Thursday, November 25, 2004

Back in the USSR?
Woke up this morning to the news that recent elections int he Ukraine have turned nasty. Apparently, a candidate backed by Vladimir Putin and Moscow has won an election amidst cries of fraud and other nefarious means fo foul play. No, Al Gore was NOT elected President of Ukraine, but he is petitioning the Florida Supreme Court for a recount in Dade COunty.

Now at the moment, I'm not reallyup on Ukrainian politics, though I do plan to get up to speed on this. It has been reported that Russian troops have landed in the Ukraine, I'd bet under the guise of "restoring stablility and order", but it's pretty clear what the real reason is: Putin wants to reconstitute as much of the old USSR as he can. Ukraine, once the jewel of Eastern Europe, has been a target for every nasty dictator from Ivan the Terrible to Napoleon to Stalin to Hitler and now, Putin.

The Ukrainians have taken to the streets to demonstrate for democracy and to lend support to the losers in this election. Good for them. We here in this country, however, have a duty to not let them face Russian tanks alone. We failed in Prague and Warsaw when they were threatened by the Red Army in the 1940's, 50's, although we did stand up for Lech Walensa in the 1980's, and for East Germans in 1989.

We have a responsibility to help the Ukrainians in any way we can, even if that means committing troops, in my opinion. We cannot make the case that the cause of freedom and democracy is necessary to improve life in the Middle East and then turn around and let Moscow trample on it someplace else. There are things we can do, all of us, right here at home.

Remember, while you enjoy your turkey dinner and football today, thousands of Ukrainians are putting their lives on the line to fight for the same things you take for granted. "But Matt", you ask, "what can I do?".

For a start, write letters. Write your Congresscritters, Senators (except Kerry, Leahy and Sanders, they loved the Soviet Union and miss it), and ask them to do whatever Congress can to make the Russians back off. I'm sure there's an econimic aid package floating around Washington somewhere that can be voted down. Write to the media and ask them to investigate and report, not in a Dan Rather kind of way, but in a way that shows people here just what is really going on there. Demand truth, and perhaps we'll get it.

Get to the Russian and Ukrainian Embassies and demonstrate for freedom. Get to your churches and synagogues and pray. If there's any kind of relief funds to be set up for this, then by all means donate what you can. All of you who volunteered to be human shields for Saddam Hussein, let's see if you're willing to do the same for a much more worthy cause now.

I'll write more on this as I learn more, but we cannot let this state of affairs continue.

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