Εισαγωγικό Σημείωμα Π.Ήφαιστος 26.4.2005: Φαίνεται ότι η πρωτοβουλία να ανοιχτεί αυτή η σελίδα επί ζητημάτων που αφορούν «έμμεσα» τα ακαδημαϊκά ζητήματα αποκτά ενδιαφέρουσες διαστάσεις -τελικά άμεσα σχετικές με την ακαδημαϊκή ανάλυση των διεθνών σχέσεων- μιας και πολλοί επισκέπτες αποστέλλουν διαρκώς στοιχεία για το επίμαχο θέμα σε αναφορά όχι μόνο με το κυπριακό αλλά και άλλα ζητήματα. Παραθέτω δύο εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρουσες αναλύσεις για τον τρόπο που «ασθενή» κράτη επηρεάζονται στο εσωτερικό πολιτικό τους σύστημα στο πλαίσιο συγκεκριμένων μεθοδεύσεων έξωθεν δυνάμεων. Εξαιρετικού ενδιαφέροντος είναι αναμφίβολα οι σχετικές αναφορές στους ΜΚΟ, στα Μέσα Ενημέρωσης και στα Ινστιτούτα.
Αναλύσεις Mark Almond και Jonathan Scheel για ανάλογες περιπτώσεις
The price of People Power
The Ukraine street protests have followed a pattern of western orchestration set in the 80s. I know – I was a cold war bagman
Tuesday December 7, 2004
People Power is on track to score another triumph for western values in Ukraine. Over the last 15 years, the old Soviet bloc has witnessed recurrent fairy tale political upheavals. These modern morality tales always begin with a happy ending. But what happens to the people once People Power has won?
The upheaval in Ukraine is presented as a battle between the people and Soviet-era power structures. The role of western cold war-era agencies is taboo. Poke your nose into the funding of the lavish carnival in Kiev, and the shrieks of rage show that you have touched a neuralgic point of the New World Order.
All politics costs money, and the crowd scenes broadcast daily from Kiev cost big bucks. Market economics may have triumphed, but if Milton Friedman were to remind the recipients of free food and drink in Independence Square that «there is no such thing as a free lunch», he would doubtless be branded a Stalinist. Few seem to ask what the people paying for People Power want in return for sponsoring all those rock concerts.
As an old cold war swagman, who carried tens of thousands of dollars to Soviet-bloc dissidents alongside much better respected academics, perhaps I can cast some light on what a Romanian friend called «our clandestine period». Too many higher up the food chain of People Power seem reticent about making full disclosure.
Nowadays, we can google the names of foundations such as America’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and a myriad surrogates funding Ukraine’s Pora movement or «independent» media. But unless you know the NED’s James Woolsey was also head of the CIA 10 years ago, are you any wiser?
Throughout the 1980s, in the build-up to 1989’s velvet revolutions, a small army of volunteers – and, let’s be frank, spies – co-operated to promote what became People Power. A network of interlocking foundations and charities mushroomed to organise the logistics of transferring millions of dollars to dissidents. The money came overwhelmingly from Nato states and covert allies such as «neutral» Sweden.
It is true that not every penny received by dissidents came from taxpayers. The US billionaire, George Soros, set up the Open Society Foundation. How much it gave is difficult to verify, because Mr Soros promotes openness for others, not himself.
Engels remarked that he saw no contradiction between making a million on the stock market in the morning and spending it on the revolution in the afternoon. Our modern market revolutionaries are now inverting that process. People beholden to them come to office with the power to privatise.
The hangover from People Power is shock therapy. Each successive crowd is sold a multimedia vision of Euro-Atlantic prosperity by western-funded «independent» media to get them on the streets. No one dwells on the mass unemployment, rampant insider dealing, growth of organised crime, prostitution and soaring death rates in successful People Power states.
In 1989, our security services honed an ideal model as a mechanism for changing regimes, often using genuine volunteers. Dislike of the way communist states constrained ordinary people’s lives led me into undercover work, but witnessing mass pauperisation and cynical opportunism in the 1990s bred my disillusionment.
Of course, I should have recognised the symptoms of corruption earlier. Back in the 1980s, our media portrayed Prague dissidents as selfless academics who were reduced to poverty for their principles, when they were in fact receiving $600-monthly stipends. Now they sit in the front row of the new Euro-Atlantic ruling class. The dowdy do-gooder who seemed so devoted to making sure that every penny of her «charity» money got to a needy recipient is now a facilitator for investors in our old stamping grounds. The end of history was the birth of consultancy.
Grown cynical, the dissident types who embezzled the cash to fund, say, a hotel in the Buda hills did less harm than those that launched politico-media careers. In Poland, the ex-dissident Adam Michnik’s Agora media empire – worth €400m today – grew out of the underground publishing world of Solidarity, funded by the CIA in the 1980s. His newspapers now back the war in Iraq, despite its huge unpopularity among Poles.
Meanwhile, from the shipyard workers who founded Solidarity in 1980 to the Kolubara miners of Serbia, who proclaimed their town «the Gdansk of Serbia» in October 2000, millions now have plenty of time on their hands to read about their role in history.
People Power is, it turns out, more about closing things than creating an open society. It shuts factories but, worse still, minds. Its advocates demand a free market in everything – except opinion. The current ideology of New World Order ideologues, many of whom are renegade communists, is Market-Leninism – that combination of a dogmatic economic model with Machiavellian methods to grasp the levers of power.
Today’s only superpower uses its old cold war weapons, not against totalitarian regimes, but against governments that Washington has tired of. Tiresome allies such as Shevardnadze in Georgia did everything the US wanted, but forgot the Soviet satirist Ilf’s wisdom: «It doesn’t matter whether you love the Party. It matters whether the Party loves you.»
Georgia is of course a link in the chain of pipelines bringing central Asian oil and gas to Nato territory via Ukraine, of all places. Such countries’ rulers should beware. Fifty years ago, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the «politics of the permanent purge» typified Soviet communism. Yet now he is always on hand to demand People Power topple yesterday’s favourite in favour of a new «reformer».
«People Power» was coined in 1986, when Washington decided Ferdinand Marcos had to go. But it was events in Iran in 1953 that set the template. Then, Anglo-American money stirred up anti-Mossadeq crowds to demand the restoration of the Shah. The New York Times’s correspondent trumpeted the victory of the people over communism, even though he had given $50,000 and the CIA-drafted text of the anti-Mossadeq declaration to the coup leaders himself.
Is today’s official version of People Power similarly economical with the truth?
· Mark Almond is lecturer in modern history at Oriel College, Oxford
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
Ukraine’s postmodern coup d’etat
Yushchenko got the US nod, and money flooded in to his supporters
Friday November 26, 2004
Oranges can often be bitter, and the mass street protests now going on in Ukraine may not be quite as sweet as their supporters claim.
For one thing the demonstrators do not reflect nationwide sentiments. Ukraine is riven by deep historical, religious and linguistic divisions. The crowds in the street include a large contingent from western Ukraine, which has never felt comfortable with rule from Kiev, let alone from people associated with eastern Ukraine, the home-base of Viktor Yanukovich, the disputed president-elect.
Their traditions are not always pleasant. Some protesters have been chanting nationalistic and secessionist songs from the anti-semitic years of the second world war.
Nor are we watching a struggle between freedom and authoritarianism as is romantically alleged. Viktor Yushchenko, who claims to have won Sunday’s election, served as prime minister under the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, and some of his backers are also linked to the brutal industrial clans who manipulated Ukraine’s post-Soviet privatisation.
On some issues Yushchenko may be a better potential president than Yanukovich, but to suggest he would provide a sea-change in Ukrainian politics and economic management is naive. Nor is there much evidence to imagine that, were he the incumbent president facing a severe challenge, he would not have tried to falsify the poll.
Countless elections in the post-Soviet space have been manipulated to a degree which probably reversed the result, usually by unfair use of state television, and sometimes by direct ballot rigging. Boris Yeltsin’s constitutional referendum in Russia in 1993 and his re-election in 1996 were early cases. Azerbaijan’s presidential vote last year was also highly suspicious.
Yet after none of those polls did the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the main international observer body, or the US and other western governments, make the furious noise they are producing today. The decision to protest appears to depend mainly on realpolitik and whether the challengers or the incumbent are considered more «pro-western» or «pro-market».
In Ukraine, Yushchenko got the western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organisation, Pora, to various opposition websites. More provocatively, the US and other western embassies paid for exit polls, prompting Russia to do likewise, though apparently to a lesser extent.
The US’s own election this month showed how wrong exit polls can be. But they provide a powerful mobilising effect, making it easier to persuade people to mount civil disobedience or seize public buildings on the grounds the election must have been stolen if the official results diverge.
Intervening in foreign elections, under the guise of an impartial interest in helping civil society, has become the run-up to the postmodern coup d’etat, the CIA-sponsored third world uprising of cold war days adapted to post-Soviet conditions. Instruments of democracy are used selectively to topple unpopular dictators, once a successor candidate or regime has been groomed.
In Ukraine’s case this is playing with fire. Not only is the country geographically and culturally divided – a recipe for partition or even civil war – it is also an important neighbour to Russia. Putin has been clumsy, but to accuse Russia of imperialism because it shows close interest in adjoining states and the Russian-speaking minorities who live there is a wild exaggeration.
Ukraine has been turned into a geostrategic matter not by Moscow but by the US, which refuses to abandon its cold war policy of encircling Russia and seeking to pull every former Soviet republic to its side. The EU should have none of this. Many Ukrainians certainly want a more democratic system. Putin is not inherently against this, however authoritarian he is in his own country. What concerns him is instability, the threat of anti-Russian regimes on his borders, and American mischief.
The EU should therefore press for a compromise in Kiev, which might include power-sharing. More importantly, it should give Ukraine the option of future membership rather than the feeble «action plan» of cooperation currently on offer. This would set Ukraine on a surer path to irreversible reform than anything that either Yushchenko or Yanukovich may promise.
Sceptics wonder where the EU’s enlargement will end, but Ukraine is undoubtedly a European nation in a way that the states of the Caucasus, of central Asia and of north Africa are not.
The EU must also make a public statement that it sees no value in Nato membership for Ukraine, and those EU members who belong to Nato will not support it. At a stroke this would calm Russia’s legitimate fears and send a signal to Washington not to go on inflaming a purely European issue.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005