Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Election Industry Running at Full Waste Speed {article and commentary by ICDSM (Britain) chairman, Ian Johnson}

[After another sound buggering, the US electorate, with all its left liberal guardians in the media, have pulled up their y-fronts and moved on to the next toilet stall to spread more of their vile and putrescent speciality, Anti-communist Imposed Democracy Syndrome, this time in Ukraine. The Fat-backed Wasters just seem to be too far gone into their particular perversity ever to twig on what is actually being done to them and to others in their name. In 2000 it was mangled butterfly ballots; this year it was touch-screen paperless computer voting; next time, what? From the comfort of your living room, send your electoral choices telepathically to Dionne Warwick at the ESP channel? It's time the private election industry were properly audited, then scrapped, nationalized and retooled more accurately to reflect the will of the demos. But that won't happen as long as 'free elections' remain a tawdry spectacle adjunct to that continual terrorist class-war that keeps the vast majority of folks acting fearfully against their own interests and in the narrow miserable interests of that tiny parasitical elite in which all power and value are now concentrated. These elections are not only futile gestures; they're feudal gestures! But thanks to Ian. He's my man. If he can't tell it--well, fuck it, then. --mc]

Given the recent events in the Ukraine it is timely to reissue the article 'The Coup in Yugoslavia' originally written in December 2000. The article follows this update.

The strong similarities in the strategy employed by the western-backed opposition in the cases of Yugoslavia, Georgia, Belarus and the Ukraine make it abundantly clear that in these instances we are not witnessing a 'genuine yearning for democracy', which is the fiction promoted by the mainstream media, but on the contrary we are witnessing unprecedented foreign interference in the affairs of sovereign nations. There are several ways to take control of a country and to open it up to 'market reforms' and the penetration of foreign capital and to destroy its culture and replace it with the values of the multinationals.

Journalist Ian Traynor boasted of one such way in his article published in the Guardian newspaper. His immoral bravado is revealing:

"But while 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.

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.." (The Guardian 26th November 2004).

Despite Mr Traynor's cheerleading the above scenarios have nothing to do with democracy but everything to do with the global interests of, primarily, the United States. Also, for the historical record, Mr Kostunica did not beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box as Traynor claims, indeed the very first thing the coup leaders did when they stormed the government buildings in October 2000 was to burn the election papers and therefore ensure that no verification of the claims of a 'rigged' election could ever take place.

Mr Traynor's term 'engineering democracy', despite being a contradiction, reminds me of Tony Blair's mouthpiece, John Prescott, and his attempts to impose 'regional assemblies' on a reluctant population. Having got soundly defeated in the referendum held in the North East of England on this subject, Prescott announced that his previous plan of holding another referendum in the North West of England would now be put on hold because, he stated, 'I am unlikely to win it'. In other words a democratic election is fine as long as I can win it, but if there is a doubt then by the mere whim of an individual all the population of the north west will be denied their opportunity to vote. Such is the meaning of 'democracy' in Blair's Britain today. (The doubt about winning is also the reason for the delay in the 'promised' European Constitution' referendum).

Also of concern is the role of the European Union in the Ukraine events. Jan Peter Balkenende, the prime minister of the
Netherlands, which holds the rotating chair of the EU, described the election results as "questionable". The problem with his statement is that it was made before the results had been officially declared thus betraying the fact that ulterior motives were at work.

Vladimir Simonov of the Russian Information Agency (Novosti) gives a more honest appraisal of the situation.:

"The Ukrainian youth organization Pora, which is the core of demonstrations in Kiev, is diligently copying the structure and methods of the Georgian student organization Kmara. It is a fact that the active members of Pora and Kmara were trained by experienced theoreticians of anti-constitutional coups from the Serbian movement Otpor, which had helped topple President Slobodan Milosevic. Seeing this unpleasant similarity, many Russian analysts conclude that the protest actions of the Ukrainian opposition were prepared and financed in advance. The creation of the tent town in downtown Kiev, the round-the-clock work of mobile power plants and field kitchens servicing the open-ended demonstration, and the delivery of fresh groups of demonstrators from western Ukraine to Kiev by air, train and bus prompt only one question: Who paid for this?"

More revealing still is the article 'Western Aggression' by John Laughland which states in part the following:

"It is in the west of Ukraine that support is strongest for the man who is being vigorously promoted by America as the country's next president: the former prime minister Viktor Yushchenko. On a rainy Monday morning in Kiev, I met some young Yushchenko supporters, druggy skinheads from Lvov. They belonged both to a Western-backed youth organisation, Pora, and also to Ukrainian National Self-Defence (Unso), a semi-paramilitary movement whose members enjoy posing for the cameras carrying rifles and wearing fatigues and balaclava helmets. Were nutters like this to be politically active in any country other than Ukraine or the Baltic states, there would be instant outcry in the US and British media; but in former Soviet republics, such bogus nationalism is considered anti-Russian and therefore democratic. 

It is because of this ideological presupposition that Anglo-Saxon reporting on the Ukrainian elections has chimed in with press releases from the State Department, peddling a fairytale about a struggle between a brave and beleaguered democrat, Yushchenko, and an authoritarian Soviet nostalgic, the present Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych. All facts which contradict this morality tale are suppressed. Thus a story has been widely circulated that Yushchenko was poisoned during the electoral campaign, the fantasy being that the government was trying to bump him off. But no British or American news outlet has reported the interview by the chief physician of the Vienna clinic which treated Yushchenko for his unexplained illness. The clinic released a report declaring there to be no evidence of poisoning, after which, said the chief physician, he was subjected to such intimidation by Yushchenko's entourage who wanted him to change the report  that he was forced to seek police protection.

It has also been repeatedly alleged that foreign observers found the elections fraught with violations committed by the government. In fact, this is exclusively the view of highly politicised Western governmental organisations like the OSCE a body which is notorious for the fraudulent nature of its own reports, and which in any case came to this conclusion before the poll had even taken place, and of bogus NGOs, such as the Committee of Ukrainian Voters, a front organisation exclusively funded by Western (mainly American) government bodies and think-tanks, and clearly allied with Yushchenko. Because they speak English, the political activists in such organisations can easily nobble Anglophone Western reporters".

The conclusion that any objective observer would reach after studying the events in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Belarus and the Ukraine is that the driving force for this unrest is the United States and their striving for world dominance. And as previously stated, taking control of countries can involve various strategies. Strategies as outlined above, covert and corrupt, or a more straightforward approach suchas a full military assault, drowning the population in blood and calling it 'liberation', as we are witnessing in Iraq.  IJ.



October 5th in Belgrade saw the culmination of unprecedented outside interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign state of Yugoslavia.

The United States, through the National Endowment for Democracy organisation, gave over one hundred million dollars to the Yugoslav opposition and this money funded political parties, TV and radio stations, newspapers and even trade unions.

Ten years of sanctions, threats, intimidation and bribery provided the objective conditions for this coup. Primarily the United States and their agents within Yugoslavia orchestrated this illegal activity and it now becomes clear why an entire scenario was built up around last year’s elections.

There was never any intention by the U.S. Britain and the internal opposition leaders to recognise the election results or to adhere to the Constitution of Yugoslavia. The fact that they have now annulled the Federal Assembly results of 24th September, where the Socialist Party and its allies won a working majority, a result never disputed by the opposition, is proof of that.

The opening up of Yugoslavia to the multinationals was always their aim, and any and every means was used to achieve this.


We note with interest that within an hour of the coup Tony Blair and Bill Clinton faced the TV cameras and endorsed this mob rule. Robin Cook quickly followed and announced that European Union sanctions would be lifted the following Monday (9th October). They were able to react so swiftly precisely because they expected the coup, indeed they were pulling the strings.

On 11th December the Washington Post ran a story about how U.S. agencies held strategy meetings in Budapest with opposition parties. It told how they trained the student group Otpor and how they even paid people to be ‘poll watchers’.

"In the 12 months following the strategy session, U.S. funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-Milosevic drive, training thousands of opposition activists, and helping to organise a vitally important parallel vote count. The U.S. even supplied 5000 cans of spray paint for students to scrawl anti-government graffiti on walls across Serbia and produced 2.5 million anti-Milosevic stickers". (Washington Post 11th December 2000).

Ironically, in the United States, third parties get no corporate funds, are barred from debates and denied media coverage. It is a crime for any U.S. political candidate to accept money from abroad, yet Washington openly gave millions of dollars to the so-called Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) and sent a U.S. aircraft carrier to sit off the Yugoslav coast during the voting!



Former American Attorney General in the Johnson Administration, Ramsey Clark, correctly summed up the situation : " The U.S. and other NATO powers rained bombs and missiles on Yugoslavia for 78 days. They destroyed schools and hospitals. They killed and maimed thousands of civilians, including hundreds of children. Washington and the U.S. media justified these war crimes with a hate campaign against all Serbs. Now they claim to champion the rights of the Serbian people. There is no inconsistency here. Washington’s intervention in the Yugoslav elections is war by other means.

"Slobodan Milosevic may not be a revolutionary in the mould of Fidel Castro or Che Guevara. But in Washington’s eyes he committed the same sin as the protesters in Seattle and Prague. He said no to the ‘new world order’ and the International Monetary Fund. His government refused to join NATO or accept IMF-dictated ‘economic restructuring’. It refused to sell off all state owned industry and let Wall Street bankers run the country’s economy. For that reason – and that alone – Yugoslavia was the target of eight years of war and economic sanctions by the U.S. and NATO and a nonstop campaign of lies by the biggest propaganda machine in history, the U.S. corporate news media." Ramsey Clark continues his analysis :

"Yugoslavia was a parliamentary democracy, and the Serbian Socialist Party (SPS) had an elected majority. That’s why Kostunica’s CIA advisors told him not to take part in the second round of elections. Even if he won – a big ‘if’ – the lawmakers would block the IMFs program. Washington wanted Kostunica to take power by force, to crush parliament and the Serbian Socialist Party, the country’s largest political force. Across Yugoslavia Socialist offices have been burned and Party members beaten and arrested. But you won’t hear about that on CNN. Washington wants to send a message to anyone in East Europe who would resist U.S. corporate power.

"The Pentagon, State Department and CIA have decades of experience overthrowing independent governments. They have done it in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1961), Guyana (1962), Indonesia (1963), Ghana (1966), Chile (1973), Argentina (1976), Romania (1989), Bulgaria (1990) and Albania (1991). The formula is usually the same. Cause great hardship to the people of the target country. Create a pro-U.S. ‘opposition’ and pump it full of dollars. Promise that if Washington gets its way, people may again live ‘normal’ lives. But when Washington’s agents seize power, the terror begins. In Indonesia a CIA-backed military junta executed 1 million people in the name of ‘democracy’. The New York Times called that slaughter a ‘gleam of light in Asia’.

"No doubt many in the mob that stormed parliament on October 5th were ordinary people with genuine grievances. Others may have been misled by Kostunica’s nationalistic rhetoric. But it was a carefully planned and organised operation led by forces beholden to the IMF and the CIA." (Ramsey Clark 12th October 2000).

Since Ramsey Clark’s article it has come to light, via the boasting of the DOS leaders, that far from it being ‘ordinary workers’ leading the storming of parliament, it was 2000 specially trained army personnel, loyal to the DOS. Furthermore the DOS now admit that the petrol needed to transport demonstrators from all over Serbia, in a country with acute petrol rationing due to sanctions, was supplied and financed by the U.S. and Germany.


The front man within Yugoslavia, Kostunica, will now be expected to shed any last vestige of the country’s independence, accept its role as a mere colony, and expose Serbia to penetration by, primarily, U.S. and German capital. He will also be expected to hand over all the Yugoslav leaders who stood up to imperialism to the so-called War Crimes Tribunal, a shoddy kangaroo court used as a political tool by the United States, where the word justice is an alien concept.

However Kostunica is a minor anti-communist politician, backed by 18 small and completely divergent parties that Washington cobbled together into the Democratic Opposition of Serbia with funds and arm-twisting. The real power within the DOS is Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party, a man who fled Serbia during the Nato bombardment and continued before and after the bombing to meet with Madeliene Albright and U.S. Special Balkans Envoy Richard Gelbard.

Djindjic is the money man, and when he opens his mouth it is U.S. Secretary of State Albright speaking. Not surprisingly Djindjic has already called for complete Yugoslav submission to the United States and has intimated that the Yugoslav Federation should be broken up and the name ‘Yugoslavia’ no longer used. Another leader of the coup, and darling of many left-wing groups, being portrayed as the man who led a section of mineworkers out on strike against the government, is the mayor of Cacak, Velimir Ilic. However Ilic is an army deserter who refused to cooperate with the Yugoslav Army during the resistance to Nato’s bombing. He boasted to the New York Times of his role in the coup : "We established a team of young professionals, paratroopers and young policemen, and we coordinated this with elite units of the Interior Ministry Police. We got martial arts experts and professional boxers to join us. We even had plain clothes police coordinating with nearby towns." Ilic added to this for Agence France-Presse, " We had 2000 people. A number of us had bulletproof vests and arms. Our goal was very clear, take control of the key institutions of the regime, including parliament and the television." He claimed his forces, dressed in police uniforms, opened parliament and sowed confusion in the police ranks. Once inside parliament he introduced his gang to Zoran Djindjic, Kostunica’s campaign manager.


Imperialism has clawed its way into a position of power in Yugoslavia but the subsequent results of the introduction of a free market economy on the population, and their reaction to it, will make for an extremely unstable political situation. The United States intention of using Yugoslavia as a stepping stone to the oil and gas resources of the old Soviet Union will further exasperate the situation in the East.

Furthermore, the crises of capitalism, the driving force behind all developments today, means that when the United States, Germany, France or Britain intervene, it is certainly not to promote human rights. It is to control resources, or to gain a strategic advantage for the next conquest. Or it might be to gain a strategic advantage against each other.

These recent developments, the complete contempt for international law and the rights of sovereign states, will only make us redouble our efforts.


Ian Johnson

December 2000.


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