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Ukraine: Left is Right, Right is Left, Left is Left,...
War to Mobilize Democracy ^ | 11/28/04 | Andrew Jaffee

Posted on 11/28/2004 2:42:09 PM PST by forty_years

I’d love to have a talk about the current situation in the Ukraine with my left-wing friends, but I don’t think they would be interested, and probably not even capable of an intelligent discussion. Not only is the Ukraine so far off and seemingly unimportant to them, the intricacies of its politics defy the usual “left” vs. “right” stereotypes.

I truly believe that many long-time lefties pine for the days of the Soviet Union. It gave them a glimmer of hope for world-wide socialism in their otherwise very comfortable, cushy, American lives. Too much guilt about living in the midst of evil, capitalist American must have driven them to it. Or grandiose delusions of making everything “equal” for the world’s impoverished (e.g., forcing the huddled masses to wear gray uniforms and carry Mao’s Little Red Book). Whatever the reasons, their raison d'etre was simple.

The Soviet Union was most assuredly the representation of the “left” while the U.S. embodied the “right.”

Never mind the fact that the Soviets were far more repressive – more “right-wing” – than the Americans. No free speech, no pornography, no civil disobedience, no fair election was permitted under the Soviets. Yes, the U.S. has had its capitalist excesses, but the “fascist” slogan so carelessly tossed about by the left-wing was just far out in left field, excusing the pun. The Soviet Union had much in common with the Nazis (National Socialists).

So just how would the left sort out the current Ukrainian election crisis? The pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has claimed election victory, but Ukraine’s opposition led by Viktor Yushchenko has been holding mass demonstrations to protest the outcome. Both sides are now warning of a civil war. Eastern regions of the Ukraine are threatening to secede if Yushchenko is declared president. Election observers have called the poll “flawed.” Ukraine’s parliament has voted to declare the election “at odds with the will of the people,” though their resolution is non-binding. Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, "said Washington ‘cannot accept’ the [Ukrainian] election result as legitimate." The country’s supreme court will decide tomorrow on the election’s legitimacy.

Prime Minister Yanukovych is supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Time Magazine:

During the campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not hide his sympathies: he visited Ukraine twice to broadcast his support for Yanukovych. Political consultants and media specialists close to the Kremlin played a major role in shaping both the strategy and the message of the Yanukovych campaign, and according to specialists like the Carnegie Endowment's Anders Aslund, Russia pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into his election bid. On Monday, Putin was the first world leader to congratulate the Prime Minister on his victory, a full two days before the Electoral Commission declared him President-elect. Sources well briefed on Kremlin affairs tell TIME that as protests in Kiev gathered momentum, Putin urged the much-discredited outgoing President Leonid Kuchma, eager to secure a safe retirement amid charges of corruption and political violence, to declare Yanukovych the winner. The sources say Putin made it clear that Moscow would not accept a Yushchenko victory.

Do Putin’s endorsements carry any moral weight? Many observers felt that the Russian presidential elections held earlier this year “failed to meet democratic standards.” Indeed, this is par-for-the-course for President Putin, who spent 17 years working for the dreaded KGB, one of the largest and most brutal “security services” in world history. Vladimir has surrounded himself with other former KGB goons, so in the Kremlin nowadays, “influence stems from the former Soviet organs of repression.”

So dear lefty friends, who is “right” and who is “left” now? Do you still cling to your demagogic delusions? Again, Time Magazine:

Yanukovich, 54, has made no secret of his pro-Moscow leanings. And Ukraine's business and political élite have flourished in one of the world's most corrupt economies; they trust that he won't rock the boat. If Yanukovych seems a throwback to the Soviet era, Yushchenko, 50, wants to bring Ukraine into the free-market age. In opposition, he turned Our Ukraine into a powerful antigovernment bloc that's threatening to undo the currently ruling clans' lock on power.

And how, dear leftists, would you describe Ukraine’s opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko? Is he “right-wing” for opposing Ukraine’s pro-Russian oligarchs? The BBC describes Yushchenko as having

…drew Western admiration after leading some of Ukraine's bravest reform efforts in President Leonid Kuchma's quarrelsome governments. …

Under his direction of the country's monetary system, Ukraine moved from hyperinflation and surrogate money to the hryvnya - the country's own and fairly stable currency.

Then again, the BBC tried to paint Iranian President Mohammad Khatami as a “reformer.” But I have to side with Ukraine's opposition. Better that than having a Ukraine ruled by anti-democratic, KGB goons.

So what’s the point of my “left vs. right” discussion?

My lefty friends have a regular Friday night gathering. I go most of the time. I’m tolerant. Things are fun… until politics come up. I cannot seem to have an intelligent discussion about anything political. Why? Because it is always “left vs. right” in terms of the ancient, washed out definitions. If you support the war in Iraq, you’re a “fascist.” One friend even tried to convince me that things were, alas, better off under the Soviets: at least there was order and stability.

I completely refuse to have political discussions with these people anymore. I’d make more headway talking to rocks. I guess I’ll continue to party with my left-wing friends but save the political discussions for those, mostly on the right, who are capable of coherent discourse. Just what do the old political slurs mean anymore? If you aren’t flexible, you break and become useless. Can you say, “John Kerry” or the “Democratic Party.”

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: ambitions; claimed; cling; communist; composition; contested; crowds; democratic; demostrations; election; ethnic; goons; imperialist; irregularities; kgb; kremlin; left; meet; minister; moscow; murderers; old; oligarch; philosphy; political; poll; power; president; presidential; prime; pro; protests; putin; right; russia; russian; soros; soviet; standards; still; ukraine; victory; vladimir; voting; wing; yanukovich; yanukovych; yushchenko

1 posted on 11/28/2004 2:42:11 PM PST by forty_years
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To: forty_years
i have read about 20 different threads on the Ukraine and am slowly coming to the decision that the country may need to be divided. The west could become one country and the East supporting the Russians view the other.
2 posted on 11/28/2004 2:51:51 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: forty_years

Thanks for the post. I couldn't agree with him more. I can sympathize with him here: "One friend even tried to convince me that things were, alas, better off under the Soviets: at least there was order and stability."

I've had the same conversation with other lefties...think they must have the same talking points.

3 posted on 11/28/2004 2:58:48 PM PST by Ginifer
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To: forty_years; rodguy911

Before accepting all the changes in the Ukraine at face value, I suggest you read the following synopsis of Soviet/Russian strategy taken from the book "Perestroika Deception", written by KGB defector Anatoly Golitsyn (pp 17-19):


‘The new method sees ‘perestroika’, not as a surprising and spontaneous change, but as the logical result of thirty years of preparation and as the next and final phase of the strategy: it sees it in a broader context than Soviet ‘openness’ has revealed.’

‘It sees it, not only as a renewal of Soviet society, but as a global strategic design for ‘restructuring’ the entire capitalist world.’

‘The following strategic objectives of ‘perestroika’ may be distinguished:

For the USSR

(a) ‘Restructuring’ and revitalization of the Soviet socialist economy through the incorporation of some elements of the market economy.
(b) ‘Restructuring’ of the Stalinist regime into a form of ‘Communist democracy’ with an appearance of political pluralism [= ‘democratism’, or false democracy].
(c) ‘Reconsructing’ a repressive regime with a brutal face into an attractive socialist model with a human façade and seeming similarity to the Swedish social democratic system.’

For Eastern Europe

‘Economic and political ‘restructuring’ of the existing regimes into pseudo-social democratic models while preserving specific national historical features such as the strong Catholic Socialist tradition in Poland and the pre-war democratic tradition in Czechoslovakia.’

For Western Europe

(a) ‘Bringing about a new political alliance between the pseudo-social democratic regimes in the USSR and Eastern Europe and the Euro-Communist parties and genuine social democratic parties in Western Europe.
(b) ‘Restructuring’ political and military blocs—NATO and the Warsaw Pact—and the creation of a singe ‘Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals’ incorporating a reunited, neutral Germany.’

For the main US alliances

(a) ‘Splitting the United States, Western Europe and Japan.
(b) Dissolution of NATO and the US-Japan security pact, and the withdrawal of US troops from Western Europe and Japan.’

For Third World countries

‘The introduction and promotion of a new Soviet model with a mixed economy and a human face in Latin America, Africa and Asia through a joint campaign by the pseudo-social democratic regimes of the USSR and Eastern Europe and the genuine social democrats of Western Europe led by the Socialist International.’

For the United States

(a) ‘To neutralize the influence of the anti-Communist political right in the American political parties and to create favourable conditions for a victory of the radical left in the 1992 US presidential elections (In this context, Clinton’s stay with top Communists in Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union during the latter part of the Vietnam war has profound and disturbing implications—TTS).
(b) To ‘restructure’ the American military, political, economic and social status quo to accommodate greater convergence between the Soviet and American systems and the eventual creation of a single World Government.’

The paramount global objective

‘The paramount global objective of the strategy of ‘perestroika’ is to weaken and neutralize anti-Communist ideology and the influence of anti-Communists in political life in the United States, Western Europe and elsewhere—presenting them as anachronistic survivors of the Cold War, reactionaries and obstacles to ‘restructuring’ and peace. Anyone who warns about Moscow’s true objectives is automatically branded a ‘Cold Warrior’, even by people who have doubts about Moscow’s motives.’


‘The new method penetrates the façade, tears the verbal mask off ‘perestroika’ and reveals its true meaning—which Gorbachev and ‘glasnost’ have failed to do. Lenin’s teaching and the experience of the New Economic Policy [NEP] are keys to understanding the essence of ‘persestroika’ and the reasons for Gorbachev’s downgrading and renunciation of elements of ideological orthodoxy like the class struggle and his emphasis on common interests and the benefits of close cooperation.’

‘Lenin advised the Communists that they must be prepared to ‘resort to all sorts of stratagems, manoeuvres, illegal methods, evasions and subterfuge’ to achieve their objectives. This advice was given on the eve of his reintroduction of limited capitalism in Russia in his work ‘Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder’.

‘The new method sees ‘perestroika’ as an application of Lenin’s advice in new conditions. Another speech of Lenin’s in the NEP period at the Comintern Congress in July 1921 is again highly relevant to understanding ‘perestroika’. ‘Our only strategy at present’, wrote Lenin, ‘is to become stronger and, therefore, wiser, more reasonable, more opportunistic. The more opportunistic, the sooner will you again assemble the masses around you. When we have won over the masses by our reasonable approach, we shall then apply offensive tactics in the strictest sense of the word.’

THE WORLDWIDE COMMUNIST FEDERATION (should they succeed…taken from Golitsyn’s book New Lies For Old, 1984)

‘Integration of the Communist Bloc would follow the lines envisaged by Lenin when the Third Communist International was founded. That is to say, the Soviet Union and China would not absorb one another or other Communist states. All the countries of the European and Asiatic Communist zones, together with new Communist states in Europe and the Third World, would join a supranational economic and political Communist federation (this is precisely what the Soviets have in mind for the impending EU collective—TTS). Soviet-Albanian, Soviet-Yugoslav, and Soviet-Romanian disputes and ‘differences’ would be resolved in the wake, or possibly in advance of, Sino-Soviet reconciliation (Golitsyn goes to great lengths in previous chapters to show how the split between the Soviets and the Chinese was completely healed immediately after Stalin’s death…however, they continued the illusion of a split to dupe the West into backing alternating sides, depending on circumstances—TTS). The political, economic, military, diplomatic, and ideological cooperation between all the Communist states, at present partially concealed, would become clearly visible. There might even be public acknowledgment that the splits and disputes were long-term disinformation operations that had successfully deceived the “imperialist” powers. The effect on Western morale can be imagined’ (the Soviets have employed this tactic on numerous occasions—TTS).

‘In the new worldwide Communist federation the present different brands of Communism would disappear, to be replaced by a uniform, rigorous brand of Leninism. The process would be painful. Concessions made in the name of economic and political reform would be withdrawn. Religious and intellectual dissent would be suppressed. Nationalism and all other forms of genuine oppositions would be crushed. Those who had taken advantage of détente to establish friendly Western contacts would be rebuked or persecuted like those Soviet officers who worked with the Allies during the Second World War. In new Communist states—for example, in France, Italy, and the Third World—the “alienated classes” would be reeducated. Show trials of “imperialist agents” would be staged. Action would be taken against nationalist and social democratic leaders, party activists, former civil servants, officers, and priests. The last vestiges of private enterprise and ownership would be obliterated. Nationalization of industry, finance, and agriculture would be completed. In fact, all the totalitarian features familiar from the early stages of the Soviet revolution and the postwar Stalinist years in Eastern Europe might be expected to reappear, especially in those countries newly won for Communism. Unchallenged and unchallengeable, a true Communist monolith would dominate the world.’

4 posted on 11/28/2004 2:59:49 PM PST by TapTheSource
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To: rodguy911

It does seem that the country is hopelessly divided between the ethnic Russian and/or Russian-leaning enclave and the ethnic Ukrainian one. I'm curious: Do you think partition could happen peacefully?

5 posted on 11/28/2004 3:01:39 PM PST by forty_years ('Nuff Talk, More Action!)
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To: forty_years
The Ukrainian Nationalist opposition has been compared to "those who welcomed the Nazi troops in Lvov, and perpetuated the massacre of the Jews," by Moscow's state controlled TV.

How can those who support the domination of their country by a foreign power be considered in any way "right wing?"

6 posted on 11/28/2004 3:08:32 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: forty_years
The world "peaceful" without US intervention in the Ukraine is a big guess probably not, but the East seems hopelessly tied to Russia which is determined to try and put back the old Soviet Union together as long as Rasputin is there in charge. Two Ukraines is their only hope.
7 posted on 11/28/2004 3:09:06 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: forty_years

Yeah, the last 15 years of 'Perestroika' has just been an incredible deception plan. Ukraine and Poland both have troops in Iraq supporting the US and Iraq. It's all going according to plan.

8 posted on 11/28/2004 3:14:54 PM PST by Jabba the Nutt (Breaded and deep fried in peanut oil.)
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To: TapTheSource
The Russians under Putin would love to be a world dominating power again. They will sell or use their nukes in any way possible to make that happen. Unless their economy and lots of other things turn around Putin will still be in the spot he is in now having to side with the Russian mob to get anything done. Russia is a basket case that can't or won't stop trying to be a world power under rasputin. Let's hope the nukes don't' get in the wrong hands.
9 posted on 11/28/2004 3:15:18 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: rodguy911

3,500 local officials from 17 regions in eastern and southern Ukraine voted unanimously to hold a referendum on the area's "regional status," an apparent first step to act on threats made in the last few days to break away from the rest of the country if Yushchenko wins the presidency.
(WASHINGTON POST !!!) granted the story is biased towards my view but they have the information I talked about...

10 posted on 11/28/2004 3:50:31 PM PST by eluminate
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To: eluminate

yes the partition could happen peacefully because of several things. for one most of the military units and navy is stationed in south east. Also they would just block the railroads at the regional boundaries and that would be that. As long as noone tries to force anything a breakup peacefully is fairly possible.

3,500 local officials from 17 regions in eastern and southern Ukraine voted unanimously to hold a referendum on the area's "regional status," an apparent first step to act on threats made in the last few days to break away from the rest of the country if Yushchenko wins the presidency.
(WASHINGTON POST !!!) granted the story is biased towards my view but they have the information I talked about...

11 posted on 11/28/2004 3:53:49 PM PST by eluminate
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To: eluminate

"I say that today we are on the brink of catastrophe...When the first drop of blood is spilled, we will not be able to stop it." Viktor Yanukovych

12 posted on 11/28/2004 3:58:57 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

yanukovich wasn't the one who attacked the russian center in lviv and wrote on it "kill jews and moscowites(russians"

that belongs to the nationalist party of yulia timoshenko who back yuschenko ...

The reality is this the only way to stop those regions from leaving the union is with arms or accepting Yanukovich as president on monday. If they annul the election referendum will be held on Dec 12. Look Crimea already held a referendum where 90% of the people supported joining Russia about 3 years ago but Kuchma sent the army in and it was decided that leaving was unconstitutional.

13 posted on 11/28/2004 4:09:50 PM PST by eluminate
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To: eluminate
IMHO it would be nice if the entire country were free to chose their leader and they all agreed. But it really doesn't look that way. The East seems to be inexplicably tied to mother Russia for some reason, I don't have enough background in the country's history to know why. The West seems to be in a different world, more tied to the EU or the West.
14 posted on 11/28/2004 4:10:19 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: rodguy911

the east did belong to mother russia for 300 years Kruchev changed it and added it to Ukranian SSR when he was head of gov't in 56 or 57... The real Ukraine was the size of Belorussia.

15 posted on 11/28/2004 4:13:19 PM PST by eluminate
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To: eluminate
I guess that explains the East's ties to Russia, but you would think they could smell totalitarianism under Putin's Russia vs.a shot at freedom but maybe not.
16 posted on 11/28/2004 4:18:43 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: Jabba the Nutt
Yeah, the last 15 years of 'Perestroika' has just been an incredible deception plan. Ukraine and Poland both have troops in Iraq supporting the US and Iraq. It's all going according to plan.

Don't forget Saddams secret plan to get the US troops lured into Iraq and then spring the big secret attack on them. So far the luring them in bit is going surprisingly well............Wonder when the secret signal for the Iraqi army to attack comes......... ;-)
17 posted on 11/28/2004 4:22:55 PM PST by festus (Old growth timbers make the best campfires....)
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To: rodguy911
I don't know if partition is practical. The Crimea was added fairly late to Ukraine, and I think some of eastern Ukraine may have been part of Ukraine only since after World War II. The coastal area west of the Dniester River (formerly Romanian) was added after Stalin took Moldavia from Romania in 1940, but that area may not have any Russians, or not many. There was some trouble in the Crimea several years ago, if I remember correctly, and I think I read at that time that the Russians outnumbered the Ukrainians there.

The media has been saying that the population of Ukraine is 50% Russian. I don't think that's right...the 2004 edition of The World Almanac puts it at 17%...the 1996 edition had the Russians at 22% but that's still a lot less than 50%.

I caught part of a program on the radio today while driving. It sounded like something from NPR. They were interviewing someone with a British accent and attitude, who treated Yanukovych and Yushchenko as essentially equivalent, but thought that the US was trying to impose Yushchenko. He saw this as part of a pattern of US interference (Georgia and Serbia being successful examples, and Belarus a case where the US had tried and failed). He sounded cynically anti-American so I wouldn't take his word for it that Yushchenko is not worth supporting.

18 posted on 11/28/2004 4:31:23 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: TapTheSource
That was a particularly insightful and relevant post. I have long had a similar sense of the situation he describes, but didn't realize anyone had spelled it out so explicitly.

They are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic - another cosmetic makeover of Marxism.

Compare this to the Neo-Conservatives Project for the New American Century. These guys "get it" and are facing it head-on. This is underscored by the propaganda campaign to discredit the PNAC strategy, Classic Marxist tactic.

The leopard doesn't change his spots, he just finds a another way to "hide".

19 posted on 11/28/2004 5:15:21 PM PST by Socrates1
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To: rodguy911
I’d love to have a talk about the current situation in the Ukraine

Ukraine once had it all. Then 300 years of armies marching back and forth and now it is all dreams. They can still do very well, if their neighbors can tend to their own business and leave them be.

20 posted on 11/28/2004 5:18:42 PM PST by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: rodguy911

you do realize that the slogan for Yuschenko is defending the national treasures and involves re-nationalizing property in south-east for his supporters... (sort of what Russia is doing to its' oligarchs here its the opposition that wants it done.) Timoshenko Yulia would be one of the biggest beneficieries if redivision of private property occured. It only looks like they are fighting for freedom in reality they are fighting who controls the industrial riches.

21 posted on 11/28/2004 5:44:10 PM PST by eluminate
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To: forty_years

When I see the footage of protests in the Ukraine I am reminded of the protests in Madison WI after the 2000 elections, and at the start and before the war in Iraq. It seems to me that in many ways that democracy is working in the Ukraine. The Soros/USAID funded Ukraine television stations have suddenly stopped their pro-government messages and joined the thralling mobs in the street. Not one person has been shot and there are no tanks on the way. The 2 sides have met with talks and tommorow the Supreme Court will rule. Looks like free speech and assembly to me.

22 posted on 11/28/2004 6:58:14 PM PST by Once-Ler (God Blessed America Again!)
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To: rodguy911; TapTheSource

Rasputin as Putin, good analogy...

23 posted on 11/28/2004 9:33:12 PM PST by Rain-maker
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