Thursday, April 14, 2005

Ukrainians Will Withdraw From Iraq by Year's End

Countries continue to pull out of the bloody mess better known as Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Next in line is Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko, who today signed a decree to withdraw all of his country's troops from Iraq by years’ end. He already pulled out 1,600 troops this past March, some say due to the country's public opinion: Most were against the war and allegedly disgusted by the fact 18 Ukrainians lost their lives to peddle U.S. democracy.

But the timing is questionable: Yushchenko visited the White House to meet with President Bush on April 4, 2005. What did the two discuss to have Yushchenko return to his country, think about the conversation with Bush and then declare his country's involvement in Iraq officially over?

Apparently Bush promised millions of dollars to fortify the Ukrainian democracy—as an additional supplement to an exisiting appropriations bill. Reported the Washington Post: "In that light, Bush noted yesterday that he has requested $60 million to help cement Ukrainian democracy as part of a larger supplemental appropriations bill. But he did not mention that the House has cut that request to $33.7 million. Nor did he mention his administration's decision to cut 46 percent of funding for democracy and civil society programs in the former Soviet Union over the past four years."

Maybe Yushchenko saw through Bush’s lies, prompting him to end Ukrainian support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq. (Or maybe after supposedly being poisioned by an opponent he isn't scared of anyone—not even Bush and his cronies.)

When hearing this news, how did Bush respond?

"Mr. Bush thanked Ukraine for its contribution in Iraq, and said he understands Mr. Yushchenko's need to fulfill a pledge to have the troops return home, " according to a VOA report.

But Bush doesn’t. He didn't make that pledge.

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