A Revolution Undone

Remember how the elections in Kyrgyzstan were supposed to have been “rigged”? That was the reason for the “Tulip Revolution,” or the “Pink Revolution,” or whatever is going on in one of the poorest and most isolated countries in the former Soviet Union. The “revolution” appears to have gone full circle, however, with the newly-installed “President,” Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who seized power in a violent coup, now recognizing the Parliament elected under allegedly fraudulent conditions.

In reality, however, Akaev was one of the more liberal leaders in the region, who was called “a true Jeffersonian democrat” by Clinton administration deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott in 1994. Of course, Talbott was the same person who thought the Kosvo “Liberation” Army — a band of narco-terrorists and thugs — was worthy of U.S. support.

In any event, the fickleness of the world-conquering Americans, and the suddenness with which the U.S. government moved in to overthrow the Kyrgyz regime, which it had previously backed with such rhetorical hyperbole, is documented by Craig R. Smith in the New York Times:

“The money earmarked for democracy programs in Kyrgyzstan totaled about $12 million last year. Hundreds of thousands more filters into pro-democracy programs in the country from other United States government-financed institutions such as the National Endowment for Democracy. That does not include the money for the Freedom House printing press or Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Kyrgyz language service.”

The idea that the Krygyz events, which ended in confusion and mindless looting and violence — violence, I might add, that was initiated by the U.S.-funded “revolutionaries” — is part of a “democratic wave” sweeping across the former Soviet Union is finally coming in for some debunking. As Elinor Burkett — author of So Many Enemies, So Little Time, an account of her days teaching in Kyrgyzstan — writes in today’s New York Times:

“It’s a good story, but I’m afraid that plugging the political upheaval of this poor Central Asian nation into the paradigm du jour is akin to stuffing an elephant into a gorilla skin.”

The “democracy”-mongers, among them many of the same people who hail the “democratization” of Iraq at gunpoint, don’t care about the reality: they just like a good story. After all, they don’t have to live in Kyrgyzstan. But some people do have to live there, and they aren’t liking the “revolution” one bit. As Burkett writes:

“As the wealthy and ambitious jockey for power, the people of Bishkek are digging out and blaming the self-styled rebels from the south for the destruction of their city, heaping contempt on what they deem an illiterate peasantry.The long-standing divide between the two halves of the country – linked by a single, often impassable road over the mountains – has been ratcheted up. Few in Kyrgyzstan are basking in the glow of hope that lighted up Ukraine in December. As one friend in Bishkek said in a recent e-mail message to me: “This is not a democracy. This is just a crowd.”