Wednesday, December 01, 2004

In need of heroes

There's a bit of a bitch fight going on between (at the moment) John Laughland and David Aaronovitch and Justin Raimondo has joined in. While I am not too enamoured of John Laughland's urge to counterbalance the undoubted bias towards Yushchenko and other pro-Westerners by overlooking some of the warts of the pro-Moscow Yanukovich, it is fairly clear that Aaronovitch's journalism-lite is out of order. It seems that both Aaronovitch and Laughland have both got caught in the trap of hero worship - just different heroes. At least John Laughland gets marks for originality (and balance).

On another point - although clearly a large majority of Yushchenko's people are not neo-Nazis is Aaronovitch seriously claiming that there are no neo-Nazis around the anti-Russian elements of Ukraine. As anyone who has followed politics in that part of the world knows (a la Croatia or Slovakia) the pro-Nazis do tend to gravitate towards whoever is anti-Russia. That doesn't make the anti-Russian parties wrong, the attention is probably unwelcome, it just is a fact of life around there.

I suppose it all goes to show that there are no such things as heroes when foreign politicians are involved.

No surprise that Aaronovitch finds the very idea of an "opposition" candidate cheating - even with a large number of local authorities supporting him - to be scandalous. It all reminds me of the American Republicans who will go on endlessly about how Nixon was cheated in 1960 by the graveyard vote in Chicago while being scandalised by suggestion of Republican no-goodniks operating in Southern Illinois. Or for that matter Democrats who go on about hanging chads while ignoring the extraordinary turnouts and voter registration drives in Philadelphia.


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