Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well, if this is the neocon line on this issue then most of us have to be defined as neocons I'm afraid.  The Lukashenka regime have violated many individual basic rights and using undercover police to sort out people that are swearing is beyond any civilized concept on rule of law, in my opinion.  The authoritarian label on the Lukashenka regime is something he has admitted himself.
"My position and the state will never allow me to become a dictator but an authoritarian ruling style is characteristic of me."

PNAC, and Bush, would be so proud that their propaganda has even penetrated so-called liberals.

True liberals do not defend authoritarian regimes even if people try to silence them by calling them names.  

That said if Lukashenka is genuinely popular in his country why does he need to resort to violence and use undercover police to control the people even to the extent of shutting their mouth when they swear.  That is not the sign of a man in control and with the support of the majority of the Byelorussian people and when he resorts to beating up politicians like Alexander Kazulin from the opposition the outcome of the election couldn't be anything else than favouring the current regime which most election observers called a farce.

1. Salaries are regularly paid to ordinary workers (not extravagant salaries to CEO's).  

2. The GDP grew at 8-9% last year - better than any western European economy.

  1.  That is commendable, but it still doesn't make Lukashenka a democrat.  There are many examples of dictators providing quite well for their people economically, Qaddafi is one example.  

  2.  Yes, and that is good, but this is only gains in the economy and has nothing to do with the democratization and opening of the political process in the country.  The growth in GDP, if real, is high, but then again with an average income of US$225 per month per person, the country has a lot to gain before they reach the economical standards of Western Europe.  

1. It's almost like you (and all the multinationals) would like to impose economic shock therapy and free markets and "democracy" on Byelorussia, "for it's own good". It's doing pretty well by itself, you know.

1. I really don't see were you got that idea from.  Have I promoted the interests of the multinational company's in my comment?  You seem to imply that when people promote democracy they automatically promote a libertarian free-market economy, which is not the case.  And democracy is not the same as chaos which you also seem to imply in your comment.  It is possible to grant the people political rights without selling the resources to the multinational companies.  One way of doing it is to tax the companies and thus use the tax money to the benefit of the people.    

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:23:58 PM EST
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