Bush & Putin

Will President George W. Bush now stand up to Russia’s
blatant imperial overreach in Ukraine? Will Mr. Bush
protect America’s interest in the spread of democracy
and free markets?

While the President has touted good relations with his
Russian counterpart, it is clear that Vladimir Putin
financed and actively campaigned on behalf of an
authoritarian candidate whose supporters stole the
election. Rampant voting violations were confirmed by
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard
Lugar, whom Mr. Bush sent as his personal emissary to
monitor the Ukrainian election. Now there are reports
that Russia is sending troops to Ukraine to protect
its ill-gotten electoral conquest…

(writes either Maidan, a Ukranian newspaper, or they’re publishing a letter from Michael Balahutrak of Houston, TX. The relation is unclear.)

Regardless, Bush may have an important choice to make between realpolitk and principle, and his like for Putin. On principle, we should support free elections, even if we don’t like the resulting leader. America does better in the world, and gets less backlash when we follow principle. On realpolitik, Putin supported his client in Iraq, Mr. Hussien, against Mr. Bush, and deserves some payback for that. So the only reason I can see that the President might do the wrong thing on the Ukraine is that he like Putin personally. Lets hope that the intersection of political reality, the President’s emissary, and the right thing are enough to bring a condemnation of this fraud from the bully pulpit.