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December 26, 2004

Freedom's Century Takes Another Baby Step

Great for the Ukraine:

Pro-West opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko claimed victory in Ukraine's historic presidential election rerun, telling supporters the vote was a triumph for the country and proclaiming that "now we are free" from dominance by neighboring Russia.

Speaking in a hall at his campaign headquarters packed with journalists and campaign activists, the man who led the "orange revolution" that shook Ukraine for weeks said: "It has happened.

"For 14 years we have been independent, but now we are free. This is a victory for the Ukrainian people, for the Ukrainian nation," the 50-year-old opposition leader and former prime minister said as his audience broke into applause and chants of "Yu-shchenk-ko! Yu-shchen-ko!"

Yushchenko appeared in public as the central election commission reported that he held a 16-point lead over his pro-Russian opponent, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, with more than 63 percent of the country's precincts reporting results.

The commission credited Yushchenko with 55.98 percent of the vote, compared to 40.2 percent for Yanukovich. Three independent exit polls published at the close of voting Sunday gave Yushchenko at least a 15-point lead over his rival.


Al Hunt was quick to point out that a mere 15 advantage does not constitute a "mandate." Ellis Hellican suggested immediately that Yushchenko "reach out" to the opposition who poisoned him and show "political goodwill" by immediately accepting the re-subjugation of the Ukraine by Russia.

"It's the only way to show that Yushchenko is really serious about 'uniting' the Ukraine," Paul Krugman mused.

"Today we are turning the page on human disrespect, censorship, lies and violence," he said. "People who were dragging the country toward the abyss are today stepping into the past."

Dan Rather is still waiting for the returns from three districts in Kiev to make the CBSNews projection. "Right now it's as tight as hemhorroidal tick's butthole," Rather mused, although he did allow that Yushcheko had declared victory "as he sees it and he decrees it."

Peter Jennings could only observe that the people of the Ukraine had a "temper tantrum" today. "And so sad," he went on, "the day after we celebrate the birth of a semi-important religious philosopher."


Yushchenko, whose support is strongest in the agrarian, nationalist Ukrainian-speaking west of the country has pledged to lead Ukraine toward eventual membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Michael Moore called this as an engineered "coup" by rightist military interests determined to "expand the hegemonic American Empire" still further East.

He also said something about some Trans-fucking-Caspian pipeline or something, but his words were garbled by the presence of upwards of seven partially-chewed bearclaws in his mouth.


Apart from the national and international tensions it has generated, the Ukrainian election campaign was marked by a dioxin poisoning episode that took Yushchenko off the stump last September with a severe illness that has left his face sallow, puffy and pock-marked.

Yushchenko has insisted it was an attempt to murder him. He fell ill the day after having dinner with the chief of Ukraine's SBU intelligence service, Ihor Smeshko, who has denied that he or his agency had any role in the poisoning.

Donations for Ihor Smeshko's scheduled funeral should instead be sent to MoveOn.org, in order to insure that the 22nd Amendment is not changed in order to allow President Bush a third term.

MoveOn.org-- Your Oxymoronic Soft-Money Slush-Fund.

Nice little bonus:

He doesn't look half-bad at this point.

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