November 26, 2004


US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev (Ian Traynor, November 26, 2004, The Guardian

[W]hile the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, 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.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, 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.

Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko.

That one failed. "There will be no Kostunica in Belarus," the Belarus president declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade.

But experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev.

Better bloodless.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 26, 2004 9:17 AM

It's so easy to forget, there are good people in places like the State Department, doing God's work. They're the effective, silent minority and we should always be thankful for and to them...

Posted by: M. Murcek at November 26, 2004 11:35 AM

Some success in Nicaragua, Danny Boy's party gained seats.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 26, 2004 1:25 PM

Thirty years ago Communism was the subversive force in the world, now it is American style democracy. Go team!

Posted by: Robert Duquette at November 26, 2004 1:32 PM

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by: Dave at November 26, 2004 7:00 PM