by Jim Heintz
The Associated Press
Friday, October 29, 2004, 5:01AM
Kiev, Ukraine – In a sharp statement of dismay over abuses and official interference before Sunday’s presidential election, U.S. officials say Ukraine could face punitive measures if the vote is not free and fair.
Well, I’ll be damned. Ukrainians in Florida, messing with our election. What the hell will be next? No, wait—it’s their presidential election that U. S. officials are all huffied-up about. The United States, not three days distant from its own presidential election (which will for the first time have European Union observers and which election-watcher Jimmy Carter says is totally out of control) is actually threatening another sovereign nation with sanctions over electoral irregularity.
It just boggles the mind. Consider me boggled.
Irony brought to a new level of definition—it’s always been one of those dicey words to actually define, although we all think we know what’s meant when someone says “that’s ironic” or “isn’t it ironic that the only afternoon I can get away to the post office they close at noon?” I foresee irony ever-after-today defined by example in the new and updated Webster’s Collegiate as: “America threatening Ukraine with electoral misconduct in the midst of its own election scandals.”
The U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a mouthful in its own right, said “If the election fails to meet international standards, a variety of measures to hold officials responsible for electoral misconduct accountable will be considered.” Wow! A variety of measures. “Bilateral relations and integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions will suffer.” Tough words, but those ex-commie countries need tough love.
So, okay, the Ukraine election is Sunday. Do you suppose they can get this U.S. Mission on an airplane in time to check out Florida in the Tuesday election? I mean Ukraine is huge compared to Florida. Broward County ought to be a piece of cake. The Mission in Ukraine also made a stink about the ‘recent beating of peaceful protesters by Interior Ministry employees.’ At least in this country we haven’t yet fallen to such deplorable standards. Unless, just maybe you find the jailing of 1,800 peaceful protesters during the Republican Convention in New York a bit Ukrainian—particularly strange in that after three days in the slammer all charges were dropped just as the convention broke its tents and silently stole away. Not to say the Democrats are blameless. Six were arrested during their convention. That’s 3/1000 of one percent of the Republican head-count. Unconscionable. Those Democrats are so unmotivated.
So get these Mission guys over here pronto, don’t spare the jet-fuel, we need all hands on deck. Bilateral relations are suffering in heartland Ohio and stretched pretty thin in that little prick of land off the southeast coast called Florida. There’s rumors of widespread dismay over abuses among the urban minorites. And someone, surely a governor here, perhaps a state’s attorney there, needs to face punitive measures.
My God, America deserves—and must demand—at least the same freedoms as Ukraine!