Saturday, March 26, 2005

Orchestrating Democracy: A Replay in Kyrgyzstan

Suddenly, within last couple of years, the Central Asian countries have acquired "democratic" colours - we had "Rose Revolution" in Georgia, "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine, an almost "Cedar Revolution" in Lebanon...

The latest to join in this well-orchestrated drama is Kyrgyzstan, where recent happenings - the "Tulip Revolution" - gives one a deja vu feeling:

- a regime which is supposed to be authoritarian and corrupt
- an election which is supposed to be rigged
- an "popular" uprising for "freedom", which is shown over and over again by media
- the corrupt,inept autocratic government gives in to popular opposition, and steps down
- new "free" elections are held, and the popular opposition comes to power
...and everyone lives happily ever after.

This a script which has been perfected since the "popular" uprising in Serbia, which ousted Slobodan Milosevic in Oct 2000, after allegations of vote-rigging.

How well this unfolding is choreographed by the "invisible hand" is apparent from this Secret report of the U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyz Republic Stephen M.Young, sent on December 30, 2004 from Bishkek, Capital of Kyrzygstan

Some excerpts:

"...Taking into account the interests, of our presence in the region and development of democratic society in Kyrgyzstan, our primary goal — according to the earlier approved plans — is to increase pressure upon Akaev to make him resign ahead of schedule after the parliamentary elections. Realizing the plan is of key importance as, we think, the present opposition is not strong enough to challenge the present authorities, though Akaev has claimed he is not going to prolong his terms of office.

We know, Akaev’s adherents suspect the opposition to prepare the same scenario of elections like that one in Georgia and Ukraine. That was indirectly asserted by Akaev at December meeting of the Council of Defense of the KR. In case of prolongation of presidential powers Akaev is most likely to take advantage of the assistance rendered by the Russian-speaking part of the population and other ethnic minorities, as well as of several thousand residents who are on earnings in Russia now. In this connection, for better planning of pre-election tactics we ought to remember that Russia remains the basic employer in Kyrgyzstan. Both the pro-Russian public opinion and popularity of the Russian president are rather strong in some northern regions of the country. present two formations are shaped on the political arena of Kyrgyzstan... First of all, it is the pre-election block For Powers of People. In July 2004 it united six opposition parties, which nominated K.Bakiev, ex-prime minister and MP, as their single candidate for the presidential post. I think he is the most acceptable candidate in the aspect of fruitful development of relations between the USA and Kyrgyzstan. I met Bakiev on repeated occasions. Bakiev expressed his consent to take advantage of the support after his block’s winning in parliamentary elections. As he said, after ambiguous American involvement in elections in Georgia and Ukraine unconcealed American support provided to a candidate might have a negative effect on his political reputation. Furthermore, he was against falling off in relations with Russia by criticizing on behalf of his party Russian intervening in the Ukrainian elections.

....(we need to promote someone) to head up a “puppet” opposition. In this connection, we advise continuing contacts with another prominent representative of the opposition — F.Kulov, whose imprisonment will end in the middle of 2005. Enjoying deserved popularity and being a victim of regime, he will have sufficient potential to struggle for the presidency.

F.Kulov shares and adheres to American concepts of freedom and democracy and can be viewed as a dubbing candidate for the presidency in case our main candidate Bakiev is defeated.

We have mostly succeeded in developing contacts with another leader of the opposition — R.Otunbaeva, ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs. Through the funds allocated to her we managed to lobby setting up and promoting certain NGOs as well as organizing a unified system of mass media for better coverage over the country to spread her statement about non-interference of Russia in internal affairs of Kyrgyzstan.

With a view to providing favorable conditions and helping democratic opposition leaders come to power, our primary goal for the pre-elections period is to arouse mistrust to the authorities in force and Akaev’s incapacitated corruption regime, his pro-Russian orientation and illegal use of “an administrative resource” to rig elections. In this regard, the embassy’s Democratic commission, Soros Foundations, Eurasia Foundation in Bishkek in cooperation with USAID have been organizing politically active groups of voters in order to inspire riots against pro-president candidates.

We have set up and opened financing for an independent printing office — the Media Support center — and AKIpress news agency... We also render financial support to promising non-governmental tele- and radio companies.

...Young people are most likely oriented to the West. Therefore we consider it extremely important to popularize American way of life among them to diminish Russian influence. At least 45 national higher schools have their local Students in Action organizations, which we are planning to use properly during parliamentary and presidential elections. In our opinion, those additional funds ($5 mn) transferred by the Department of State to hold seminars in all leading Universities of Kyrgyzstan and organize training in western countries turned out insufficient.

...I advise focusing on discrediting the present political regime, thus making Akaev and his followers responsible for the economic crisis. We should also take steps to spread information on probable restriction of political freedoms during the election campaign.

It is worthwhile compromising Akaev personally by disseminating data in the opposition mass media on his wife’s involvement in financial frauds and bribery at designation of officials. We also recommend spreading rumors about her probable plans to run for the presidency, etc. All these measures will help us form an image of an absolutely incapacitated president.

It is essential to increase the amount of financial support up to $30 mm to promising opposition parties at the preliminary stage of the parliamentary and presidential elections and allocate additional funds to NGOs...

Stephen M.Young
The U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyz Republic

And here is a remarkable parallel:

  • In December 2004, in the presidential run-up after the "Orange Revolution", the Ukrainian President-to-be, Viktor Yushchenko, had claimed of being poisoned,
  • Now, after the "Tulip Revolution" of Kyrzyg RepublicK Bakeiv, the Intrim President of Kygyzstan is claiming threats on his life

    Welcome to the world of Democratic Coup, Made in USA!!!


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