Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Getting Bullish on Belarus

Bob at Abdymok is, anyways - issuing the call to Bush and Yushchenko to lead the charge in bringing freedom and democracy to Europe's last dictatorship:

yushchenko in his inaugural address on jan. 23 declared that ukraine will be “a reliable partner” in the fight against old and new threats, including tyranny and terrorism.

bush declared three days earlier in his own second inaugural address that the u.s. would “seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

there's no better place to turn these words into deeds than belarus.


belarusian pro-democratic organizations say that the efforts of most foreign donors, many kyiv-based, have been at best lacking in imagination and at worst self-defeating.

the only way to change belarus is to fight lukashenko — to aid the opposition, to discourage investment in the country, to do everything short of arming an insurgency. pro-democracy groups from belarus should not only be welcomed in kyiv. they should openly be coddled by the new kyiv government, and fed, financed and trained. and equipped.

the past policy of issuing grants only to belarusian non-governmental organizations should be replaced by flexible programs designed to identify and support those who are literally risking their necks to combat tyranny at home.

support must come out of the fog of official “dialogues” and “cultural exchanges” and flood across the polish ukrainian and lithuanian borders to minsk.

this means renting dozens of apartments in kyiv, warsaw and vilnius, buying computers and memory sticks and openly, transparently, publicly supporting the belarusian people.

all of them, all the time. afterall, there aren't many left.

both bush and yushchenko have at their disposal a wide range of diplomatic, informational, and economic tools that can be used to jettison europe’s last dictator.

the time to start using them is yesterday.

Amen, brother. Amen.


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