Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yeltsin Model for Abbas and Yushchenko?

During one of the breaks in the sessions, an interesting discussion on the sidelines:

Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian parliament and will form the new government; the likely results of the parliamentary elections in Ukraine will be a coalition between Yanukovych, Litvyn (the Rada's speaker) and the Communists, which will enable them to have a majority. In both cases, a more pro-Western/pro-American chief executive will be isolated and have diminished authority.

The Russian I was speaking to noted this was the situation that faced Boris Yeltsin after the 1993 elections--and that the U.S. advice to Yeltsin was to rule by decree, bypass the legislature and in essence short-change the democratic process and that this was justified as "destroying democracy to save it." He wondered whether Washington might now be tempted in both the Palestinian and Ukrainian cases to encourage presidents to try and consolidate power and marginalize the legislatures. This might be possible in the PA, which already has a stronger executive, but in Ukraine's case it would require Yushchenko to nullify the constitutional changes that helped to bring him to power in the first place. (And he also noted this is what has been happening in Georgia since the Rose Revolution, where you now have a super-presidency and where checks and balances have really eroded.)

It is an interesting question. Strategically speaking, it might work in the short term but carries real long-term risks. And it would require the United States to essentially abandon its own rhetoric about democracy.

The rest of the socalled civilized world is not going to sit idle and silent in the face of predatory imperialism, wanton profiteering, and militarily imposed hegemony by the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and incompetent chickenhawks in the Bush government, and by proxy America.

All the worlds nations and all the old political, economic, and military alliances will re-configure or realign, or shapeshift to counter the Bush governments predation, profiteering, plunder, imperialism, and the fascist perversions and delusions of the Pax Americana neverendingwar and empire agenda and designs.

The only hope for any progress in WMD proliferation, peace and/or stability in the ME, the advancement of real democracy, the global security and prosperity is for the American people to forcefully dislodge the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and incompetent chickhawks in the Bush government - and begin restoring and repairing America's credibility, legitimacy, standing, and partnerships in the global community.

If not, our future is neverendingwar, pathological dependence on oil, a ruthless concentration of wealth and resources of and by the worlds tyrants and oligarchs, - and a marked and radical DECREASE in security, prosperity, and liberty globally
Indeed, which shows that in Russia's case our rhetoric about democracy in the Yeltsin years was nothing more than a means of keeping a corrupt, incompetent, drunken buffoon in power just because he would do our will, whatever the cost to Russia. And the cost has been huge. Russia's death rate is still about 1/3 higher than it was in the last years of Communism, as is Ukraine's. Combined, that's on the order of 1.1 million premature deaths a year, and no end in sight for either country.

The new guy dosen't do that, so the entire basis for for our concerns about Putin boil down the fact that he upholds his country's interests rather than submit to our will.

Gee, I wonder if Stalin had just let us run the whole world from 1945 on, if he'd still be getting so much bad press in the West about the 1930s.
A country should do what is in its immediate national interests and not worry about whether its actions measure up to some abstract standards. If strengthening Abbas brings real benefits to the U.S., then do it. If it doesn't, and could backfire, then don't.

I don't understand why non-Americans complain so much about this. It is what the French or Russians or Chinese do all as well.
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