Monday, December 20, 2004

I'm supposed to feel sorry for the KGB?

So according to the Times, Viktor Yushchenko was nearly killed and I'm supposed to feel sorry for the KGB (or as they like to call it, the SBU).

When asked how he reacted to being mentioned publicly as a suspect, General Smeshko [head of the KGB -- no I won't stop calling it that], who has two young sons, answered with a question. "How would you like it if your kids asked you, 'Did you do it, Dad?'" he said, locking eyes with a reporter for several long moments.

My heart? It bleeds.

Apparently Yushchenko 'has used the poisoning almost as a theme in his campaign, but has not fully cooperated with the authorities' Would these be the same authorities that helped rig the election? The fact is that he was poisoned, and he's running against the current president's chosen candidate. How is the poisoning not going to come up? As far as I'm concerned he can walk around saying "Leonid Kuchma had me poisoned" and I don't think he's stepped over any lines. If you don't want people to treat you like a dirty Soviet leader, well then you shouldn't act like one.

Now, I get what is being implied here, that Yushchenko isn't as clean as everyone wants him to be. It's quite possible that this is true, but I know he's a lot cleaner than the other candidates, and he has the added benefit of not being Putin's bitch. Are we only allowed to support someone if they are an angel? Because if so, I think we can safely get rid of our entire leadership (good idea Lemon!)

Finding the real cause seems unlikely for now. A thorough investigation would require a reconstruction of Mr. Yushchenko's meetings, movements and meals, but Mr. Yushchenko, busy with his campaign, has not been of much help.

I'm going to suggest -- now bear with me here -- that Yushchenko has every reason to be spending his time focused on the election. Because, if you recall, it was nearly stolen from him already. And -- now this may be a leap -- he might not have very much reason to trust the officials looking into the matter.

Doubt has now been cast on whether he was poisoned at dinner the night before he became ill. According to the various reports, it seems quite possible that he was not poisoned that evening. However, the opposition is treating it like he made up a fanciful story, even though it is probably the conclusion that any rational person would draw -- rightly or not.

"It is a stupid theory," [Mr Zhvaniya -- a parliamentarian and member of a commission on organised crime] said "The poisoning could have happened at any moment. He was always touring. He met hundreds of people in hundreds of places. To link it to that evening can be called only paranoia."

But, as they say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. And given that he was poisoned, I'd say that they are indeed out to get him.

"Mr. Zhvaniya said that if Mr. Yushchenko had been intentionally poisoned, he believed it probably occurred while he was in the Crimea in late August. He also said the most likely suspect was an organized crime figure, perhaps collaborating with Russia and members of Mr. Kuchma's administration."

IF he was intentionally poisoned? Now what are they suggesting? "Ooops, I meant to put sugar in your coffee, but I used dioxin by mistake". Oh, yeah, this guy doesn't sound guilty at all.

Mr. Zhvaniya... said he had listened to a taped conversation of a Russian crime figure offering to help a member of the Kuchma administration. "He more than once offered his services in poisoning, or removal," he said. When pressed for a copy of the audiotape, he declined. "After the election," he said.

Okay. Where to go with this one? Yushchenko is being uncooperative? And Zhvaniya is doubting that he was intentionally poisoned when he has heard a known criminal offering to kill him on tape? I have a question for you Mr. Zhvaniya: did you hear this tape before or after they tried to kill him? Or am I being paranoid?

And what do Kuchma's people have to say about all this?

Mr. Kuchma's family, which also has said it was not involved, said the dacha theory [that he was poisoned at dinner the night before he became ill] was foolish. Any government wanting to kill an opponent, the family's line of thinking goes, would not try it at a meeting with government officials. "I think they are not kamikazes," said Viktor M. Pinchuk, Mr. Kuchma's son-in-law and a member of Parliament.

So you see, it's not that they wouldn't consider this kind of thing, they just wouldn't be stupid enough to poison him in person. This Yushchenko guy sounds dirtier and dirtier. Imagine allowing people to think that Kuchma might be involved! He should be taken out back and shot by the KGB! (I don't mean it guys, don't go getting any ideas)

The news media have also written, based on a comment by one of Mr. Yushchenko's doctors, that dioxin might have been slipped into his soup. No soup was served at the dacha that night, the three men who dined with Mr. Yushchenko said.

No soup was served?! You know, I'm starting to think that maybe he wasn't poisoned at all. It's just a bad case of adult acne. Alright, that's solved, bring home the international monitors and call off the election. Clearly, Yushchenko is not fit to be in charge.

Claims by Yushchenko's wife that she tasted something medicinal on his lips the night before he became ill have also been called into question:

"She is a normal woman, and to her with the words K.G.B. and S.B.U. comes an unreasonable reaction, the more so because she was brought up in the United States"

Crazy Americans! Always bashing the KGB! A Soviet institution can't catch a break.

It's not that I object to the New York Times investingating this, clearly someone needs to get to the bottom of it all. But I have a problem with the tone of the article suggesting that Yushchenko has been acting suspiciously when the people who they've been talking to all sound -- how do I say this nicely? -- a little Soviet. If you want to look into Yushchenko's behaviour, maybe you could find someone non-corrupt to interview.

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