Thursday, December 02, 2004

Beware of the Enemy's Enemy

About four times out of five my enemy's enemy usually is my friend in just about any political or strategic tussle. However this general principle should not be taken to be a universal law. The Ukraine imbroglio shows this starkly in two ways.

Firstly there is the case of what America is doing. There is a pro-European Union candidate who favours withdrawing his country's troops from Iraq in short order. Not only is his favourable attitude to Europe not a hindrance for American support (before and after the election) but it is actually more important to America than his attitude on Iraq. (By the way Tories - do you notice how popular withdrawal can be as an election issue - even if you initially supported the war). It should be clear as daylight that supporting America will not automatically loose us from Europe.

The other side are my own side. Yuschenko may not be the angel that the press portray him, however this does not make the other guy squeaky clean. They are both crooks. Yes Western Ukraine stuffed ballot boxes, but so did the Easterners. Yes Nazis like Yuschenko, but Stalinists like Yanukovich. Yes David Aaronovitch is a fool who substitutes Google for actually researching a story, but that doesn't mean that we should jump in to defend Yanukovich. They are both crooks, they are both East Europeans, they are both politicians.

We should not be looking to foreigners to get us out of sticky entanglements. We must rely on Ourselves Alone.


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