Monday, March 20, 2006

The Logical Conclusion

As expected, Oleksander Lukashenka stole the election in Belarus. As expected, his friend Vladimir Putin congratulated him. Meanwhile Independent observers condemned the whole fraudulent process and protests continue in Miensk. Lukashenka is a parody bad guy- the question now is how far he can be pushed. The EU condemns him, as does the US. Isolating him, however drives him into the hands of Putin- who does not give a cuss for Belarusian freedom- indeed, if he thinks of it at all, he probably opposes it.

So- will the West challenge Putin? I am holding my breath, but I have a candle in my window for the victims of the Belarusian KGB and their vile leader. If Putin is serious about reform, let him get rid of this joke president- as he is certainly able to do- if he is not serious, then he will continue to tolerate him. Either way, the West can draw its own conclusions- as it already is about the reliability of the Russian Federation as a supplier of energy. Until the white-red-white flag flies again as the legitimate flag of a democratic state, we should recognise that Putin is not a government that we can "do business with" in any normal sense.

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