How can we respond the Organge Revolution in Ukraine?

Ukraine has achieved the latest in a long line of peaceful, velvet revolutions - a stark contrast to what's happening in Iraq. How should we respond? I argue that the EU should offer Ukraine a clear, long-term perspective of membership.

See TGA's Guardian columns on this subject.

ukraine map


Michel Bastian, France

What happened in Ukraine was remarkable. This is the example the Bush administration should learn from: you cannot "impose" democracy from the outside through military action. Democracy has to grow from the inside, the people themselves have to decide they want it (after all, that´s what the literal translation of the term means: rule of the people). And it works, as shown by Yuchtschenko and his party.
Yes, I think Ukraine should be offered a long-term perspective of membership in the EU. Through the velvet revolution, the ukrainian people have shown that they deserve to be part of the EU.

Tom Cole, United Kingdom

The Orange Revolution has shown that the supporters of Victor Yushchenko were unwilling to accept the fraudulent results of the initial electoral outcome. With great strength and determination, Yushchenko's supporters braved the cold Ukrainian winter to demonstrate in favour of their candidate, who having been unjustly denied victory, has now been sworn in as the new Ukranian president. This can be hailed as a great victory for the forces of democracy and hopefully a step forward for further Ukranian integrartion within Europe.
Sadly, the country is split geographically and Victor Yushchenko has a great task on his hands in trying to win over the heartlands of Mr. Yanukovitch's support. Whether the predominatly Russian speaking eastern half of the country will seek autonomy or even try to secede is yet to be seen but it is within Yushchenko's interests to hold the country together.
This division of the country plays a huge factor in whether or not talks should be opened in the near future for a possible EU entry. If the Ukraine were granted entry then Moscow would gain a leverage in EU internal affairs, being able to claim to be the true voice of the Russian speaking population in Eastern Ukraine.
The Ukraine has only been an independent state since 1991 and the second elections in December were the first in the country that were not rigged by the ruling political party. Membership would stretch the Eastern border of the EU to the far edge of the Black Sea but also weaken the EU internally. This stretch could be seen as "imperial over-stretch", although to describe the EU as an empire is a bit far-flung.
With the possible entry of Turkey into the European Union the time has to come to ask the important question of what "being a European" actually means. Is there actually a "European" identity? If so, what are its components? Can a Turk be a European? can a Ukranian be a European? It is also time for the current EU populace to be asked. Do the peoples of the current 25 member states actually want a further enlargement, or is it just the wishes of big business and the politicians?

Joseph Clift, Edinburgh, UK

The Ukraine would be a welcome addition to the European Union, but if it is to join we must be sure that the country will remain united. With so many of the Eastern European countries either having joined, or in the process of joining the EU, this is a relatively uncertain time. Fast-tracking the Ukraine into joining could, given the strong divide expressed from the recent election, be potentially catastrophic to Ukrainian unity. This is not the time to be needlessly hasty in welcoming the Ukraine, rather it is a time for the Ukraine to come to terms with the new political order in place and try and heal the divisions that now exist. The EU will always be there to welcome the Ukraine, and I do hope to see it one day join the rest of Europe. It is more important, however, that the country itself strengthens its own unity before embarking on become part of the union.

Phil Karasick, Seattle, Washington, USA

Michel Bastian wrote: "This is the example the Bush administration should learn from: you cannot "impose" democracy from the outside through military action. Democracy has to grow from the inside, the people themselves have to decide they want it (after all, that´s what the literal translation of the term means: rule of the people). And it works, as shown by Yuchtschenko and his party."
Actually, facts and realities have often directly contradicted and rebutted M. Bastian's views and claims. Democracy has been "imposed" from the outside through military action quite effectively and successfully -- most notably, in post-World War II Germany and Japan. The way that we brought democracy to Germany and Japan in 1945 was by using massive military force to utterly level their existing fascist societies and then rebuild them from the ground up according to democratic principles. Democracy did not "grow from the inside" in Nazi-controlled Germany, nor in Fascist Japan, nor in the Stalinist-controlled U.S.S.R. People who publicly expressed a desire for democracy in those barbaric, repressive and Kafka-esque societies had a tendency to permanently "disappear" into prisons, mental hospitals for dissidents, concentration camps or mass graves. Democracy did not "grow from the inside" in those societies because it didn't matter in the slightest to the ruling tyrants what "the people themselves decided they wanted". What mattered was that the tyrants had the guns and tanks and secret police, and the willingness to use them to crush any opposition.
"People Power" only succeeds in countries where the ruling party or tyrant agrees to allow it to succeed and agrees to abdicate and give up power willingly. That wasn't the case in Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. And it wasn't the case in Sadly Insane Hussein's Iraq, either. Military force had to be used, and military force was absolutely the right course of action. Force was the solution. If we'd waited for "People Power" to peacefully overthrow Nazism, Hitler's grandson would probably be running Germany right now.
When peaceful, unarmed demonstrators "armed" only with banners and signs go up against heavily armed troops and 40-ton tanks in an unelected dictatorship that doesn't have to care about "popular opinion", (a) the peaceful unarmed demonstrators get slaughtered; (b) the unelected dictatorship remains in power; (c) the outside world may protest for a little while, but eventually (d) the rest of the world forgets, moves on and turns its attention elsewhere, and the dictatorship wins.
If all it took to build democracy was for "the people to decide they want it", the Chinese pro-democracy activists who gathered in Tianenman Square would have been peacefully elected to office, instead of being savagely bayoneted to death or crushed and mangled under the treads of 40-ton T-55 tanks.

fortinbras, Polack Empire

No democracy was not imposed in Germany and Japan... it was restored. These countries were previously democratic or semi-democratic. The Allies did not impose democracy on these countries just for the sake of it. They did it to ensure the eternal safety of their backsides against fascist aggression. There has never been a war in history solely to impose a democracy on another country. The Allies were happy to tolerate and do business with autocratic regimes in Germany and Japan provided their own interests weren't harmed.

Phil Karasick, Seattle, Washington, USA

Yes, Democracy was imposed upon Germany and Japan. Democracy was not "restored". It had scarcely existed whatsoever in either Germany or Japan prior to World War II. Germany prior to 1919 had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and had been ruled by the dictatorship of the Kaiser. Following World War I, the Weimar Republic attempted to instill democracy in Germany but was widely derided and considered to be a failure. It was swept aside by Hitler's rise to power. In Japan, civic elections existed prior to World War II, but the real power in Japan was always the military which was basically unaccountable to anyone but itself.
The reasons we imposed democracy on Germany and Japan are irrelevent. "Motives" are irrelevent. All that matters are the results. And regardless of whether or not we originally went to war to destroy those dictatorships and impose democracy in those countries, that was the result.

Tom, UK/Luxembourg

Phil, just thought I'd point out that the German Kaiserreich wasn't actually ever part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Germany, founded under Bismark lasted from 1871-1918. Austria-Hungary or the dual-monarchy was a seperate state, which folded after the Treaty of Versailles.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, ruled the Germany Empire until he abdicated in 1918. He did not rule Austria-Hungary.
Next time, get your facts straight. Read the comment by "fortinbras" too. He is entirely right, the democratic states of the world, only waged war, when they could no longer guarantee their own security. britatin only went to war to restore the balance of power on the European continent. This would have enabled Chamberlain more time to concentrate on the needs of the empire, especially in the far east from the threat of Japan. This Japanese was the only reason why the US entered the war after Pearl Harbour. Who knows, if they had waited a few years, you might well be speaking Japanese now.
Attend a few history lectures and then get back to me.

Tanya Kotenko, Ukraine

The spirit of The Orange Revolution must live in hearts of people through out the world. For this aim Ukrain should be included in the world process of globalization and ecpecially join the EU

Phil Karasick, Seattle, Washington, USA

Tom, please re-read my statements before commenting or presuming to "correct" me. Fortinbras' statement was as follows: "No democracy was not imposed in Germany and Japan... it was restored. These countries were previously democratic or semi-democratic." That clearly was wrong. Germany and Japan were NOT "previously democratic or semi-democratic". As you yourself stated, "Kaiser Wilhelm II, ruled the Germany Empire until he abdicated in 1918." Was Kaiser Wilhelm "elected" to office? No? Then Germany was NOT "democratic". Neither was Japan. Democracy did not firmly take root in either of those countries prior to our leveling their fascist societies to the ground and rebuilding them from the ground up according to democratic principles.
Once again, the "reasons" the European powers went to war were and are irrelevent. The democratic nations of Britain and France declared war on Germany and waged war because they were honoring their treaty obligations to defend Poland. They were NOT "defending Empire". France declared war on Germany following Nazi germany's invasion of Poland, but France didn't have an "Empire" to defend. Thus, the claim that democratic states were only "restoring the balance of power on the continent" or "buying time to concentrate on the needs of the Empire" is wholely fraudulent.
Yes, the US entered the war after we were violently attacked at Pearl Harbor. That's how the isolationist "peace movement" of the time wanted it. It was the view of the "peace movement" (which was quite prevalent and influential at the time) that the USA had no "moral right" to go to war unless and until we were directly attacked. That, interestingly enough, is exactly the same moral stance of the modern-day "peace movement", which is as identically idiotic now as it was during the 1930s. Perhaps idiocy is transmitted genetically across the generations.
In my opinion, it's an interesting and illuminating display of European hypocrisy.
When the subject is Iraq, the Euro-Leftists declare that we in America had no "right" to go to war against a regime that had not attacked us first, no matter how vile and repressive the Saddamite regime was.
Yet, when the subject is World War II, the Euro-Leftists declare that we in America somehow had an "OBLIGATION" to go to war against a German regime that had not attacked us first, precisely because of the vileness and repressiveness of the Nazi regime.
It's yet another display of the prevailing European view that America has no "right" to go to war whatsoever except and exclusively when the Euro-Left "DEMANDS" that we "should have" gone to war.

I suggest that you attend a few history lectures that are not being taught by Numbnuts Chimpsky clones, so that you can learn a Factual version of History.

Tom Cole, Luxembourg/UK

Phil, I understand that you're angry but let me try and help:
Yes, Kaiser Wilhelm was not elected to power. You're quite right there.
However, Hitler came to power in January 1933. Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in November 1918. How do you account for the 14 years and 3 months between November 1918 and January 1933?? Have you heard of the "Weimar Republic"?
No? Thought not. The Weimar Republic had a parliamnent which was democratically elected and although it only produced vast coalition governments, making strong leadership virtually impossible, it is too far fetched to suggest that this was an undemocratic system of govermence.
Yes, the system failed but didn't the downfall of the Weimar Republic also occur just after the Wall Street crash in the late 20s/early 30s?? Why did President Hoover not win re-election in 1933? It's the economy, stupid...
Ok, we have now establish that democracy HAD taken root in Germany prior to WWII, agreed??
When you speak of "our levelling", what do you actually mean? How old are you? Unless you are around 80 years old, there is no possible way, that you, personally, couuld have helped "democracy take root" in either Germany or Japan.
On the reasons for Britain and France getting involved in WWII, you are again in the wrong, sorry. When did WWII in Europe commence? 1st September 1939. When did Britain and France actually commit troops against Germany? May 1940. (Slow reactions, you might say.) Did either country really care about the fate of Poland in regard to Polish independence? No. Like I said, Chamberlain was more concerned with the balance of power doctrine so that British interests oversees could be preserved. It's politics, stupid...
You mentioned France didn't have an empire at the Start of World War II. Go online, to any decent geography or history website and look up "world maps from the 1930s." You will plainly see that France DID have an Overseas empire. Why do most North West African countries include French as one of their official languages? Because they like French food and French wine? I think not.
On regards to whether or not America should have entered WWII earlier or whether or not the US should have invaded Iraq, consider the following: On both occasions the US only went to war when US interests were affected. (Pearl Harbour/defending daddy's honour) This is understandable and I don't disagree with you here. Whoever overtakes the US next as world policeman, will act in exactly the same way. If you are the most powerful actor in world politics, it is entirely comprehendable that you perceive things through a realist point of you. If you like, the law of the jungle or Darwin's survival of the fittest.
I didn't attack the US's point of view so I don't understand why you refer to me as some "Euro-leftist" or "numbnuts chimpsky".
I honestly recommend that you read a history text book before you next reply and I don't mean that in a nasty or satirical way at all. I honestly mean it. I fear, however, like you said, that " idiocy is transmitted genetically across the generations." and if you reread some of your own comments you might understand why this is the case.

Mike, London

Phil Karasick-
How have you managed to turn a debate about Ukrainian membership in the EU into yet another one of your blinkered nationalistic rantings? I'm sorry to sound harsh or offensive, but you only seem to have one drum, which you never tire of beating. Although I do not want to add further fuel to an argument that has strayed from the point so far already, I would mention that to compare the invasion of Iraq to the circumstances of WWII is bizarre. I will not go into your even more bizarre conceptions of the history of WWII- suffice to say they fly in the face of those whose conceptions matter: those of historians. Plus, to not wish to undertake an impatient unprovoked attack upon a country does not make one a "leftist", but merely a human with a conscience.

Phil Karasick, Seattle, Washington, USA

Mr. Tom Cole, Luxembourg/UK:
As much as I am trying to be civil, I find your post to be so full of gross historical inaccuracies and errors, I scarcely know where to begin correcting them.
Yes, Mr. Cole, I am quite familiar with the term "Weimar Republic". It was fatally flawed in a number of ways that made a takeover by Hitler all but irreversible, as evidence has proven. (See my link below for a more thorough explanation).
RE: your question ("Yes, the system failed but didn't the downfall of the Weimar Republic also occur just after the Wall Street crash in the late 20s/early 30s??"). This is an example of where two events occur within roughly the same timeframe and appear to be related, but in fact they have relatively little to do with one another. The Great Depression aggravated the crisis of the Weimar Republic, but it did not cause that crisis. The Weimar Republic was not brought down by the Great Depression. It was in trouble as early as 1928, a year before the event that triggered the Great Depression (Black Friday on Wall Street, October 29 2929) had occurred. The Weimar Republic was under attack from not merely the Right (Fascist parties) but also the Left (Communists).
Please refer to the following for a more detailed explanation:
"III. Constitutional Defects
There were at least four fatal defects in the Weimar Constitution. All of them were used to destroy the Weimar Republic, but all of them could have been corrected.
1. Proportional representation
First, there was this matter of proportional representation. It led directly to splitting and splintering of parties, since any party with a certain percentage of the popular vote could get some representatives into the Reichstag. It also produced a stalwart group of delegates who usually adhered to party discipline and resisted reasonable compromises. It further prevented the formation of local combinations which might have resulted in stronger candidates.
2. Election of the president
Second, there was the election of the president by popular vote. This may be a debatable question, but Hindenburg, who opened the final door to Hitler, would not even have been elected if the president had been chosen by the two houses as in France. It would have given the whole structure a more genuinely parliamentary character. Since the final decisions that assured the demise of the Republic were made by a handful of disreputable characters surrounding the senile president, a parliamentary selection might have produced stronger and wiser presidents.

3. Allocation of presidential powers
Third, there was a definite defect in the allocation of presidential powers. The powers were not carefully limited. A chancellor could be dismissed even before he was defeated in the Reichstag by a vote of no confidence. A chancellor could also be appointed by the president, even if he had no chance of getting the support of the Reichstag. He could thus sign decrees dissolving the Reichstag and rule by decree in its absence. The constitution provided no minimal guarantees for the control add limitation of police powers in such cases.
Under a democratic president there would have been no opportunity for a "sliding revolution" under legalistic disguise. Moreover if presidential rights had been limited, Hindenburg could not have dismissed Brüning in 1932. Nor could he have appointed Papen or dissolved the Reichstag with the latter's futile counter-signature, or removed the Prussian ministers, or suspended individual rights without limitation.
Up to April 1932, the first and second defect (proportional representation and popular election of the president) existed only in theory. Besides, the 2/3 vote necessary to amend the constitution would have been difficult to get in the Reichstag. To change proportional representation it would have been necessary to persuade 2/3 of the Reichstag deputies that they were incompetent! Two attempts in 1924 and 1930 were made to change proportional representation by enlarging the number of election districts and limiting candidacies. But both attempts failed because the rank and file party members opposed them. Politicians do not easily submit to self-denial.4. The federal system

A fourth shortcoming was the peculiarity of the federal system. Prussia was so large that it literally functioned as another central government, instead of a regional one. There was almost continuous friction between the two cabinets, both housed in Berlin. Part of the cause for the friction was that Prussia remained more democratic throughout the Weimar period. Overall the distribution of power between the federal government and the states was not satisfactory. Such things as public works and unemployment insurance brought the national government into immediate contact with the municipalities. This left the relations of federal, state, and local authorities in a precarious condition.
An attempt was made in 1928 to ameliorate the Reich-Prussian dualism by increasing national jurisdiction over Prussian provinces and regionalizing them. But this effort failed when Brüning was dismissed. So, this issue like many others was left for Hitler to resolve. Hitler, of course, corrected all these defects by simply regarding the whole constitution and republic itself as a national defect and disgrace. But he might not have been able to do that if these relatively minor flaws in the constitutional fabric had been mended early enough.
RE: your comment ("Ok, we have now establish that democracy HAD taken root in Germany prior to WWII, agreed??"). No, we are not agreed. If democracy had really taken root, it would have stayed firmly rooted in German soil. If democracy had taken root, it would not have been possible for Hitler to sweep democracy aside as easily as a pedestrian kicking a beer can to the curb.

To Tom Cole, Luxembourg/UK:
RE: your question ("When you speak of "our levelling", what do you actually mean? How old are you? Unless you are around 80 years old, there is no possible way, that you, personally, could have helped "democracy take root" in either Germany or Japan").
When I speak of "our" levelling of Imperial Japan's and Nazi Germany's fascistic societies to the ground , I am referring to the United States of America having done the levelling. U.S. troops played a major role in driving Nazi forces out of Nazi-occupied territories. In the Pacific Theatre, the war against Japan was almost an entirely American affair. I am 44 years old. I never claimed that "I, personally" played a part in installing and imposing democracy in those formally fascistic societies. I am claiming that the United States of America did so, as indeed "we" here in America did.


To Tom Cole, Luxembourg/UK:
RE: your comment ("On the reasons for Britain and France getting involved in WWII, you are again in the wrong, sorry. When did WWII in Europe commence? 1st September 1939. When did Britain and France actually commit troops against Germany? May 1940. (Slow reactions, you might say.) Did either country really care about the fate of Poland in regard to Polish independence? No. Like I said, Chamberlain was more concerned with the balance of power doctrine so that British interests oversees could be preserved."
On the reasons for Britain and France getting involved in World War II, you are unfortunately in the wrong, once again. Britain and France committed troops against Germany long, long before May of 1940. Britain did not "need" to "commit" these troops against Germany in May 1940, because those troops (hundreds of thousands of them, in fact) were already in France and Belgium to begin with. Following the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939, the British Expeditionary Force was sent to the Franco-Belgian border to defend the territorial integrity of France and Belgium. "Slow reactions"? No, absolutely not, not at all. I suggest that you review the history of the "Miracle At Dunkirk"; it occurred in May/June 1940 and involved the evacuation of over 300,000 Allied troops. Sir, I honestly recommend and hope that YOU read a history text book before you next reply, and I also don't mean that in a nasty or satirical way at all. I, too, honestly mean it. The evacuation of those 300,000+ (principally British) Allied troops from Dunkirk in May/June 1940 could not possibly have occurred unless those troops were already 'there' in France to begin with.
Here is some reading material for you to start with:
If there was any "hesitation" of response on the part of the Allied governments to the Nazi/Soviet combined invasion of Poland, it was not due to "disinterest" on the part of France or Britain. Rather, it was due to the fact that all of the Allied governments (Britain included) were seriously outmanned, out-trained, outgunned and out-prepared by Nazi forces and could not possibly mount a land response to the Nazi aggression. Additionally, prior to April 9 1940, the Allied governments mistakenly thought they could prolong the existing stalemated war on the Western Front long enough to rearm and rebuild their militaries and then launch a counteroffensive against the Nazis. It had seemed that the Germans could not pierce France's Maginot Line, and that Britain's Royal Navy's control of the seas would eventually bring about an Allied victory.
Did either country, Britain or France, really care about the fate of Poland in regard to Polish independence? Yes, of course they did. That's why Britain and France declared war on Germany; they honored their treaty obligations to declare war on Germany if Germany violated Poland's territorial integrity.
RE: your comment: "Like I said, Chamberlain was more concerned with the balance of power doctrine so that British interests oversees could be preserved". Once again, your comment is false. You have offered no evidence to prove your statement as to what Chamberlain's intentions were. Therefore, your claim is merely an assumption on your part.
Neville Chamberlain, the well-meaning but simple-minded idiot who had previously proclaimed "peace in our time" and waved a scrap of paper bearing Hitler's signature as "proof" of Hitler's alleged "peaceful intentions", was clear in his desperation to do everything possible to appease Hitler. (When his Foreign Minister, Anthony Eden, urged that Britain's armed forces be modernized to meet a potential German threat, Chamberlain refused to listen, and once told Eden to "go home and take an aspirin"). However, knowing Chamberlain's history of refusing to accept reality, it is much more likely that Chamberlain was actually concerned with avoiding repeating the carnage of World War I that had slaughtered most of an entire generation of young Britiah men, no matter what the cost of giving free reign to the Nazi dictator.


To Mike, London:
RE: your comment ("Although I do not want to add further fuel to an argument that has strayed from the point so far already, I would mention that to compare the invasion of Iraq to the circumstances of WWII is bizarre").
You are certainly entitled to the freedom to express your opinion. Thanks to our Liberation of iraq, Iraqis are now also finally free to savor and enjoy that same freedom that you appear to take for granted. in Liberating Iraq, we carried out the dethroning of a murderous Dictator that many Europeans wish we had done against Nazi Germany.
RE: your comment (" I will not go into your even more bizarre conceptions of the history of WWII- suffice to say they fly in the face of those whose conceptions matter: those of historians"). It is your own bizarre misconceptions of the history of World War II that are seriously in error. Every thinking, rational person understands full well that World War II was not fought by the Allies to "obtain resources", "preserve Empire" or "advance national geopolitical interests". The Nazis launched World War II in order to advance their murderous agenda of exterminating all "non-Aryans" from the planet -- hence, their rationalization for the Holocaust.
The US fought against the Nazis to protect itself, the world and Democracy worldwide from an unimaginably hideous Nazi ideology. And the US fought against the Japanese to avenge the memory of the 2,400+ Americans who perished at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941. Those human beings were the "US interests" that were "affected", and they were the reason we fought Japan.
You see, contrary to Numbnuts Chimpsky and his "all of us are merely helpless pawns on a global chessboard run by Corporations" theory, we in America don't merely go to war over national interests. We go to war for our own people. When we're attacked, suddenly, without warning, without any knowing provocation on our part, we Fight. We don't sit down, contemplate our navels, or ask "what could we have done to bring this on ourselves". And we're not going to, either. We Fight.

Miriam, USA

We have been expecting SAFFRON REVOLUTION in India; we only got Gates in NYC instead!..! Worse than the unquestioning Hindus and uncritical Indians, the so-called institutions of justice like the subverted Supreme
Court have shown themselves as more impotent and anti-national than the citizens themselves in stemming the tides and waves of communal violence mostly by the murderous muslim villains, as many Indians attest in their list of EXCESSIVE RIGHTS where all the totally unprovoked pogroms of mass murders did take place in widespread and repeated manner, call them "serial mass murders" or not, whether you include the recent ones like Marad, Godhra, blasts in buses, trains, taxis, (Akshardam) temples, cinema halls or not. Pseudo-secularists might want to address this.
Unquestioning Hindus specifically and uncritical Indians generally allowed all this:-
a. when Jinah's repeated call for so-called Direct Action killed millions;
b. when more than 3000 were butchered by the bloodthirsty islamists in cold blood for a mere building in ruins, i.e. after the building in ruins called Babri Masjid where no one worshipped was brought down by Indians who wanted to reclaim their sacred land;
c. when the bloodthirsty islamists - during Khilafat carnage - massacred 1000's of Hindus in Kerala, for an event in farway Turkey similar to the murder of Hindus for the remarks of Jerry Falwell in distant USA;
d. when in Kanpur riots, just a pig is supposed to have been the pretext for murder of 1000's of Indians by the bloodthirsty savage islamists; etc.
Most recent of these savage attacks was the slaughter of pilgrims to Satara where they were burnt alive by savage and barbaric muslims. Note too countless other savage pogroms such as GODHRA, AKSHARDAM TEMPLE, BOMBAY TWIN BLASTS, MARAD, and zillion other such serial mass murders in buses, train cars, cinema halls, ..etc right from the super-terrorist Jinah's time.
There must be an end to these perverse lies of the shameless media and the hateful politicians as if serial mass murders of Indians by savage muslims and grand larceny by the christian crooks are not enough.

As always, the weakest and the vulnerable suffer the most. In India, it is mostly the Hindus who have no one to even stand up for their rights, given BJP/VHP/RSS have all been sidelined by the manipulative machinations of the homicidal muslim hominids, villainous media and the hoodwinking christian hoodlums.
The minority immoral conversion (Jews here in USA successfully resisted conversion assault by the Southern Baptist Church) and subversion assault has always worked for the anti-nationals and no one is calling their bluff. Selective and unequal justice always worked for them as well, throw "rule of law" to the winds. This shows how important it is not to lower your guards. Boycott of peddlers and traders - nay, smugglers and traffickers, is a good start. You *do not* have many other options. Or else, direct serial mass murders, indirect naxal proxy murders, conversion, illegal migration and subversion might well continue. Be forewarned. I bet hate-mongers inside and war-mongers outside have already ruined India over many decades. Put a stop to it and take my advice. Let the corrupt officials find money instead of enriching themselves and instead of begging World Bank and IMF thereby upping your debt burden.
The West is sucking your blood by AmWay, ENRON, COLA, COLGATE, TOI/Bennett-Coleman and other such corporate crooks. The elite is doing absolutely nothing not even protesting or boycotting. For how long will this go on? Be warned too that if you don‚t boycott Christian and Muslim business and NGO's, many more of their crimes might go unpunished, many more unreported and many, many, many more unchecked.
The only way to solve the Kashmir issue is to link it to the 110+ mil left abadoned on India's taxpayers as the evil burden ever since 1947.

Matt, United Kingdom

The events that unfolded on the streets of Kiev should be welcomed by all who hold dear the tenets of democracy that we in wester Europe so often take for granted. It is my opinion that the bitter skepticism expressed in so many quarters is the consequence of a developing irrationality that sees all western-orientated, pro-democracy movements as mere agents for the advancement of American strategic interests. Yet what did Yanukovitch represent if not an example of continued Russian influence in eastern Europe? Clearly, the shadow of Iraq is being cast over politics worldwide.
Whilst this may be understandable (very much so indeed), it misses the opportunity now presented to Ukrainian citizens to decide their own political fate. The imperfections of Yushchenko's party should not blind to those of his predecessor.

Malik, Pakistan

My comments are this that why do ukrain cant be europen union counrty becouse of gdp this not a excuse it should be a member also want to ask that how long it will take to be ukrain a member state.

C. Martin, American

I welcome the transformation of the Ukraine from a corrupt Communist state to a democratic one. I believe that the Ukraine should be offered partial EU benefits to help it continue its liberalization, then, after it succeeds, offer it full EU membership.

Mike Miller, American

I was appalled at the corruption of the Kutchma Government. I am appalled at the corruption of the Yushenko Government.
1) Officials of former regime "comitting suicide." One committed suicide by shooting himself in the head twice with broken fingers.
2) Timoshenko's affiliation with Lazarenko money-laundering scheme. She is still a wanted criminal in Russia. Lazarenko indicted in the U.S. for racketeering. Wire transfers to Lazarenko signed by Timoshenko.
3) Arrest of the Governor of Donetsk for sedition because he and other ethnic Russians in Donetsk expressed a desire to form a federated republic rather than submit to rule by ethnic Germans and Lithuanians in the West.
4) Replacement of all regional government officials and ministers with Yushenko cronies.
5) The ongoing tale of Boris Berezofsky and the incriminating tapes made by Kutchma's security officer. Why would Kutchma consider giving Berezofsky shelter and comfort in Ukraine if the tapes do not implicate Yushenko or his cronies?
6) Blatant manipulation of monetary policy to devalue the Hryvna in relation to the Dollar. Don't fall for this! Save your Dollars! They may not be worth as much as they used to be but they are worth much more than the Hyrvna.
7) Yushenko government apparently did not know that Crimea is an autonomous republic with it's own parliament and Council of Ministers. Yushenko forced resignation of Crimean Prime Minister. Yushenko rush to join NATO has Russia poised to annex Crimea. People of Crimea are mostly ethnic Russians and were under Russian sovereignty until 1954. Crimeans mostly want to rejoin Russia.
I feel very sorry for any innocent people from Western Ukraine who have been led and misled by Yushenko and his team of criminals. They may be no worse than the previous regime but they are certainly no better.
Don't be fools for Bush. The Orange Movement was funded and trained by Americans who want Ukraine and its sister states to be split off from Russia. It is for oil. It is not for freedom and democracy.

Gabyteres, Europe

i've seen Phil Karasick's and more people's argument about democracy being imposed or growing form people and about USA's role in world politics in this century.
Now, first of all, i'm surprised at the way a discussion can begin in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and end in the II World War in Europe and the Pacific. Second, i think democracy has not any fixed way of becoming a country's regime, but i do think that if a system does what people want and they don't want it, it would disappear. Third, i think Ukraine should be part of a free, united Europe. Ukrainians have shown us that they want it quite clearly. And last, about all this argument i mentioned, i would like to say that its origin is, in my opinion, that the USA rule the world up to a point. They do, but many other nations are getting out of USA's trail and creating their own. Their power is fastly decreasing and obviusly they don't like it. Hey, my country too ruled the world once and nobody liked that except us. I think every country should be free, and we should build a world of equals.

Mathew, Poland

18.06.2005, constitution and EU summit are failed, Ukraine have long time to prepare to join the Union... There is no climate for new enlargement, but fortunetlly europeans get know that there is some big state on east, that Kiev is not russia colony and it's have own opinion (that's big progress!) 1 year ago Kiev was (in west opinion) in siberia, a 6 months ago it was allmost candidate, when there was in Strasburg, Brusseles, Kiev amd Warsaw orange fever. Now all Europe is down, but in 2006 could be totally diferent atmosphere. Ukraine is in Europe for more than 1000 years, the state tradition, own language literacy and christianity was there when in Warsaw and Stockholm lived only bears and deers. East Orthodox belong to EU for 70's (Greece). All european coutries can join to Union when it will be prepare (so there is not so big formal problem like in Turkey's issue). In 1990 vision of former communist states in United Europe sounds like good joke. In west point of view we were lived in dugouts and hount for polar bears for dinner (after 15 years there is not big progress of this opinions...). Ukraine must just say: i can do it and no one will stop me.
Ukraine lost 15 years. On the other hand, Slovakia lost 5 years when it was ruled by former boxer Macziar, but now it's the fastest reforming state in the world (in world bank opinion).
There is only one trap. The state is poor. There are to many structural problems, old big facturies, corruption etc. People was vote for change, but as in rest of central-east Europe, chenges will be too slowly to make them happy, and old band (Janukowycz, Ahmetow and company) will back, useing poppulist slogans in next election campaign, just like former communist gangsters in other former socialist heavens (as a friendly social-democrats). "Oranges" have short time now to change all coutry system, to prepere it for this come back. Democracy must to work in this near future, "Donetsks" must rule in democracy procedures. The biggest Kwasniewski's accomplishment in Poland is that he convince former communists to turn west and become european social-democrats. Now there is big issue, for Ukrainians and UE to talk with "Donetsks". They don't really want to back to Russia, secession (become a russian vasal) proposition is only political game. Putin have his own big corporation pressure groups, who are just competition for "Donetsk Group". On the other hand, mr. Ahmetows clan with his billions in 500 million people EU market will get wings! West, expecially central Europe must convince east Ukraine that support for Orange Revolution is for democracy, not against them.
I was little kid in 1989, but for me the best thing in east Europe's pro-democracy is when people have nothing to lose, but they belive in their forces, they remind them selfs about Liberté Egalité Fraternité and razom nas bahato, wchich you can't appreciate when you have it. Thats why in many coutries was orange fever on the streets, like in Lwiw and Kiev. People get understood that they lost this revolution magic. After revolution, everything back to normality and there is giant work to do. I expoect Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian, Montenegros, Belarusian (your next Lukasznko, Aux armes citoyens!)and Moldovian flags in Brusseles in next 10-20 years. (Romania and Bulgaria will join in 2007-8)
To new enlargement enthusiasts: don't afraid, Ukraine will not back to new USSR because of EU crisis, they don't mad, Putin would better think how to not become "near abroad" of China.
To others: don't afraid, "polish plumbers" don't want to learn french and visit you :)

Phil Karasick, Seattle, Washington, USA

I quite agree that a free and democratic Ukraine should be welcomed into the family of nations. With regard to Gabyteres in Europe's comments claiming that the U.S.'s "power is fastly decreasing", I'd be curious what he/she sees as the basis for that comment. In the 21st century, the foremost economic powerhouses will be the U.S. (the world's marketplace and innovator of ideas), India (the world's white-collar office) and China (the world's up-and-coming blue-collar factory and home of manufacturing enterprises). The rest of the world will likely be trying to get into the game.
Gabyteres in Europe wrote: "I do think that if a system does what people want and they don't want it, it would disappear."
The system in North Korea is responsible for the deaths by starvation of upwards of 1 million ordinary North Korean citizens in the last decade. It is responsible for the detentions, imprisonment, beatings, torture and murders of hundreds of thousands of North Koreans in concentration camps. Tens of thousands of North Koreans have risked death or imprisonment to flee to China. Clearly the North Korean people don't want their system. So -- why doesn't the North Korean system disappear?

Duncan, Spain

To Phil Karasick; do you believe, as I do, that most of us hold such a small portion of the truth that it would be obstructive to the revelation of the whole truth were we to express our limited version as if it were indeed complete? As such, would you not rather enjoy the fruits of collaborative debate than the bitter juices squeezed from a would-be opponent in a test of sophistry? Let's have a pow-wow baby, not a fight.

Jeff Mowatt, London, UK

Getting back to the question of responding to the Orange Revolution. I'm funding a London based NGO operating out of Kharkov. My colleage Terry Hallman works there in cooperation with the Maidan civil rights network who've granted him editorial control on their English language site.
We're out there aiming to deliver affordable internet service to activist and citizens alike and promote a proposal to being a large scale microcredit initiative to all regions. We're also involved in helping several grassroots business efforts and publicising a case of human rights abuse.
On Crimea. P-CED (Terry) brought an aid plan backed by USAid funding of $40m there 2 years ago. It was aimed at the repatriated Tatars and the adminstration wanted to pocket 10%. We didn't support the removal of corrupt goverment there, we requested it.
More information:

Francisco Martínez Alcalá, Spain

I support all said for Mike Miller, american. That´s is the reality of Ukrania today. The lack of freedom is East Ukrania and Crimea for Yushenko and his ganster´s partners is terrible. The parcels from ukranians emigrants to their families in East Ukrania can not pass by west Ukrania and often have to pay money or have to put orange flags. Do you kow that the capital of separatism of Ukrania, the city of Lvov was Polish till 1939 ?, like the capital of Lituania Vilnius. What about the millions of Russian people that died in the WWII and in Chernobil desaster helping ukranian people ?. Ukrania and Russia have been united for more of 350 years. United States had created a problem only for business and oil, but Russia is near and Unites States far, and when USA goes he´ll left behind problems like he did in other parts of world. Democracy don´t born in one day, needs time and educated people, when the people is educated in dictatorships take a lot of time that the flower of democarcy grows. Now in the ukranian schools children are forced to study ukranian language - a language with a great future - when never neither them nor their parents spoke it. We suffer it in some regions in Spain.
The orange revolution born and grew with american money and the interest of Unites States, Poland, German and Lituania in make parts of old Russia is evident, but they are blin and don´t remember history, by example, when separatists ukranians helped nazis in WWII.
The greatness of America is that people like Mike Miller can speak the truth like he does. You can speak everything you want about history, the Kayser, Japan, etc, but every day people is suffering for the dictatorship of Yushenko, after the dictatorship of Kuma, after the dictatorship of Communism, after...
The democracy is not in Ukrania now and I´m afraid that it will take a lot of time.

Jeff Mowatt, London, UK

For some, the Orange Revolution has been accomplished but there's another perspective, that of the Ukrainians Civil Rights movement who've spent years behind the scene constructing what we've seen in the last few months.
Being somewhat bemused at the idea of their revolution being funded by the US, they have a plain message. If the Yuschenko goverment fails to deliver democracy, it will be replaced by one which can.
Yes, Ukraine is a natural member of our European partnership and we'll give democracy a boost by empowering its people at the grassroots level, raising economic standards for its citizens and offering them a chance to be heard with an up-to-date communications infrastructure.

Mathew, Poland

To Francisco M. Alcalá: Mr. Professor, I of course don‚t feel strong to discuss with You about history but fact about „UPA‰ and nazis cooperation is well known in East Europe. But I think it‚s not argument in appraisal of Orange Revolution. The situation in East Europe in both world wars wasn‚t happy, front lines have removing, fight every nation against all others and The God against everyone. Third Reich and USSR signed on 23.08.1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact about their futures border on Vistula river. Since september‚39 Hitler founded nazi hell on his side and Stalin founded communist hell on his side. In 1941 Hitler declared war upon USSR, Stalin become Uncle Joe and UPA have welcomed Wehrmacht as liberators. Madrid, London, UPA, no one could believed before 1945 in Holocaust. After 1989 Central and East Europe cooperate and believe in EU fundament: conciliation and condonation. UPA is history.
Kuczma and company were ready to sold Ukrainian independence for own power and business. Juszczenko had to cooperate with all other powers: liberals, socialists and old-fashion nationalists. I surprise that You call him dictator. He turn Ukraine west, he agree to EU watch his hands. Why shouldn‚t we give him a chance? There are two processes in today‚s Ukraine: Juszczenko coalition corrosion and changes in East and Crimea point of view. People understood that Orange vs. Blue battle is not confrontation between Ukrainian and Russian spoken people. That is confrontation of two visions of state. Ukraine can be bilingual liberal democracy like Canada. Quebec don‚t want to back to France just because of language...
I see one dangerous thing in Your point of view. About Kiev destination. In 1990 Samuel Hutington wrote that ex communist Europe will for sure become area of corruption,
war and military dictatorship. In brief: poor little Slavs, they don‚t know democracy (What about Russian Novogrod and Polish-Lithuanian republics, not perfect but existed for long time before Oliver Cromwell?∑). He was right only about corruption fortunately. After a couple of years he wrote „The Clash of Civilizations‰ and draw border of „West‰ across Ukraine. In brief: poor East Christians?... East Ukraine 350 years ago drop from Poland and join to Russia not because of some civilization, culture or nation issue. Poland wouldn‚t let Zaporogian Cossacks into parliament and share with them „Golden Freedom‰. Cossacks decided to look for (stolen by Poles) freedom in Russia.
I only ask You to drop stereotype „West best, East beast‰. I don‚t know if all people around the world want to be liberate by USA. When I talking with Ukrainians or Russians I don‚t see any „clash of civilization‰. Some people don‚t believe in Orange Revolution but in new EU members conspiracy for US money against Russia. Some people would say that there is in Central Europe some anti-Russia phobia. But things looks different from Warsaw and Vilnus and from Los Angeles or Seville. In East Europe is still big wish for democracy, but some states are turned to different ways. Economy and simple peoples relations between Russia and it‚s west neighbors are developing very well, but our neighbor is the biggest world‚s state so we watch the situation on east very carefully and sometimes do „hysteric‰ reactions to be heared. Do anyone remember when Kuczma sold „Kolczuga‰ anti-aircraft systems to Saddam‚s Iraq? Undemocratic states don‚t guarantied stabilization but exports destabilization. I just think that failure of democracy in East Europe could be the biggest geopolitical catastrophe in XXI century. It didn‚t fail yet and don‚t have to fail, but world must watch it carefully.