Bush Speaks Out on Ukraine

Reader John Thacker passes along this Associated Press dispatch, which appears to answer my call for a personal statement on the crisis:

Bush: World Watching Ukraine’s Crisis

President Bush warned Friday that the world “is watching very closely” as Ukraine tries to sort through charges of vote fraud following a disputed presidential election in the former Soviet republic.

The United States and other Western nations contend that massive fraud marked the presidential runoff election in the Ukraine, and its highest court has ordered election officials not to publish the results until an appeal is heard next week.

Bush, speaking to reporters covering his vacation visit here, said he hopes a clear and credible winner would emerge.

“There’s just a lot of allegations of vote fraud that placed the result of the election in doubt,” he said as he entered a restaurant near his ranch.

“The international community is watching very carefully,” the president said. “People are paying very close attention to this and, hopefully, it will be resolved in a way that brings credit and confidence to the Ukrainian government.”

While I salute Bush for publicly addressing the issue, I’m afraid that I must persist in asking for a firmer stance. Why? In reading the actual transcript of his statement, he avoids the fundamental question (emphasis added):

Q Mr. President, what are the consequences if Ukraine does not comply with international pressure and demands on the elections? And do you think that President Putin overstepped his bounds?

THE PRESIDENT: There’s just a lot of allegations of vote fraud that placed their election — the validity of their elections in doubt. The international community is watching very carefully. People are paying very close attention to this, and hopefully it will be resolved in a way that brings credit and confidence to the Ukrainian government.

It’s nice to know that we have monitors. But what about Russia’s involvement? What about broader foreign policy implications in the region? Where’s the discussion of democracy promotion and national security — the central tenets of his agenda?

I hope that this statement is just the first of many yet to come. But we’ll see.

FILED UNDER: Europe, General
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Comments

  1. John Thacker says:

    Well, as president of the US there is a concern about being too heavy-handed. Especially when the Guardian has writers already accusing that “the campaign is an American creation.” Interesting reading in any case, that Grauniad article.

  2. Davod says:

    And everyone thinks Bush is dumb – A number of countries are questioning the legitimacy of the election. The press is doing a good job of keeping the Ukraine in the headlines.

    Why would beating Putin over the head in public result in anything that is not already in process.

    Bush said exactly the right thing in public.

    And we don’t need to know what is being done in the background. That’s what diplomacy is all about.

  3. Coca Bogdan says:

    I really can’t belive that Bush it’s again the US pressident…when so many people voted the other candite just because “we nead a change”

  4. Ret Automoton says:

    Pathetic! What a whore, how dare dubya and his trusty sidekick Powell have a thing to say about any election anywhere! They want to talk about voting irregularities? After more than 30 members asked for International oversight of this coutry’s last election, and dubya thinks he has a leg to stand on. We don’t even have elections in our new plutocratic oligarchy.

  5. McGehee says:

    Coca, Ret, let’s go over this just one more time:

    61 million votes for Bush

    58 million votes for Kerry.

    61 million is MORE THAN 58 million.

    This has been your Fundamentals of Arithmetic lesson for today.