Orange DC

With the death of the pope and the Nats actually playing a real game, it may be going unnoticed (or undernoticed) at home, but President Yushenko was in Washington yesterday. So a far a few interesting things have been announced, none of them really suprising; cooperation against fighting AIDS, weapons proliferation prevention, more Chernobyl work, (overdue) elimination of Jackson-Vanik, and elimination of visa requirements for Americans (with reduced fees for Ukrainians). So far so good.

What absolutely killed me was reading a transcript of the joint press conference held by Bush and Yushenko. The American press has an opportunity here to ask questions of a man who led a globally known, successful, peaceful, and democratic revolution, a man who helped to change the geo-political landscape of the post-Soviet space, a man who emerged from an assination attempt to become a democratically elected President in a country that didn't even exit 15 years ago, and let's see what they can come up with:

Ukraine and Italy and other allies will withdraw their forces from Iraq. Why should the United States continue to pay most of the cost and suffer most of the casualties when our allies are leaving? - Terry Hunt

Mr. President, did you hear a clear position of Ukraine concerning its participation in NATO? And is America ready to support Ukraine in joining the Membership Action Plan this year? Thank you. - UNK

Thank you. How do you think this Pope has affected America's spiritual and political life? And how much weight did you give to his opposition to the Iraq war? -Steve Holland

I have a question for both Presidents, but primarily for Mr. Yushchenko. What will be the American-Ukrainian cooperation in Iraq after the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops? And could you please give some details? -UNK

Are you kidding me? Four Questions total. Three of them are about Iraq. One manages to be about the Pope AND Iraq and has nothing at all to do with Ukraine. ONE question was about US-Ukrainian relations. NO questions were posed about issues like, oh, the recently revealed sale of nuclear-capable cruise missiles from Ukraine to China and Iran, possible prosecution of the Gongadze incident (guess the western media isn't interested in the ACTUAL execution of journalists, just baseless accusations of it), potential prosecution of the Yanukovich-Kuchma axis for election fraud, or revisiting of past privatization efforts undertaken in Ukraine.

Shame on you, White House press corps.

UPDATE: Bloggledygook has similar thoughts.