FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Blowback in Ukraine

by DAVE LINDORFF

An interesting and disturbing aspect of the post-election uprising in Ukraine is that it is not entirely a spontaneous event.

Although the election outcome was clearly manipulated by the government of outgoing president Leonid Kuchma, a corrupt and dictatorial Soviet-era autocrat, whose supporters in and out of the government’s secret service apparatus have not shied away even from killing opponents, and although much of the movement that took to the streets in Kiev to protest and overturn the results, which had given victory to Kuchma’s handpicked successor, Viktor Yanukovich, has been indigenous and heartfelt, there is also clear evidence that the U.S.–the CIA and various American “pro-democracy” front groups–is playing a crucial hand in destabilizing the pro-Russian regime.

Several excellent pieces in the British paper the Guardian have highlighted the role of U.S. agencies and NGO’s, in helping, for example, to finance the very exit polls that have raised doubts about the outcome of the election, and in helping to pay for Yushchenko’s campaign itself.

As the Guardian observes, it is more common than not that elections in the former Soviet republics have been manipulated by government authorities, who control most of the media, and especially television, as in Ukraine, and have often been stolen. The interesting question is why this time, in Ukraine, the U.S. government has taken such a strong position on behalf of the opposition.

The opposition candidate, Victor Yushchenko, is not, after all, some iconic democrat. Himself for a time a prime minister under Kuchma, he played a central role in the privatization of Ukrainian state enterprises that corruptly benefited old Communist Party apparatchiks, as happened also in Russia. Yushchenko’s main calling card in terms of Western European and U.S. support has been his more pro-western stance, where Kuchma and Yanukovich have been more pro-Russian, to the point of Yanukovich favoring a merging of the two neighboring nation’s economies and an opening of their shared border.

American interference with Ukraine’s election would not be anything new. Such techniques were already employed in the Yugoslavian election that ousted Slobodan Milosovich and in the Georgian election that ended up ousting Eduard Shevardnadze, and were also attempted (unsuccessfully) in the last election in Byelorus. The U.S. ambassador to Byelorus, Michael Kozak, has a long sordid history of subverting elections in Central America–most notably Nicaragua.

It is worth speculating whether all this tampering with the democratic process in Eastern Europe, and Central America, may have resulted in a kind of blowback, with the anti-democratic techniques perfected for use in those fledgling democracies now being applied back home in the U.S.

No wonder the same government that is so quick to decry electoral abuses in Ukraine has been so silent about the exact same practices when its partisans employed them earlier this month at home.

No wonder too, that the same mass media news organizations that have largely dismissed the rampant fraud and abuse perpetrated in the U.S. presidential campaign and election by U.S. government and state and county Republican government officials, are ignoring the role of the U.S. government in undermining the election in Ukraine.

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail