Russian Elections Duplicity
Russia’s December 4 elections filled 450 State Duma seats, Russia’s Federal Assembly lower house.
Claims of electoral fraud followed. All elections have irregularities. At issue is whether results are comprised. Election monitor Golos accusations were spurious. America’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds it. It supports regime change in non-US client states.
It backs opposition groups, conducts propaganda campaigns, and does openly what CIA operatives do covertly to destabilize sitting governments.
Its mission is subverting, not promoting democracy. It operates with State Department funding and direction. It serves US imperial interests destructively against targeted countries.
So do USAID, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). They meddle internally against sitting governments. One way is by funding Golos.
It calls itself a Russian NGO established in 2000 to defend democratic rights and civil liberties. Claiming it’s Russia’s only “independent” electoral watchdog is duplicitous. It represents imperial Washington’s interests against those of Russia’s people and government. Moreover, by taking foreign funding, it violated Russian law.
Since early December, Russia’s seen on and off street protests. On December 25, RIA Novesti headlined, “Tens of thousands rally in new election protest in Russia,” saying:
Peaceful crowds filled “Moscow’s Sakharov Avenue on Saturday to demand a rerun of parliamentary elections they claimed had been rigged, as well as liberal reforms in Russia, turning the temperature up on Vladimir Putin and his plans to return to the Kremlin.”
Nonetheless, a VTsIOM December 10 – 11 poll showed most Russians support him. However, his 51% job approval rating dropped from 61% in late November and 68% in January. Street protests and legitimate social justice grievances are responsible.
Even though Russia’s GDP rose 70% and living standards improved markedly during his tenure as president, millions of Russians still suffer from Yeltsin’s post-soviet era “shock therapy.”
As a result, 80% of Russian farmers went bankrupt, 70,000 state factories closed, an epidemic of unemployment raged, half or more of all Russians became impoverished, a permanent underclass was created, and crime, suicides, mortality, alcoholism, drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS soared to intolerable levels.
GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth at the expense of millions of harmed Russians.
Ignoring essential needs, Yeltsin let corruption and criminality flourish. One scandal followed another. Money-laundering became sport. Billions in stolen wealth were hidden in Western banks or offshore tax havens.
Many problems remain unresolved, especially given today’s global economic crisis. In April, Pravda.ru headlined, “Poverty in Russia grows faster than expected,” saying:
According to the Russian Federal Statistics Agency, another 2.3 million joined the ranks of Russia’s 22.9 million impoverished population. However, “(m)any experts believe that official statistics (don’t) reflect the real state of affairs and (are) very often” understated.
Therefore, poverty remains a major growing problem. For millions, wages and pensions aren’t enough to get by. Economic weakness exacerbates conditions. As a result, street protests perhaps reflect hard times more than anger over election results.
In contrast to Russia, America’s electoral process is scandalously flawed. More on it below.
Major Media Scoundrels Bash Russia
America’s media target all non-US client states, including China and Russia. On December 8, a New York Times editorial headlined, “Mr. Putin Seeks a Scapegoat,” saying:
He’s “determined to resurrect the Soviet playbook. His United Russia Party tried to steal a parliamentary election on Sunday, and, when the results still delivered a stinging rebuke, he claimed the United States was whipping up protests and demonstrations.”
Though not a decisive majority, United Russia won 49.67% of the vote, compared to the Communist Party’s 19.15% second place finish. Hardly a “stinging rebuke.” Moreover, independent analysts and observers explained a free and fair process. Results weren’t compromised by relatively few regularities.
As explained above, Washington very much interfered as it has done repeatedly in numerous other elections. In Haiti’s 2010 first round and 2011 runoff, brazen manipulation rigged the process to install stealth Duvalierist Michel (Sweet Micky) Martelly president. New York Times editorials ignored his illegitimacy, backed fraud, and effectively said Haitians need to move on.
Washington indeed may be behind on and off Russian street protests. The pattern is familiar. Over decades, America advanced the technique. In the 1990s, RAND Corporation strategists developed the concept of “swarming” to explain “communication patterns and movement of” bees and other insects which they applied to military conflict by other means.
Washington used it successfully against Serbia’s Milosevic. NED, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute were involved.
It repeated during Georgia’s Rose Revolution, ousting Edouard Shevardnadze for Mikhail Saakashvili. A US-installed stooge, he’s governed ruthlessly and repressively in office.
Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution was similar, ousting Viktor Yanukovych for Viktor Yushchenko, Washington’s man.
America’s manipulated 2007 Myanmar Saffron Revolution and Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution failed. Both countries remain targeted for regime change.
Very possibly, Russia’s street protests are made-in-the-USA. It wouldn’t be the first time nor last. Supportively, America’s media pretend otherwise. Putin accused Hillary Clinton of meddling. The Times editorial called his charge “bizarre,” saying:
“Mrs. Clinton and the White House did the right thing (by) critici(zing Russia’s) vote. She also expressed support for the ‘rights and aspirations’ of the Russian people.”
In fact, political Washington abhors democracy at home and abroad. Imperial wars, numerous coups, internal subversion and destabilization, homeland repression, and rigged elections prevent it. Major media scoundrels approve.
On December 24, they featured Russian protests. New York Times writers Ellen Barry and Michael Schwirtz headlined, “Vast Rally in Moscow Is a Challenge to Putin’s Power,” claiming 120,000 turned out. Other reports estimated crowd size at from 50 – 80,000.
Ria Novosti said “tens of thousands.” So did the Washington Post in an article headlined, “Protesters flood Moscow demanding reforms.” It focused on social needs, not electoral fraud in contrast to The Times highlighting comments about dissolving Parliament, holding new elections, and comparing Putin to Brezhnev.
Managed news, misinformation, and hyperbole characterize America’s media. Truth and full disclosure aren’t their long suit. Or Washington’s.