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Nation of Sheep, Turkey of an Election: Ukrainians Show Us the Way

A NY Times report shows that the election frauds cited by the Bush Administration to call for annulling the Ukraine presidential election are exactly the same as the frauds that Republican officials committed in the U.S. presidential election. Only difference? They were worse here.

The Bush administration's incredible hypocrisy regarding the vote in the Ukraine continues, along with the mainstream media's stunning avoidance of any discussion of the unseemly parallels between what happened there and what happened in the recent US election.

Last night, CNN had Republican Senator Richard Lugar, who had been sent as an observer of the Ukraine presidential campaign and election, on to discuss the situation. Lugar cited exit polls as his explanation for disbelieving the election win by the incumbent party's candidate Victor Yanukovich.

Today, the N.Y. Times weighed in with a headline blaring that the Ukraine vote was "Full of Fraud." The article was accompanied by a Ukraine state map highlighting 10 states where fraud had been alleged.

That list of such frauds would sound rather familiar to critics of the campaign shenanigans that Republican-led governments engaged in in Ohio and Florida:

* In Volynska and Lviv, public employees, including firemen, policemen, teachers and other workers were tricked into handing in absentee ballots to their bosses thus precluding them from voting on election day. It is not known what happened to the absentee ballots they handed in. This is a close parallel to the Republicans' bogus registration drives that had people registering to vote only to have their registration forms shredded and tossed out, and that had students signing "petitions" that turned out to be voter address changes that blocked them from voting where they were going to school.

* In Ivano-Frankovosk, Chernivtsi, Ternopil and Chmelnytskyy, local prosecutors filed criminal cases against local election officials. Not much different from Florida, where the Republican-led state government sicced state police troopers on Democratic Party voter registrars (especially African Americans), actually sending armed officers to people's homes to interrogate them.

* In Mykolayiv, party activists working for opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko's campaign were arrested and manhandled by local police, and charged with such offenses as littering. Not much difference from towns in the U.S. where local police in Republican communities went to local homeowners and ordered them to remove John Kerry signs from their lawns, citing local sign ordinances, or where protesters at Bush/Cheney campaign events were arrested and removed merely for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts or for carrying small Kerry/Edwards signs.

* In Sumska, during the first round of voting in the Ukraine, hundreds of votes were shifted from Mr. Yuschenko to Viktor Yanukovich. This relatively minor example of fraud is simply dwarfed by the tense of thousands of known votes that were shifted by voting machines from Kerry to Bush (at least 20,000 discovered in North Carolina and thousands in Ohio), not to mention evidence that election officials were keeping double paper record tallies from machines in many Florida counties, and were caught trying to throw out the ones that showed higher totals for Kerry. How much more such vote shifting occurred in the U.S. vote is not known, but if the small example found in Sumska can be used to condemn the validity of the whole election there, why is the much larger concrete evidence of fraud in the U.S. being ignored?

* In Donetsk and Luhansk "suspiciously high turnouts" of about 90 percent of voters is cited as evidence of possible fraud, though no concerns get expressed in the mainstream media in the U.S.--indeed artful excuses are offered in an effort to explain away--the staggering and improbable majorities--as much as 85 percent--racked up by Bush in some Florida districts where Democrats vastly outnumbered Republicans among registered voters.

Given the remarkable similarities between the types of frauds being mentioned in the Ukraine election and those that are known to have occurred in the U.S--particularly in the key states of Ohio and Florida, a victory in either one of which would have given a victory to Kerry--it is a grotesque scandal that the U.S. media is not calling the U.S. election a fraud in the same way it is reporting the Ukraine election as a fraud.

It is particularly shocking that much of the fraud that is getting attention in the Ukraine, and that is being cited as grounds for annulling the election results there, involve incidents that related to the campaigning and the registering of voters, i.e.: campaign misconduct and efforts to depress the opposition vote. Here in the U.S., what concerns as are expressed in the media are limited to those, such as the provisional ballots in Ohio, that could affect the vote count. Pre-vote fraud and misconduct, such as deliberate and well-documented efforts by the Republican Secretary of State of Ohio and various Republican-led county election officials to depress Democratic votes by limiting the number of voting machines available in minority districts so that waiting times to vote sometimes stretched beyond eight hours, or the posting of Republican "challengers" to slow down the voting process in Democratic election districts, or efforts by the Republican Florida Secretary of State to use faulty lists to bar alleged felons from registering to vote, are considered irrelevant to the election itself, as they cannot be used to overturn the result.

In the Ukraine, such pre-balloting fraud is considered by the Bush Administration, and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as convincing grounds for the election results there to be ignored, on pain of U.S. sanctions of some sort. Not in the U.S., however.

In the view of the Bush administration, the Ukrainian election should be invalidated because it "did not meet international standards."

Now there's a laugh. Does anyone really think that the recent U.S. election met even minimal international standards?

A nation of sheep in America is getting a lesson in democracy from the former Soviet state of Ukraine. While Americans, Republican and Democrat, sit down to their Thanksgiving dinners and give thanks for living in a nation that deliberately discourages voting, that cuts aid to the poor, and that is currently the aggressor in a brutal war that has already killed 100,000 innocent civilians, hundreds of thousands of voters in the Ukraine are taking to the streets to protest the hijacking of their election.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

wondering 25.Nov.2004 14:37

odd is it not

What is this yank about? Half the peasants at the throat of the other half.

From my view point, its unclear what the truth is on this fraud.

Perhaps the biggest fraud is that these folks are not pawns in a struggle between two leasure classes.

There is an irony in this story that the exit polls are valid in other countries but not in the US according to the US. It is unclear as to the effect those who financed the Ukrainan polls.

One thing is clear is that the US thinks it has influence in Ukraine. It is acting if it has greater influence than that of Russia.

We shall see what is inside this unfolding flower. Will its blossoms fill the air with death?

Same old shit. 25.Nov.2004 16:07

Red neck

They've almost got it down to an art

"The overriding factor in Shevardnadze's fall was Washington's withdrawal of support for its long-time crony. Relations between the Georgian president and the US had cooled over the previous several years. Russia's financial collapse in 1998 had fueled concerns in Washington over the ability of Shevardnadze to insure stability in Georgia, whose economy remains highly dependent on its huge neighbor to the north. US backing for Shevardnadze eroded further following the installation of the Bush administration.
The US stepped up its unofficial—but unconcealed—support for the so-called democratic opposition, and Shevardnadze responded by tacking toward Moscow.
Washington's initial response to the disputed November 2 parliamentary election was low-key. Following the vote, the State Department described reports of significant irregularities as an "overstatement." But by November 21, the US was signaling a shift in its position, declaring that it was "deeply disappointed" with the conduct of the election.
This was a green light for the opposition forces to go on the offensive. During the weekend of November 22-23, Colin Powell had two telephone conversations with Shevardnadze in which he all but ordered the president to resign. Once Saakashvili and company had seized power, Washington wasted no time in welcoming the new regime, declaring its support, and warning the Russians against any attempt to intervene.
Bush administration officials have not bothered to conceal their delight over the outcome in Georgia. Said one American diplomat: "This is a textbook case of how to do things right."

"Chief among these NGOs is the Liberty Institute, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Eurasia Foundation as well as financier George Soros's Open Society Institute. The Liberty Institute's 31-year-old co-founder, Giga Bokeria, took a Soros Foundation-funded tour last February of Serbia to learn how the Otpor, or "Resistance," student opposition had ousted Milosevic following a disputed election in the autumn of 2000.
In the summer of this year, Otpor activists visited Georgia, running courses that trained 1,000 students from all over the country in the tactics of Serbian-style "revolution." The result was the student group "Kmara," which only months later would provide the manpower for Saakashvili's successful putsch of November 22-23.
Another US government outfit involved in the ouster of Shevardnadze is the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a center of international intrigue and subversion set up under the Reagan administration and relying heavily on the services of the AFL-CIO trade union bureaucracy. The Democratic Party wing of the NED, known as the National Democratic Institute, in the words of Wall Street Journal columnist George Melloan, "helped introduce Mr. Saakashvili to the methods insurgents in Serbia used to depose dictator Slobodan Milosevic."

Don't let the name scare you, this is actually a very insightful and intelligent site.
 http://www.muslimuzbekistan.com/eng/ennews/2003/12/ennews05122003_0.html

I support the recount effort in the US. I hope that it will lead to a wider discussion of American electoral practices A demanded for open, verifiable and inclusive election. Easy voter registration, easy access to poles, reasonable voting days and hours. Inclusion of third parties and of course simple verifiable elections.

cold hard truth 26.Nov.2004 13:30

noid

the arrogance and hypocracy of the Bush junta is exceeded only by the sheeple's willingness to deny it!

The Real Reason the West Is so Concerned about "Democracy" in Ukraine 26.Nov.2004 21:08

David B.

... Is probably hinted at in this article:  http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1118/p07s01-woeu.html

Listen, I'm not denying that the opposition is less overtly authoritarian than the crooks currently in power there. I'm not arguing that people there wouldn't be better off if the opposition won power.

That's not really the point, though. Western powers have willingly supported even outright genocidal regimes if it's to their military or economic advantage to do so. It's about naked self-interest and the quest for power, not any sense of human rights or decency. The prospect of Ukraine opening its markets in the "wrong" direction is the real reason the US is egging on the opposition.

I mean, just look at the other ex-Soviet republic whose name starts with U -— Uzbekistan. Its government executes people by boiling them alive, yet you hear hardly a peep about it in the domestic media because they're a convenient ally in the so-called "War on Terrorism."

And if Yushchenko was an Allende-style socialist advocating revolution through the machinery of democracy, you can bet the West would be squarely behind Yanukovich.

Portland, OR, USA

Dave Lindorff is a typical Liberal Imperialist 26.Nov.2004 23:18

Iraq-war. ru

Dave Lindork represents Liberal American Imperialists in all their trademark ignorance and stupidity. Lindork predictably swallows every half-truth and lie peddled by the America "free" press about "pro-democracy" (i.e. pro-Western Imperialist) groups around the world.

What Lindork does not address is the fact that most of the groups are being not-so-covertly sponsored and financed by the USA and its sundry NGOS and spy agencies--AND HENCE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH DEMOCRACY.

It is always curious how moronic White Liberals act either as if the USA has a natural and normal right to stick its political tentacles in other nations (like Ukraine) or pretend that the USA is not involved at all--despite the 200 year old history of American coup d'etats and destablization attempts against the world.

Remember the failed American coup attempt against Hugo Chavez in 2002 or the American coup against Aristide in Haiti recently?

How is what is happening the Ukraine any different?

Sometimes, I think that American liberals and phony progressives like Dave Lindork are not the lesser evil. They are the greater evil, as they help to cover up and justify American Imperialist coup etats and overthrows of foreign governments--all with a disingenous Progressive political spin.

Here are some good links about what is really happenning in the Ukraine. [Note it is not just the Liberal's favorite bogeyman of George Bush that is responsible for sponsoring and funding the so-called democratic opposition in Ukraine but the Democrats and their misnamed National Democratic Institute (sic)]

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/story/0,15569,1360951,00.html

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1360296,00.html

 http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/LAU411A.html

 http://www.iraq-war.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=31686

 http://www.iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=31754

 http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BHH411A.html

cold hard truth , AGAIN !! 27.Nov.2004 13:10

noid

the level of arrogance and hypocrisy displayed by the Bush junta is exceeded only by the degree to which mass media ( refuge of the sheeple ) is willing to deny it !!!!!!!

Thanks, iraq-war 27.Nov.2004 22:53

David B.

It seems as if once again the ugly reality of a situation has outpaced my initial cynicism.

Both candidates look like would-be puppets of outside rulers. A pox on both their houses.

Portland, OR, USA

Ukraine: Another IMF Sponsored "Demockracy" 28.Nov.2004 10:49

Iraq-war. ru

IMF Sponsored "Democracy" in The Ukraine by Michel Chossudovsky

Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko in the Ukrainian presidential elections is firmly backed by the Washington Consensus.

He is not only supported by the IMF and the international financial community, he also has the endorsement of The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) , the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace , Freedom House and George Soros' Open Society Institute , which played a behind the scenes role last year in helping "topple Georgia's president Eduard Shevardnadze by putting financial muscle and organizational metal behind his opponents." (New Statesman, 29 November 2004).

The NED has four affiliate institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI) , the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) , and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These organizations are said to be "uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide." See IRI,  http://www.iri.org/history.asp )

In the Ukraine, the NED and its constituent organizations fund Yushchenko's party Nasha Ukraina (Our Ukraine), it also finances the Kiev Press Club. In turn, Freedom House, together with The Independent Republican Institute (IRI) are involved in assessing the "fairness of elections and their results". IRI has staff present in "poll watching" in 9 oblasts (districts), and local staff in all 25 oblasts:

"There are professional outside election monitors from bodies such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but the Ukrainian poll, like its predecessors, also featured thousands of local election monitors trained and paid by western groups. ... They also organised exit polls. On Sunday night those polls gave Mr Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed." (Ian Traynor 26 November 2004, the Guardian,  http://globalresearch.ca/articles/TRA411A.html )

Needless to say these various foundations are committed to "Freedom of the Press". Their activities consist not only in organizing exit polls and feeding information into the Western news chain, they are also involved in the creation and funding of "pro-Western", "pro-reform" student groups, capable of organizing mass displays of civil disobedience. (For details, see Traynor, op cit) In the Ukraine, the Pora Youth movement ("is Time") funded by the Soros Open Society Institute is part of that process with more than 10,000 activists. Supported by the Freedom of Choice Coalition of Ukrainian NGOs , Pora seems to be modeled on Serbia's Otpor and Georgia's Kmara. Freedom of Choice Coalition is directly supported by the US and British embassies in Kiev as well as by Germany, through the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (a foundation linked to the ruling Social Democrats). Among its main "partners" (funding agencies) it lists USAID, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Freedom House, The World Bank and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. (Complete list at  http://coalition.org.ua/en/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=51 )

Among the numerous Western foundations, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), although not officially part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence function in shaping party politics in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and around the World.

NED was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused of covertly bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front organizations. According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for establishing the NED during the Reagan Administration: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." (Washington Post, Sept. 21, 1991)....