Greatest test for Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s embattled president, is facing the greatest test since his election. His first meeting with Vladimir Putin has been surrounded by controversy. Advocates of the hardline are back at it in the Maidan, threatening violence if Zelensky chooses anything that approaches compromise. The Fascist Azov battalion and veterans’ groups pressure him to ratchet up the Donbass conflict.
Moreover, Zelensky is a top figure in the current impeachment discussion. As information seeps out to the public, Ukraine’s legitimacy is placed into question. Instead of the symbol of liberty so freely depicted by American media, Ukraine looks like a dysfunctional state, ripe with corruption and factionalism. Indeed, American media tried to build up Zelensky predecessor Petro Poroshenko as an emerging Winston Churchill. Poroshenko, the wonder-man, lost by 40 points to Zelensky.
No doubt the nation builders in Washington are surprised that their latest democracy project has proven so difficult. Americans that have visited Kiev from the United States have behaved like a pro-consular American imperialist aspirations from the Ukraine. Bolivia and Hong Kong are in full view. All supported by a state department whose goal is to create non-functional states.
Certainly the lessons of Vietnam, Iraq, Lebanon and Ukraine have not been learned. The suggestion box is full with humanitarian promises backed up by brutal firepower. Moreover, our “allies” are treated more like unruly children then leaders of independent states.
Now one leader has cast doubt on that high-handed approach and that is President Donald Trump. He questioned the policy from the beginning and found himself undercut by the Congress and the state department. Amazing that until recently Ukraine united the Republicans and Democratic party. With the phone call between Zelensky and Trump, the Ukraine became divisive. Republicans rallied behind the president while repudiating their old position concerning Kiev.
Trump, unlike his party, remains consistent on Ukraine. He urged Zelensky to come to some accommodation with Putin, only to be criticized for not entering into a new Cold War. Enter John Bolton, who undermined the president. Trump turned to Rudy Giuliani and the “drug deal” as Bolton described it unfolded. Because irresponsible bureaucrats pushed an anti-Russian policy, Trump got embroiled in the miasma in Ukraine.
It has not been Trump who has been irresponsible in Ukraine, quite the contrary. Never say die neo-Conservatives, pig-headed and determined, pushed a policy not only aggressive in its approach to Russia but reckless.
Trump made a grievous mistake by linking arms to an attempt to discredit former Vice President Joe Biden. But what was Biden doing when he tried to intervene against a Ukrainian judge? His approach epitomizes the pro-counsul approach to Kiev. Biden, as many before him, pretended that they were the real rulers in Ukraine. It symbolizes the arrogance of power.