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Thank you for quoting verbatim the neo-con line on this issue.  PNAC, and Bush, would be so proud that their propaganda has even penetrated so-called liberals.

Has it ever occurred to you that Lukashenko is genuinely popular in Belorussia?  Salaries are regularly paid to ordinary workers (not extravagant salaries to CEO's).  The GDP grew at 8-9% last year - better than any western European economy.

The fact that neocons say something doesn't mean it is necessarily false and liberals are not swallowing the neocon line anymore than the neocons are swallowing the left's line. As for Lukashenko's popularity - I don't think many people are seriously disputing that he is popular and would win a fair election. But just because a dictatorship has majority support does not mean it is a democracy.

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

There are various reasons why  the EU and the US supported the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and are supporting the opposition in Belarus, but cashing in is pretty low on the list.  Those in the EU who support neo-liberal economics in general, want them applied in Ukraine and Belarus, those who oppose neoliberalism don't - it's purely incidental to the support for democracy. The main two reasons for US and EU policy are genuine idealism and the strategic aim to expand the EU influence into a buffer zone between themselves and Russia.

by MarekNYC on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:42:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have never seen a more contradictory statement than:


But just because a dictatorship has majority support does not mean it is a democracy.

Besides the fact that a dictatorship does not even bother to hold elections in the first place...

That takes some real mental gymnastics when taking into account your other statement:


As for Lukashenko's popularity - I don't think many people are seriously disputing that he is popular and would win a fair election.
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 02:11:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have never seen a more contradictory statement than

It's no contradiction when the process in which the majority is supposed to express its will is rigged. Check the previous Belarus thread (by soj yesterday or the day before, on the frontpage) for more on this (discussion between me and blackhawk).

Besides the fact that a dictatorship does not even bother to hold elections in the first place...

Most dictatorships of the 20th century held elections. Sham elections, rigged elections, but elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 02:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They hold sham and rigged elections to be able to claim legitimacy. (Even Hitler did that.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 02:39:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Sham elections, rigged elections, but elections.

By your definition, Bush is just as much a dictator as George W. Bush, as is every other leader of a western "democracy".

It's funny how "democracy" means "will of the people", presumably the people of the country holding the election.  Yet somehow everyone in western Europe holds the paternalistic attitude that they know best what kind of "democratic" political system should be imposed on the Belorussian people - again, for their own good.  They're just too stupid and backward to be able to elect their own leaders.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That should read "Lukashenko is just as much a dictator as George W. Bush".
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:38:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you'd find people here who might rephrase that to "Lukashenko is just as much a dictator as George W. Bush would like to be".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:42:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Living in the US, I can honestly say that Bush is probably more of a dictator ;-)
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:44:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do Democrats hold no power? Did police prevent the exposure of his stealing of elections by pollsters and vote analysts? I think he is less of a dictator as yet, though one with much graver consequences for the entire world.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Did police prevent the exposure of his stealing of elections by pollsters and vote analysts?

Hah!  The situation is even more hopeless than that.  Even though the Dems hold no power, they completely support Bush (some - ahem, Hillary) I would even consider to be to the right of W.

And, yes, the DOJ is perfectly aware that the statistical probability of the vote outcome in Ohio is about like being struck by lightning in Moscow in January.  They didn't do anything.

Quite the opposite, MSM outlets constantly trumpet the truth of anything W says, no matter how outrageous.  I've lived in Russia and I can say that US propaganda is much more powerful and far-reaching than anything the Soviets ever achieved.  And the worst part is that it's voluntary on the part of the megacorps controlling the MSM!  They're not being forced to write this drivel, as the Soviet propagandists were.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even though the Dems hold no power

They have several governors, and blocking minority in federal assemblies.

They didn't do anything.

They didn't prevent others from learning it either. OK, a few millions learning the truth didn't shake their power.

I can say that US propaganda is much more powerful and far-reaching than anything the Soviets ever achieved.

On that, fully agreed.

They're not being forced to write this drivel, as the Soviet propagandists were.

That's part of why they are so much more powerful: with 'communist' propaganda, we were always conditioned to try to read between the lines, but with US MSM propaganda, there is the myth of objectivity and independence and competition of opinions.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:11:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dems do not have a "blocking minority in federal assemblies".  You haven't been to DailyKos in a while have you?  There is constant bewailing of this fact there.

Of course they prevented others from learning about the voting fraud.  Ask any American on the street about it now.  You will get a stare even blanker than the one you would get if you asked them the mathematical significance of PI.  They'll ask if your tinfoil hat is on too tight.

The fact is that they are a token opposition, no different than that in Belorussia.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 08:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush is a dictator, OK, but your sweeping generalizations are a bit too sweeping for my taste.

I haven't proposed what type of democratic political system Belorussia should have, but one in which fake polling organisations conduct exit polls to prove ridiculous results and then opposition supporters and media people are arrested for swearing is definitely not one.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The main two reasons for US and EU policy are genuine idealism and the strategic aim to expand the EU influence into a buffer zone between themselves and Russia.

And, by the way, why do you need a "buffer zone" between western Europe and Russia?  I thought the Cold War was over.  This is just another example of trying to kick Russia while it is down - and down due to western policies and advice.

Who's expanding militarily?  Hmmm, not Russia.  If anything, it is Russia that has a legitimate need for a buffer zone against American / European imperialism on its borders - and inside them using NGO's.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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