Friday :: Nov 26, 2004

Offshoring The Outrage

by pessimist

Isn't it bad enough that Bu$hCo manipulates American elections without them going to the Other Nuclear Power and messing around over there?

US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev

Ukraine, traditionally passive in its politics, has been mobilised by the young democracy activists and will never be the same again. With their websites and stickers, their pranks and slogans aimed at banishing widespread fear of a corrupt regime, the democracy guerrillas of the Ukrainian Pora youth movement have already notched up a famous victory - whatever the outcome of the dangerous stand-off in Kiev.

But while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.

Are we sure that shouldn't be 'rigged elections and topple regimes unsavoury to Bu$hCo'?

The operation - engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience - is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people's elections.

Is this starting to sound like Florida 2000 to you?

The campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box. Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze.

Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko. That one failed. "There will be no Kostunica in Belarus," the Belarus president declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade.

But experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev.

Note well the following paragraphs:

Last year, before becoming president in Georgia, the US-educated Mr Saakashvili travelled from Tbilisi to Belgrade to be coached in the techniques of mass defiance. In Belarus, the US embassy organised the dispatch of young opposition leaders to the Baltic, where they met up with Serbs travelling from Belgrade. In Serbia's case, given the hostile environment in Belgrade, the Americans organised the overthrow from neighbouring Hungary - Budapest and Szeged.

Whose Side Are They On?

The Democratic party's National Democratic Institute, the Republican party's International Republican Institute, the US state department and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros's open society institute.

Freedom House and the Democratic party's NDI helped fund and organise the "largest civil regional election monitoring effort" in Ukraine, involving more than 1,000 trained observers. They also organised exit polls. On Sunday night those polls gave Mr Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed.

The exit polls are seen as critical because they seize the initiative in the propaganda battle with the regime, invariably appearing first, receiving wide media coverage and putting the onus on the authorities to respond.

Are the Democrats practicing to reclaim power in the US, or are they just being used by the Republicans to KEEP them from reclaiming power at home?

The final stage in the US template concerns how to react when the incumbent tries to steal a lost election.

Hey, guys - you should be here in the States if this is your concern!

In Belarus, President Lukashenko won, so the response was minimal. In Belgrade, Tbilisi, and now Kiev, where the authorities initially tried to cling to power, the advice was to stay cool but determined and to organise mass displays of civil disobedience, which must remain peaceful but risk provoking the regime into violent suppression.

If the events in Kiev vindicate the US in its strategies for helping other people win elections and take power from anti-democratic regimes, it is certain to try to repeat the exercise elsewhere in the post-Soviet world.

The places to watch are Moldova and the authoritarian countries of central Asia.

How about Texas, and the authoritarian counties of Florida and Ohio?

I'm very bothered by these actions of our governement and our political parties. We already have Islamia upset at our international activities. Are we to alienate the Asians as well? Vladimir Putin has been making war-like noises lately, and has announced a new missile whose targets are likely to be US Navy ships. The Chinese aren't going to sit still for such actions, and can we be sure that India and Pakistan aren't also on the hit list? What of the nations of 'Old' Europe?

In this Bu$hCo New 'Might Makes Right' World Order, he who takes wins. That is the only 'rule' that Bu$hCo seems to care about. The opposition to those these efforts support is only going to grow, unless repressive regimes with their own versions of the USA Patriot Act are installed. The only result of all of this that I can see evolving is mass chaos, with messy civil wars breaking out all over.

Is that the plan? Maybe. The Carlyle Group would stand to make a lot of money!

And who else would be big enough for the government and both parties to be working for?

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pessimist :: 2:55 AM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!