Anyway, here's some highlights from Traynor's piece, with my occasional comments:
"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."
Notice the spin here, implying the elections are always "rigged" and the Empire merely "salvages" them from "unsavouries"!
"...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."
[...] "...the experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev. 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." [emphasis mine]
[...] "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." [Here he follows the money: future victims, take note!]
"The usually fractious oppositions have to be united behind a single candidate if there is to be any chance of unseating the regime. That leader is selected on pragmatic and objective grounds, even if he or she is anti-American. In Serbia, US pollsters Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates discovered that the assassinated pro-western opposition leader, Zoran Djindjic, was reviled at home and had no chance of beating Milosevic fairly in an election. He was persuaded to take a back seat to the anti-western Vojislav Kostunica..."
Reviled is the right word; deplored is another good one. That his death was used as a pretext to impose martial law, create political capital for his party, and put in charge a cabal of far less competent but even more unsavory types, leads me to suspect his own associates offed ol' Zoran. The whole cui bono? thing, you know. But back to Traynor.
"Officially, the US government spent $41m (£21.7m) organising and funding the year-long operation to get rid of Milosevic from October 1999. In Ukraine, the figure is said to be around $14m."
Consider there were "suitcases full of cash" coming into Serbia, in the words of the Washington Post, and you'll realize these figures are much too low.
"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. [...] 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."
First Strike propaganda doctrine, so often used in the Balkans wars: any claim, however outrageous, is believable if it comes first. Any denial, no matter how truthful or believable, will be discounted because of perceptions already created by the first strike. Oh, and this also shows that exit polls favoring the pro-Imperial challenger were fabricated, of course.
"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."
Of course, if the US loses in Kiev, like it did in Minsk in 2001, it will try again. But such a defeat would be a big victory for liberty.
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