Wall Street Journal: US pushes Ukraine toward dictatorship
"That, folks, is the rhetoric of dictatorship, apparent to everyone except, it seems, the U.S. Secretary of State." — Wall Street Journal
Remember — you heard it first on the Ukrainian Archive, and only now are hearing it echoed in the mainstream press — that the United States is turning Ukraine into a dictatorship.
From the point of view of Madeleine Albright, it might seem that when one has a basket case not ready for democracy, what else to do but turn it into a dictatorship under American control? However, the reason for Ukraine's being a basket case is that the United States has installed and continues to support bandits to rule the nation, among whom the leading bandit is Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, and these have plundered the people, and destroyed freedom of the press. Under such circumstances, then indeed democracy will not flourish and the economy will not strengthen. But surely the solution is to jail the bandits and to emancipate the press?
Not according to Madeleine Albright, who leads Ukraine the remaining few paces toward full dictatorship, consigning Ukraine to the destruction that comes to almost every nation that finds shelter under the American wing. Guided by the United States, Ukraine's last steps toward destruction are as inevitable as has been its forced march in this direction in the years since independence.
Forgive me for leaping smack into the middle of the boiling lake of political incorrectness — but Ukraine's natural ally is Iran. With Iranian oil traded for Ukraine's food and technological expertise (what little has as yet remained unstolen by the United States and its colonial outpost, Israel, and other Western predators), the two together have a chance of withstanding the destruction sought for them from several directions. Here would be an alliance which stood a chance of resisting the forces of darkness, and an alliance whose very anticipation would freeze the blood of Madeleine Albright, and of others.
The U.S. nudges Ukraine
closer to dictatorship
Editorial, Wall Street Journal Europe
17 April 2000
Let's be clear: This newspaper does not for one second consider U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright a knave. We are certain, for instance, that her intentions are of the purest sort when she flies to Kiev to endorse referendum measures that will hand Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma the keys to de facto dictatorship. That, it seems, is what she thinks it'll take to advance the cause of "reform."
For our part, we'll venture the prediction that Mrs. Albright's endorsement will soon be remembered as yet another instance of bad U.S. guidance. To be sure, it's the Ukrainian people themselves who yesterday agreed to Mr. Kuchma's scheme to strip deputies of their immunity from prosecution, restructure parliament, and disband it should it not rubber stamp his budgets.
But it's hard to find fault with Ukrainians given that the country's one remaining independent TV station was shut down by the government last year on charges of tax evasion. And it's even harder when they're encouraged to approve the referendum by Lady Liberty herself, speaking to them direct via state-controlled media.
Now we know that Mrs. Albright has her reasons for acting as she did. For one thing, her arrival in Kiev came only days before Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to show up to read Mr. Kuchma the riot act over Ukraine's unpaid energy bills. Russia would no doubt love to bring Ukraine back into its fold, and presumably Mrs. Albright's visit was intended to give the Ukrainians a bit of spine.
Then too, Mrs. Albright appears to believe that the only thing that's prevented Mr. Kuchma from delivering the kind of reformist legislation the country needs (and which he professes to endorse) is an obstreperous parliament. And indeed it's true that elsewhere in Eastern Europe strong presidential leadership has at times been needed initially to circumvent unruly legislatures. But although Mr. Kuchma faced a Communist-dominated parliament in his first term in office, he also had the power to rule by decree. As it is, the parliament he now works with backs his government.
The simple fact is that most of Ukraine's woes — rampant corruption and tenuous property-right laws that discourage foreign investment, an industrial base that remains in state hands or has otherwise gone to a narrow band of oligarchs, plus a real unemployment rate that hovers around 50% — can be laid squarely on Mr. Kuchma's door. And the recently discovered gaming of the IMF via a web of offshore bank accounts points to a government that, in the kindest interpretation, is neither trust- nor credit-worthy.
But all that, we fear, is ancillary to the drama that will unfold in Kiev should the parliament reject the results of the referendum. Mr. Kuchma has made it clear that he will not take no for an answer, and may dissolve the parliament instead. He speaks about "the need for an efficient state authority," and bewails "the time being wasted on disagreements ... among institutions of power." That, folks, is the rhetoric of dictatorship, apparent to everyone except, it seems, the U.S. Secretary of State.
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