Vice President Biden made a high level and risky visit to the Ukraine yesterday to accomplish what? Here is a list:
- Demonstrate to Ukrainians that the United States is supporting their pursuit of freedom.
- Demonstrate to Russia that the United States intends to support a free and fair election process.
- Encourage Ukrainians that their future can be controlled by their actions and intentions, and that alignment with Russia is not an automatic default option.
Step back, way back, to establish the political context. The Ukraine has become a dysfunctional government and the US and EU believe that this is due to vast corruption. The corruption and dysfunction in government has zapped the nation’s resources and has driven the economy into deep debt from which it cannot recover without outside assistance. Part of that enormous debt load is owed to Russians. Some might argue that the debt is contrived of created surreptitiously through corruption related to exploiting the nation’s need for fuel. How it happened was the result of government policy, energy strategy, economic policy, and political decisions.
As for Russia, the nation has been improving economically, however indications are that it is still below average on quality of life indices. The Russian government is more autocratic than democratic. The leadership is a revolving door that the people either support and love, or for which they have tolerance as there is no other choice. The balance of power in the country is in the hands of the political elite who are former USSR stalwarts.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, capitalists have advanced their control of America. A wealthy minority of persons and their corporations and Political Action Committees have garnered unfair control of the political system by manipulating their interpretation of freedoms. They have employed their power to corrupt the process. A compromised Congress for which leadership is aligned with wealthy constituents have used the Courts to exploit weakness in the law for which the Congress has no intention or motivation to correct. The tug for power between the Executive branch and Legislative branch is visible for all to see, and the jury is out onto which side the will of the people will land in Elections 2014 and 2016.
In conclusion, we see a spectrum of instances of nations whose governments have failed its citizens in matters of degrees. In the Ukraine instance, government collapsed as the people attempt to erect a new one with much outside interference, and much needed economic assistance. In the Russian instance, we see a new-style government that made some progress, but by its aggressive actions has begged for punishment by the free world that will pound it back for decades into subpar performance and likely disruption. In the instance of the United States, the government has fallen into a state of dysfunction, but the system is designed for self-repair so long as the people controlling it are not corrupted by wealth and greed at the expense of the will of the people.
Oddly, Americans have dispatched their Number 2 leader to assist the failed Ukrainians while back at home he is unable to promote collaboration and consensus.
“In Kiev, Biden pledges support for fair election, help to weather economic pressure
By Scott Wilson, Will Englund and William Booth, Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 6:39 AM
KIEV, Ukraine — Vice President Biden pledged American support Tuesday to help Ukraine stage a successful presidential election next month and to defy Russian economic pressure, but he also warned Ukrainian leaders that they must confront the nation’s rampant official corruption to meet the high political demands of a frustrated public.
Speaking to a group of Ukrainian lawmakers that included three presidential candidates, Biden said the political unrest here in the capital and Russian threats in eastern border regions present a “second opportunity to make good on the promise of the Orange Revolution,” the 2004 post-election uprising that led to the nullification of a rigged presidential vote won by pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych.”