The winner of Ukraine's presidential vote, Viktor Yushchenko, said on Sunday withdrawing the nation's troops from Iraq will be a priority for him once he takes office, after an accidental blast killed seven Ukrainian soldiers there. "Viktor Yushchenko sends deep condolences to the families of Ukrainian peacekeepers who died in Iraq today," said a statement released by his press office. "Insofar as withdrawing Ukraine's peacekeeping contingent from Iraq, it remains one of Yushchenko's priorities once he assumes office," the statement said. The seven Ukrainian troops, along with one Kazakh soldier, died after a bomb they were about to defuse went off accidentally in Iraq's central Wasit region, where Ukrainian and Kazakh troops serve under Polish control, Kiev's defence ministry said. Another seven Ukrainian and four Kazakh troops were injured as a result of the accident, which occurred at 12.05pm after a team of Kazakh sappers and their Ukrainian back-up had brought back to defuse about 35 aerial bombs that Iraqi police had found stashed near the central military base of As Suwayrah. After the bombs were unloaded from their transport vehicles one of them exploded for reasons that are still being investigated, the ministry said. About 1,600 Ukrainian troops have been deployed since August 2003 in Iraq's Wasit region, where US-led coalition forces are under Polish command. Prior to today's deaths, Ukraine has lost nine of its troops, with another 20 injured. In the heat of Ukraine's election saga last month, parliament in Kiev approved a resolution that demanded outgoing President Leonid Kuchma withdraw Ukrainian soldiers from Iraq."
Sad. A man who owes so much to external/international pressure put on his enemies - the enemies of freedom and democracy - (and who also owes much of his success to the external/external support given to his party), is withdrawing support for other human beings who are struggling to gain freedom and democracy.
I think that - (a) in light of the loss of brave Ukrainian troops in Iraq, and (b) the fact that he would NOT have ascended to power without this external/international support - Yuschenko should've reconsidered, and decided to keep the Ukrainian troops in Iraq. I think that if Yuschenko goes through with it, that he is, in effect, withdrawing from the Coalition of the Willing and joining the "Coalition of the Ungrateful" - along with France and Germany and Spain, (the nations of Old Europe which have forgotten the cost of freedom, and are unwilling to do for others what was done for them after WW2).
Certainly, it's within his right and power to withdraw the troops - and campaign pledges are imporant, BUT... the higher good - in this case, supporting the Iraqis in their hour of need as they seek to attain their universal Human Rights (as the Free World helped Ukrainians) - is MORE important.
Some argue that the efforts of the USA and the Coalition of the Willing are doomed to fail because "democracy cannot be imposed."
I say this is hogwash! Democracy is NEVER imposed. WHY?! Because freedom is a natural, innate gift all humans are born with, AND democracy is the only mutually consensual way for free people to act collectively and have self-rule.
Rather, it is TYRANNY which is imposed on free people. This is why it's called LIBERATION when tyrannies are cast off: because people are freed from what is imposed on them, and their innate freedom is all that's left! That's why the effort in Iraq is properly called a LIBERATION: we have removed the tyranny that was imposed on the Iraqis by Saddam and the Baathists, and are now engaged in a war with fanatical counter-revolutionaries who are trying to impose a religious tyranny on them. We are fighting them in order to give the Iraqis an opportunity to arrange for self-rule and democracy.
It would be nice if the Ukrainians did ALL they could to help. Apparently - like Spain, and France, and Germany - they will do less than they can - and LESS THAN THEY SHOULD. Like I said: it's sad. It reflects badly on them, and NOT on the noble efforts of the Coalition of the Willing to help our brothers in sisters in Iraq gain their universal human rights.