Blowing In the Wind

What was George Bush up to? Until last week, he was busily trying to bolster President Mikhail Gorbachev in his struggle to keep the Soviet Union intact. Then on Thanksgiving eve Bush's staff leaked a startling message: the U.S. was ready to recognize an independent Ukraine -- even before Ukrainians had voted for it in a referendum.

Part of the explanation could be traced to last August, when the botched Soviet coup gave the Baltic republics the final opening to bolt from the U.S.S.R. The U.S. dragged its feet in recognizing their independence, and Bush's critics wondered why he had taken...

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