Friday, December 03, 2004

How the West Staged the Orange Revolution

Wacky Western leftists (most notoriously The Guardian) have been hatching conspiracy theories ascribing the Orange Revolution to the machinations of the CIA. But the West _did_ cause the rebellion against authoritarianism--by the power of our example. An op-ed by Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko in today's Wall Street Journal revealls a nation desperate to demonstrate--to themselves and to the world--that they can live up to Western standards of liberty and "civil society," i.e., the flourishing of social institutions independent of the government.

"Our Ukraine," Viktor Yushchenko, Wall Street Journal, December 3

"Thanks to television, the world today has seen a genuinely different Ukraine. Observers will no longer associate Ukraine with just Chernobyl, or
corrupt regimes, or another scandal involving high-ranking officials. The world is witnessing a noble European nation, one that embraces genuine democratic values and, even more importantly, one that will stand up to defend these values with dignity. The world has seen how millions of people took to the streets and
squares. For nearly two weeks, in biting cold, hundreds of thousands bravely, steadfastly and at the same time gracefully demonstrated their unwavering opposition to a corrupt, authoritarian regime. The world has looked into the eyes of millions of good people of various ages, confessions, different ethnic
backgrounds--all peacefully, as is their right under their own Constitution--fighting for their rights. All without unrest, violence, andd
blood: This is what the world community has seen. The people of Ukraine have shown the world that we are much more ready to integrate into the European community than the ruling regime. Our path to Europe is not obstructed
by formalities--the absence of a formal application or a joint-action plan. No one saw a civil society in Ukraine and the desire to live acccording to EU standards and values. Now--you've seen."

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