Monday, April 12, 2010

Bloody Tulips!

Excellent photo gallery of the uprising in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

[Update: Ethnic cleansing of the Uzbek minority in the south of Kyrgyzstan was organized by a nephew of the overthrown president Bakiev.]

Five years ago Kyrgyzstan (former Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic) went through a so-called "tulip revolution." Organized by George Soros and the usual suspects from the Orange Revolution Syndicate, they got rid of one unsavory dictator and installed another one – all in the name of democracy and freedom, of course. And now, just five years later, an uprising has taken place, the president and his entourage have fled, the government buildings have been looted, and the people are dividing up the land that they feel the rich elites have stolen from them.

This little country is important to the United States only because geography forces US and NATO to use it as a trans-shipment point for resupplying their endless war in Afghanistan. It is also used to channel out a lot of Afghanistan's heroin export. The proceeds from the heroin trade end up in Western banks, and that, in turn, keeps the war going.

But in spite of all the drug money flowing through the system, the Orange Revolution Syndicate is not doing so well these days. They lost the Ukraine, Georgia has been in the political morgue since it started and lost a war with Russia, and now they have lost Kyrgyzstan as well. Poor George Soros! There just aren't that many countries left in the world that a multi-billionaire like him can undermine using his ill-gotten gains in the name of "open society."

Fearless Russian photojournalists have wandered into this mess, and have brought us this. Many thanks to them and to RT for letting us see for ourselves what a contemporary revolution looks like: bloody and chaotic as ever, but brought to us via cell phones and the Internet, with order restored by citizens using all of the advanced communications technology at their disposal to organize their effort. This is not your grandfather's revolution.


Nudge said...

Dmitri, there will probably be more of the same. Many governments presently in place are bankrupt, not only of money but of the approval of their peoples. “Adjustment” seems to be the watchword of the time.

Language question, please: years ago I worked with a man who had emigrated from Russia late in his teen years. You may have met him at some point, though I don't know if he still lives in Boston. Anyway, he kept correcting my use of “the Ukraine” saying it should just be “Ukraine” in the same way that one might say “Wisconsin” and not “the Wisconsin” ~ unless of course the usage is referring to a river perhaps. Yet in this post I see you saying “the Ukraine”. Was my former coworker mistaken, or is this merely a convention of English that you're respecting? (just curious)

Dmitry Orlov said...

Nudge -

The etymology of the term "Ukraine" is from Russian "okraina" meaning "outskirt". "The Ukraine" means "the outskirts of Russia" which is what the region was, and was called, until recently. It also used to be called "Malorossiya" which means "Little Russia" just like "Belorossiya" (now Belarus) means "White Russia". But if you are an ethnic nationalist, then having the name of your country be a Russian term of endearment is not so grand, I suppose. On the other hand, having a multi-ethnic Russian Federation that includes the Chechens and the Tatars but excludes two types of "Russians" and two pieces of historic Russian homeland seems like an odd and unstable arrangement.

vera said...

Interesting how the author of the photographs keeps referring to looters and thieves. People who divide up previously stolen "enclosures" are thieves but those who had stolen them from the people for personal gain aren't?

Larkin said...

Lately, they have been saying that the drug money collected by the Mexican cartels was going to fund terrorism...I thought, why would the Mexican drug lords want to part with their dollars unless it was to change them into Euros.

Banks have always played both sides of conflicts, why should Afghanistan be any different?

Anonymous said...

I just wonder what will happen with Afghanistan war with its supply routre cut off. I can think of many possible scenarious and somehow all of them end up with people on the roof of US Embasy and a hoovering helicopter above:) And Karzai meeting the same end like Nadjibulla - spelling!

I just wonder if that human like thing Saakashvili will eat his necktie so he can't be hung up on it when Georgia decides to kick him out:)

Very good overview for the Kirgiz revolution.

Andrew MacDonald said...

Am I wrong in thinking that most revolutions that try and get rid of the bad guys by violent overthrow end up becoming the new bad guys? The overthrowers can't see their part in the drama and project all the evil outward.

The alternative would be to build local infrastructure, and neighborhood food supply, to take care of each other.

I say this because the North America may experience similar convulsions and "after the revolution" could be worse than before. The root problem or one of them is peak oil and diminishing resources anyway; that will still be there. The worker's utopia won't appear with the old managers gone.

DeVaul said...

This was very interesting and so informative since it was all blocked out here in America. I am intrigued by the whole "looter" mentality, the issue of whether they were "looters" or "reclaimers" notwithstanding.

I just don't understand it. Were these people starving? Were they dirt poor while the president lived in a palace? That might help explain some of it, but the idea of going to a store or someone else's home and looting it sounds dangerous to me. It seems more an act of desperation to me, but I may be totally wrong.

I noticed the intense interest in plots of land, so that leads me to think that access to food was a problem there, but access to chairs? Or doorknobs? Was this a way for dirt poor people to make a little money selling odds and ends?

I wish I could ask a looter what their goal is in looking for bits of scrap here and there. I would love to know what is in their minds. I would never send my children out to loot just so my house could look better.

I remember seeing photos of Israeli soldiers returning from Lebenon(?) with stolen cars strapped onto their tanks and all kinds of other things. Israel has one of the highest standards of living in the world, so why would they need to loot the poor? There was looting after the earthquake in Chile, and not for food and water but just ordinary things.

What a strange mentality.

Tony said...

Mr. Orlov, did you catch this little nugget? Le Monde reports that the USDOE predicts oil peaking between, roughly, NOW and 2015. I wonder why we have to go to a French paper for this "news"? My favorite part is the graph where they label the growing gap between supply and nominal demand as "unidentified projects." That's coming from aliens, or maybe god himself, right?

And here's one from The Guardian, describing the US Military's similarly pessimistic views.

xbornstubbornx said...

I would expect another military coup d'etat over there pretty soon, this time with invasion of American troops. "Luckily", they are not too far. Pentagon could never tolerate such 'naughty behaviour' of the poor defenseless countries, that don't want to obey the US puppet dictators.
But I haven't heard how does the American media highlight this event. Probably the same old song.

Unknown said...

"I can think of many possible scenarious and somehow all of them end up with people on the roof of US Embasy and a hoovering helicopter above:)"

That was possible in Saigon because the South China Sea, with US aircraft carriers, was nearby. Kabul is FAR from the sea. Where can the helos go to? Americans in Afghanistan would be trapped in a major way, like the British in 1842. (One survivor was allowed to stagger into Peshawar. Read Fraser's excellent novel _Flashman_ for a vivid account.)

Lester Nessl

Unknown said...

"I would expect another military coup d'etat over there pretty soon, this time with invasion of American troops."

Impossible without Russian and Chinese co-operation, which I think unlikely. This isn't Chile or Philippines.

xbornstubbornx said...

lesterness - You're absolutely right!
It's a shame for me who was born in USSR to not keep in mind that Kirgizstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, run by Kremlin. Military intervention to Kirgizia would be equal to declaring war to Russia, and the most brainless and conservative American Commander in Chief wouldn't dare to do that. The price for 'Soviet-Afghan #2' would be too high. Well, then U.S. is just losing control over Central Asia. Probably, for good. In the meantime, Central Asia is losing creditors of money and oil. I would say, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan are somewhere on the 4th stage of collapse or the very beginning of the 5th one.

wagelaborer said...

They hang the man and flog the woman

Who steals the goose from off the Common;

But let the greater criminal loose

Who steals the Common from the goose".

(Just a thought on "looting". The rhyme dates back from the days of the English Enclosure Acts, when the land was stolen from the peasants, forcing them into the cities, and turning them into workers, just in time to be cheap labor for the Industrial Revolution.)

Why indeed would people steal unnecessary stuff? Maybe for insight, you could go to a mall and poll people buying unnecessary stuff.