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Friday December 3, 2004

Johnathan Podhoretz , writing in todays New York Post, thinks that the situation in the Ukraine might just be an unintended consequence of American foreign policy:

Millions of Ukrainians are creating an entirely new kind of democratic revolution: They've simply refused to let their election be stolen by a government run by a kleptocratic mafia, and they've taken to the streets of the capital. As their peaceful, high-spirited, optimistic and profoundly moving protest has grown over the past weeks, it has taken an amazing turn. This isn't just a fight against electoral fraud. It's become the communal expression of the basic human need for self-government.

What we are seeing in Ukraine is the birth of the second stage of the liberation of the former Soviet Union from Communist totalitarianism. The corrupted pseudo-system that arose in Communism's wake — with strongmen taking more and more power with the support of billionaire "businessmen" who got hold of the reins of the economy in the midst of chaos — is dying before our eyes.

The only hope for Ukraine's collapsing leadership would have been to massacre the protestors at the start to dissuade others from joining in. But as Natan Sharansky explains in his extraordinary new book, "The Future of Democracy," an oppressive political system can't survive forever because it takes too much energy to sustain the oppression.

Ukraine's thugs couldn't come down hard on the protest because they no longer had the power to do so. The last gasp of their power came when they stole the election. They couldn't give the order for a massacre because the order would not have been obeyed. And so an entire political system was delegitimized instantly.

...To what extent the Ukrainian revolution has been influenced by American evangelizing about the power of freedom and democracy is something we won't know for a while. But we can be sure it played some kind of role — and that's an unintended consequence of which we can all be deeply, deeply proud. And another reason to give thanks for the sacrifice of those who are fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I've often described the U.N. as feckless. Now comes confirmation from an unlikely source--The U.N. Key findings from the U.N. High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change include: