. If both the Clinton and Bush administrations have tilted too far toward the Kremlin, it is also the case that Russia's true democrats have so far shown few marketable political skills (although one hopes the last few weeks will provide them an invigorating jolt). The administration should be firm with Putin, but not aggressive. Its conduct during the Ukraine crisis is a kind of model. It was absolutely clear about its principles and its policy, but was careful not to deliberately humiliate Putin. Yuschenko's prudence is worth noting here. He has gone out of his way to say that he wants good relations with the West and with Russia.

Beyond that, what has happened in Ukraine really is inspiring. The spectacle of free citizens massing peacefully in the streets, and refusing to bow until justice has been served, highlights the very best principles of democracy and collective action.

All the same, they had better figure out who poisoned Yuschenko and with what. He looks like he's been bitten by a zombie. Seriously -- those before-and-after pictures are disturbing.

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