Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Cмерть

Ukraine. What to say about Ukraine that hasn't already been said...

Well, they're still at it over there. Yushchenko's Orange Revolution is on the campaign trail getting ready for the re-vote. Does anyone else find it at least interesting that his party is represented by the color orange and he was poisoned with Agent Orange?

Which brings up my rambling point. There but for the grace of God goes the United States. Ukraine is one fucked up place, and has been forever. If they weren't under Russian control, it was the Soviet Union, followed by the corrupt oligarchs of today. And despite the centuries of repression these people have endured, pro-Yanukovych propaganda on every television station, opposition party members murdered or framed - including the poisoning of the actual candidate - democracy is marching forward! The people have forced the government to listen to them. It gives me chills typing this paragraph out now. In the unlikeliest of countries, they're doing democracy proud.

And we have the same problems over here, in this supposed shining beacon of democracy on a hill or whatever bullshit. Pro-government propaganda from every mainstream media outlet, egregious election fraud, voter intimidation, contemptible and corrupt campaign tactics - and I'll say it again - where is our outrage?! The people of Ukraine put us to shame.

If you can find the December 13th issue of The New Yorker, read the “Letter from Kiev.” This morning on the crowded-ass subway, this quote from Ukrainian activist Ostap Kryvdyk almost brought me to tears:

"It’s something we couldn’t imagine. Two months ago, it looked as if we had a lazy, uninteresting capital, frightened eastern regions, panicking western regions. We would win if God helped us – and God either would or would not. It was a surprise that people rose from their knees and stood in the snow. We Ukrainians have this very big tradition of loss. We don’t know how to be happy. I’d say there would only be one fact that will make me shout, and it will last for five minutes: when Yushchenko takes the oath of office."

And then?

"Then I will become the opposition to him."


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