Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#7 - JRL 8476 - JRL Home
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004
From: "Jerry Hough, Ph.D." <jhough@duke.edu>
Subject: re Ukraine

It is discouraging that Ukraine is viewed exclusively through a foreign policy prism, especially one that is several decades out of date. Those in the future will look back with some wonder at Americans being preoccupied with strengthening Europe at precisely the time when the dollar is beginning to lose its dominance and when the American power position vis-a-vis Europe is in long range decline--and maybe medium-range decline.

But more important, Iraq should be our preoccupation. The pending privatization of oil in Iraq makes the issues excruciatingly difficult, and the only visible solution is the kind of decentralization that was the essence of the decision of the US Constitutional Convention. When dealing with Ukraine, we should be defining democracy not as the imposition of a set of values of one region on another, but a system of checks-and-balances and decentralization that permits considerable cultural autonomy for all regions. If we had an ideology based on the American model of democracy and were applying it fairly generally, we would be much more credible in promoting nation-building and democracy wherever we act, including Ukraine.