by M K Bhadrakumar
BEIJING - This is not how color revolutions are supposed to turn out. In the
Ukraine, the "Orange" revolution of 2004 has had a slow painful death. In
Georgia, the "Rose" revolution of 2003 seems to be in the throes of what
increasingly appears to be a terminal illness.
Now in Kyrgyzstan, the "Tulip" revolution of 2005 is taking another most
unforeseen turn. It is mutating and in the process something terrible is
happening to its DNA. A color revolution against a regime backed by the
United States was not considered possible until this week. Indeed, how could
such a thing happen, when it was the US that invented color revolutions to
effect regime change in countries outside its sphere of influence?
What can one call the color revolution in Kyrgyzstan this week? No one has
yet thought up a name. Usually, the US sponsors have a name readily
available. Last year in Iran it was supposed to have been the "Twitter"
It is highly unlikely that President Kurmanbek Bakiyev will retain his job.
Aside from Washington, no major capital is demanding reconciliation between
him and the Kyrgyz revolutionaries.
Evidently, there has been a massive breakdown in US diplomacy in Central
Asia. Things were going rather well lately until this setback. For the first
time it seemed Washington had succeeded in the Great Game by getting a grip on the
Kyrgyz regime, though the achievement involved a cold-blooded jettisoning of
all norms of democracy, human rights and rule of law that the US commonly
champions. By all accounts, Washington just bought up the Bakiyev family
lock stock and barrel, overlooking its controversial record of misuse of
office. . . .
Lutz Kleveman, "The New Great
Game," Guardian, October 20, 2003
John Pilger, "The Warlords of
America," New Statesman, August 23, 2004
Paul Craig Roberts, "Are the
Iranian Election Protests Another US Orchestrated 'Color
Revolution'," CounterPunch.org, June 21, 2009
Leon T. Hadar, "The Fading Colors of Pseudo-Revolutions,"
Huffington Post, April 9, 2010
[In a remarkable role reversal, Russia has positioned itself as a supporter
of democratic reform and the protests that toppled this nation's autocratic
president, while the United States is increasingly viewed here as a cynical
bully, backing a corrupt, abusive leader who refuses to resign.--Philip P.
Pan, "In Kyrgyzstan chaos, Russia burnishes its
image," Washington Post, April 10, 2010]
[The writing is on the wall: it is only a matter of months, a year at most,
till Manas becomes a Russian base, and the sooner the US accepts the
obvious, the better. Both Moscow and Washington have a common goal to
preserve stability in the region, and given Moscow's acquiesence to US-NATO
transit of its territory to service the war in Afghanistan, this would
automatically extend to a now-respectful US's use of the soon-to-be Russian
base in Manas.--Eric Walberg, "Kyrgyzstan: Another colour revolution bites the dust,"
ericwalberg.com, April 12, 2010]
[ . . . because of Central Asia's strategic proximity to Afghanistan, the
United States and Russia have supported dictatorships that, by banning even
peaceful expressions of Islam, have pushed ordinary disaffected Muslims into
the arms of radicals, some based in Afghanistan.--David Trilling, "Kyrgyzstan's
Islamist Blowback," Nation, April 21, 2010]
[ . . . outside powers, particularly Russia and China, who covet the
region's extensive natural resources - oil, natural gas and hydro power - or
the US, with its base in Kyrgyzstan, show little interest in fostering more
responsible rule.--Mark Tran, "War in Kyrgyzstan: the background," Guardian, June
Least 117 People Killed in Kyrgyzstan; An Estimated 80,000 Uzbeks HaveFled,"
democracynow.org, June 14, 2010
[The Arabs have a saying about the rascal who kills the victim and then goes
to his funeral. US involvement in Kyrgyz affairs exemplifies this well:
destabilise the state and . . . call for NATO and the US to "immediately
engage with regional partners to help restore security."--Eric Walberg, "Kyrgyzstan: Picking up the pieces,"
ericwalberg.com, June 23, 2010]
[Russia, which has provided security to the region for the past century
and more is stepping aside - unable or unwilling, and possibly incapable of
performing that role anymore.
The OSCE is, technically speaking, responding to a request from the Kyrgyz
government. But the idea was originally mooted by the United States and the
major European countries.--M K Bhadrakumar, "Kyrgyz
deal a Silk Road turning point," atimes.com, July 20, 2010]
[In 2007, the Pentagon provided some 30 million dollars in a variety of aid
programmes to the Bakiyev regime - mainly as compensation for access to the
Manas Air Base, according to the report. That was roughly six times what it
spent on democracy and civil society programmes. The Pentagon also
reportedly awarded exclusive fuelling contracts - now under investigation
both in Bishkek and in Congress - for U.S. operations at the base to
companies in which Bakiyev's cronies and son had substantial interests,
contributing to the perception in Kyrgyzstan that Washington was backing a
corrupt and increasingly authoritarian regime.--Sibel Edmonds, "The Real Lords of Afghan Poppy
Fields & Heroin Distribution Hubs," boilingfrogspost.com, May 22,