Faithful readers might recall that in an earlier post, your host, El Jefe Maximo, doubted the wisdom of US fishing in the Ukraine's troubled electoral waters, chiefly because such a course would antagonize the Russians without a commensurate return. (See 29 November 2004 post).
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation in the Ukraine, and however laudable the objectives of the US in seeking a fair election there, other powers also have foreign policy objectives and the means to pursue them. It gives El Jefe no pleasure to note the appearance of the first fruits of the US decision to speak up on behalf of Ukraine: Agence France-Presse (never adverse to chortling at American difficulties) reports today that Russian President Vladimir Putin, while receiving Iraqi Prime-Minister Iyad Allawi today at the Kremlin, stated that he "cannot imagine" how genuinely free and fair elections could be held in Iraq next month, given that Iraq is under "total occupation" by foreign troops.
Short of avoiding trouble with China over Taiwan, and making sure North Korea does not boil over, the US has no more important foreign policy objective at the moment than driving a wedge between the Russians on the one hand, and the Germans and French on the other. Compared to that, the Ukraine is a secondary issue. At the risk of repetition, El Jefe thinks the US is acting most unwisely as to the Ukraine.
As Al Capone might have said: "If he gonna mess with me, I'm gonna mess with him."