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To the Viktor Go the Spoils

Americans would do well to listen to thousands of Ukrainians protesting a stolen election, even though they're shouting in a foreign tongue and it would likely be hard to literally understand them but the message should still be able to be discerned anyway.
I was so heartened to read this quote about the presidential election from Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), as reported by Associated Press writer Natasha Lisova: "It is now apparent that a concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."

Ha -- at last! Plainly spoken words from a U.S. Senator -- a Republican, no less -- about the highly suspicious goings-on concerning the election.

And upon what evidence does Lugar base his charge? Well, for starters, how about the exit polls that showed the challenger heading the incumbent? And, according to Lisova, election overseers "said there were extensive indications of vote fraud, including people apparently voting multiple times and voters being forced to turn over absentee ballots to state employers."

Unfortunately, Lugar wasn't complaining about, nor was Lisova reporting on, the U.S. presidential election. They both were alluding instead to the voting concluded this past week to determine the president of Ukraine, and the good senator made his comments while in Kiev as George Bush's "envoy."

It seems the U.S.-favored candidate who garnered large leads in the exit polls, Viktor Yuschenko, was supposedly bested in the actual balloting by Viktor Yanukovych (who both favors, and is favored by, Russia), at least according to the Ukrainian government (of which Yanukovych just happens to be prime minister).

The election is widely considered to have been fraudulent.

Before we continue on, though, some housekeeping is in order (mainly to help me keep things straight). Because of their similar monikers, I think it'll be easier to call each Ukrainian candidate simply by his first name. Thus, we have Viktor and then we have, uh, Viktor.

Well, so much for that. Perhaps nicknames are best. From here on, we'll call Yuschenko "Yushy" and Yanukovych, "Yanni."

OK, OK. How about this, then: we'll refer to Yuschenko, the U.S. guy, as "the U.S. guy," and Yanukovych, the Russia guy, as "the Russia guy."

Da!

Back to the action: You know, every article about this whole affair should be entitled "U.S. Reaction to Ukraine Election Drips with Irony." The Bushies (rightfully) get their knickers knotted over numerous accounts of balloting shenanigans in the Ukraine and exit polls that show one thing while purported vote totals show another, yet when the same thing happens in America, it suddenly belongs in the realm of Internet mad hatters and sore losers.

Lisova reports the U.S. State Department didn't waste any time chiming in on reported Ukrainian voting irregularities, immediately (and ominously) urging "Ukraine's government to investigate the allegations of fraud or risk a changed relationship with the United States." Just to make sure the message was clear, spokesman Adam Ereli reiterated American consternation and urged Ukraine "to act to ensure an outcome that reflects the will of the U.S. government." (Actually, he said "the will of the Ukrainian people," but there's no proof he wasn't thinking otherwise.)

(It could not immediately be confirmed that Ukrainian authorities, finally catching their collective breath after laughing uncontrollably, responded by oh-so diplomatically urging U.S. government representatives to "go &#*% yourselves, you hypocritical &%*#s.")

It's exceedingly rare I agree with the Bush administration on anything, but I do so here, while still also being fully aware the Bushies couldn't care less about democracy and are really solely interested in which foreign leaders/lackeys best serve the administration's insane Project for the New American Century-influenced vision of global American dominance. ( http://www.newamericancentury.org/)

But fair's fair, and the fact remains that ample evidence exists of fraud in Ukraine's election. And there are also those pesky exit polls, used for decades as incredibly accurate predictors of winners of political races and strong checks against voting fraud. In the Ukraine, exit polls showed the U.S. guy whupping the Russia guy by a mammoth 11 percentage points.

Stateside, none of John Kerry's exit poll margins on November 2 in the all-important swing states were nearly that large, but still sizable and widespread enough to make the most sane and sober individual wonder just what the heck happened when the alleged final voting totals ended up keeping Dubya in the White House.

And, of course, we had a few voting problems of our own on Election Day: Jim Crow-reminiscent tales of lines of many hours' duration and poll "challengers," mainly in mostly minority precincts; electronic voting machines that recorded anywhere from negative 25 million votes (Youngstown, Ohio) to thousands of overvotes; EVMs that automatically switched the presidential vote on a straight Democratic ticket over to the GOP (Austin, Texas); too few voting machines (in mainly Democratic areas, natch); more votes than registered voters in numerous Ohio precincts; poll tapes thrown in the trash in Florida; uncounted ballots still being found; backward-counting machines; the fact that almost every single "anomaly" reported so far has been in Bush's favor...

For a thinkin' person, all of this (and so much more) just kinda makes one wonder why this sort of electoral bunk is correctly repudiated elsewhere but deemed perfectly acceptable here.

(The most comprehensive article I've seen about U.S. election misdeeds is a meticulously detailed piece by Alan Waldman in Online Journal [ http://onlinejournal.com/evoting/112004Waldman/112004waldman.html].)

And once again, those of us who pay attention are left to ask (all together, now): Where's the outrage?

In the Ukraine, that's where. Yessirree, Bobski, in this topsiest and turviest of worlds, it is not Americans, the self-proclaimed keepers of liberty's flame, who have taken to the streets en masse to protest the theft of democracy, but rather Ukrainians, folks brand, spankin' new to the whole concept of self-governance, willing to gather by the thousands in bracing winds and freezing temperatures to say (in Ukrainian, of course): "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take this anymore!"

Shameless segue and slight-digression-but-it's-all-connected-you'll-see-in-a-moment moment: The above line (in English, though), is, of course, from the 1976 movie Network, a flick I recently saw for the first time. Man, talk about chilling prescience.

If you want to know a prime reason why millions of American just sit there like bumps on logs when they should be screaming bloody murder about how their country has been hijacked by warmongering greedmeisters, rent Network, or read its brilliant script ( http://sfy.iv.ru/sfy.html?script=network) by Paddy Chayefski, and tell me if you don't get bumps of your own.

A non-stop morality tale about the all-controlling, all-consumptive power of corporations and their use of television to achieve and maintain planetary dominance, two scenes in particular stand out and are jaw-droppingly relevant to today's happenings.

In the first, Howard Beale (Peter Finch), a former news anchorman-gone-mad whose on-air rantings, compellingly delivered and imbued with great, ugly truths, have garnered a huge following (and terrific ratings for the network), tells his studio and viewing audience:

"So, listen to me! Television is not the truth! Television is a goddamned amusement park, that's what television is!...

We'll tell you any shit you want to hear! We deal in illusion, man! None of it's true! But you people sit there-- all of you -- day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds -- we're all you know. You're beginning to believe this illusion we're spinning here. You're beginning to think the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! We're the illusions! So turn off this goddam set! Turn it off right now! Turn it off and leave it off. Turn it off right now, right in the middle of this very sentence I'm speaking now - "

Beale then faints and collapses on stage.

In the other scene, Beale's latest televised sermon has pricked the rarified world of the network's CEO, Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty), one of the world's privileged few who truly know how things work, by mobilizing enough Americans to stop a huge business deal ("The Arabs are simply buying us!" Beale screams to his audience) that will adversely affect Jensen's ability to do business as usual. The unhappy executive calls Beale into a massive, perfectly appointed boardroom ("Valhalla," he calls it) to divulge the true gospel:

"You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and A T and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today...

We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale!"

Jensen then tells Beale he wants him to "atone" for his misstep by "preach[ing] this evangel." When Beale tremblingly asks why, Jensen tells him: "Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday." Jensen shrewdly figures that not enough Americans, even when Beale delivers to them the harsh, naked, bald-faced truth, will rise up to upset the "world as a business" applecart, and instead just continue on with their television-stupor-induced lives.

He's right.

In today's America, television spews homogenized, "on-message," tightly-spun pap as "news," and millions upon millions of Americans receive the bulk of their information this way, hearing what the corporate-run government wants them to hear, buying what it wants them to buy, remaining silent while it wants them silent. Certainly other reasons exist for our nation's current maladies, but TV is undoubtedly the number one controlling mechanism for the power structure, and it's as true today as it's ever been: whoever controls the message, controls the power.

But, oh joy! Oh hope! The Ukrainians are no longer swallowing the hocus bogus they've been force-fed forever. Conditioned for decades by one of history's ultimate propaganda machines -- the Soviet Union disinformation apparatus -- it makes their current adamantine refusal to buy the party line that the Russia guy is the real winner even more remarkable.

So just how has it come to pass, then, given this history of ongoing institutional brainwashing far more insidious than what Americans have endured, that 200,000 or so wide-awake Ukrainians are out there in the bitter cold raising a ruckus about how their election was stolen? (Most are wide awake, as some have managed to find enough time during the demonstrations, per Lisova, to partake of "mulled wine and vodka, gulped down with salted fish." Mmm, yum-ski.)

Apparently, they've decided they truly aren't gonna take it anymore, and instead of just going to their windows and shouting out angrily at the tops of their lungs and then sitting back down to be mesmerized yet again by the insidious doping tube, they've marched right out to the streets to emphatically show they've had enough of the lies and the manipulation and the being screwed over and over again, and that they take this democracy stuff pretty damn seriously.

In a true "isn't life strange?" moment, it is now the good citizens of Ukraine who are giving Americans and the rest of the world an object lesson about who is really supposed to possess and wield the power in a democracy. We could serve our own critically ill nation well by taking serious note of the passionate Ukrainians and emulating their patriotic actions.

Well, all except for the drinking mulled wine and eating salted fish part, that is.

Copyright © 2004 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.

Published originally in Dissident Voice ( http://www.dissidentvoice.org/). (Slightly revised.)
Typical Liberal Claptrap 26.Nov.2004 23:36

Iraq-war. ru

This article once again demonstates why American Liberals are the ultimately Useful Political shills. They posture as "dissidents" (or should I say the Controlled Opposition?) but never question the fundamental issues.

In this case, this guy attempts to gloss over the fact of massive Western covert (and not so covert) funding, intervention, and sponsorship of the so-called "democratic opposition" candidate Yushenko.

Is this your idea of Democracy? Or it is just another Made-for-TV psyops and CIA style
"Democracy" like the staged toppling of the Saddam Statue or the failed 2002 coup d'etat against Hugo Chavez?

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

 http://www.oscewatch.org/CountryReport.asp?ChapterID=725&CountryID=22&ReportID=230&keyword=

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


Huh? 27.Nov.2004 10:07

Mark Drolette drolette@comcast.net

Do all psuedo-revolutionaries like yourself just have some sort of template they use for every "argument," only taking the time necessary to fill in a couple of blanks depending on the subject at hand and names involved?

You say I "gloss over... massive Western covert (and not so covert) funding, intervention, and sponsorship of the so-called "democratic opposition" candidate." Hmm... well, a) that wasn't the point of the article, and b) I notice you omit this little bit of information while trying to make whatever point it is you're trying to make: the massive Russian covert (and not so covert) funding, intervention, and sponsorship of Prime Minister Yanukovich.

You really should aim better when you throw stones.

Another thing: Go (back) to debate school. Trying to muddy the waters and also, in the process, discredit the article by mentioning the undoubtedly staged Saddam statue-toppling incident and the possible (and thus unforgivable) U.S.-aided coup against Chavez is, well, for lack of a better term, really lame. Not to mention, completely irrelevant -- sort of like the 70s-type rhetoric some people continue to insist on spouting in a pathetically misguided attempt to sound knowledgeable even though it sounded dated the very first time it was ever uttered.

Liberal "Dissent" 27.Nov.2004 13:44

Iraq-war. ru

"You say I 'gloss over... massive Western covert (and not so covert) funding, intervention, and sponsorship of the so-called "democratic opposition" candidate.' Hmm... well, a) that wasn't the point of the article,"

That's the problem, Einstein. You invoke the Ukraine issue as some example of democracy in action for US "activists" to emulate, but apparently don't realize (or don't want to realize) that this is yet another example of US political destablization in action.

You apparently didn't bother to read any of the links I provided which document this US intervention and control. America is using the same gameplan that it used to overthrow Milosevic in Yugoslavia, remove its former puppet Shervernadze in Georgia, stage its failed coup against Lushenko in Belarus, and now its attempted coup in Ukraine. Never mind its coups against Venezuela or Haiti.

Is that your idea of "democracy?" American coup d'etats and political intervention? Apparently, it is.

It tells you alot about the bankruptcy of American pseudo-Progressives when the mainstream corporate media in other nations is MORE CRITICAL than these self-styled "dissidents." Pathetic.

"and b) I notice you omit this little bit of information while trying to make whatever point it is you're trying to make: the massive Russian covert (and not so covert) funding, intervention, and sponsorship of Prime Minister Yanukovich./"

What Russian covert support? Vladimir Putin visiting Ukraine? That is nothing compared to the tens of millions of dirty dollars being funneled into the Ukraine by the USA, or the numerous American trained and controlled puppet ... er, I mean "pro-Democracy" ... organizations operating on the ground there, or the fact that great champions of American democracy like Henry Kissinger have been in the Ukraine campaigning for your puppet there.

Deep down, American Liberals, apparently believe that their beloved American Reich has a natural and moral right to intervene and interfere in other countries--just as long as it is marketed with the correct "pro-Democracy" spin. The only alibi that you have is to defensively point the finger at other countries and cry that "they are doing it also."

"Another thing: Go (back) to debate school. Trying to muddy the waters and also, in the process, discredit the article by mentioning the undoubtedly staged Saddam statue-toppling incident and the possible (and thus unforgivable) U.S.-aided coup against Chavez is, well, for lack of a better term, really lame."

I don't need to discredit this article. You are doing that all by yourself with your comically ignorant understanding of the world and the American Empire in particular.

BTW, check out this link and the real nature of the "pro-Democracy" groups which you admire and want to emulate:


All right, then, Hawking… 28.Nov.2004 14:35

Mark Drolette drolette@comcast.net

...what's your plan for global peace and happiness?

Personally, I don't care who wins the Ukrainian election, as long as it's the guy who truly got the most votes. That's what interests me, as well as (more so, actually, by a long shot) the integrity of the American balloting process, and also in seeing the millions of corporate-media-anesthetized citizens here taking notice of our own election fraud and making lots of noise about same. That, of course, is my basic point in the essay (just in case you missed it, which early and late exit polls show you did; of course, I guess they could be wrong, right?).

You seem to claim American intervention bought the Ukrainian election, but provide no proof. If you have it, spill it. Otherwise, you have nothing. (Admittedly, the BBHRG report and its conclusion are disturbing, but -- proof that Yanukovich really won? Hardly.) Yes, the links allege U.S. intervention and I assume that's true, but I still believe Yushchenko won the election and was subsequently ripped off.

Do you think the folks who comprise the Ukrainian Supreme Court (or, more accurately, the panel that took up the case) and parliament are all a bunch of idiots? That you, rather than they, know the real story about what's happening in their country and that they're all just ignorant dolts? Perhaps, then, you should send them all an email straight off and inform them how you can help save from themselves. I'm sure it'll go over big, what with your smooth, persuasive manner and all. Maybe there will even be a statue of you. A heroic song, perhaps. (I hope there's an English version, too, or it may be hard to sing over here.)

Is your argument also that Americans should not protest the results of our owned fixed election, as I suggest, because, what, the U.S. likely intervened in overseas balloting? Some might call this a non-sequitur.

Putin did more than campaign for Yanukovich. Russia also helped finance his campaign. Would it be OK for Great Britain to donate to the RNC? Would it be appropriate for Tony Blair to stump for Bush?

You write this: "The only alibi that you have is to defensively point the finger at other countries and cry that 'they are doing it also.'" Let me make my position clear on this:

I condemn intervention by any government in another country's elections. Is that clear enough for you? You, on the other hand, seem to imply it's bad form for the U.S. (agreed) but condone Russia's participation. So who's being the hypocrite here?

Re: "Is that your idea of 'democracy?' American coup d'etats and political intervention? Apparently, it is" and "Deep down, American Liberals, apparently believe that their beloved American Reich has a natural and moral right to intervene and interfere in other countries--just as long as it is marketed with the correct 'pro-Democracy' spin."

Please. This seems beneath even you. But if you actually believe that, you really do need to get out more.

You imply I wrote some Pollyanna-ish piece, completely oblivious to the ongoing destructiveness of American foreign policy. Read the following sentence and tell me, if you will, if you recall having ever seen it before:

"It's exceedingly rare I agree with the Bush administration on anything, but I do so here, while still also being fully aware the Bushies couldn't care less about democracy and are really solely interested in which foreign leaders/lackeys best serve the administration's insane Project for the New American Century-influenced vision of global American dominance." (Italics mine, or, they would be, that is, if they actually showed up here which they most annoyingly don't, although even if they did I guess they would be mine no matter what anyway, considering I wrote the article.)

If you look, oh, not even that closely, I mention U.S. lackeys. Hello, Yushchenko. Tough shit if this isn't enough of a mention for your whatever-ist sensibilities. As it happens, you're not the sole enlightened one who knows American foreign policy is a big, shitty mess. I just don't share your apparent belief that the U.S. influence in the Ukrainian election was what tipped the scale, and, having said that, I firmly believe Ukrainians - as well as citizens of any nation - have a right to have the person who truly won the election occupy the office into which he or she has been voted. You seem like a bright and concerned person, but, really: Is this concept so difficult for you to grasp?

Please, spare me the lectures and the holier-than-thou indignation. You saw in my piece what you wanted to see and skipped over what didn't suit your "White Liberals Are Evil and the Most Destructive Force on the Face of the Earth Because in Their Overarching Ignorance/Haughtiness They Help Bury the Real Truth and in Actuality Continue the Oppression of the Very People They Sanctimoniously Say They Are Trying to Help and... .."

Zzzzzzzzzzz-splork...

So, again, here's the question for you, the answer to which I truly am interested in hearing: Since you're so quick to hammer - how did you put it? oh, yeah - the "controlled opposition" (they told me the implanted chip would make me healthier; bastards), let's try this: What's your idea for turning the world into one, big happy place?

'Cause they're ain't nothin' easier in this whole wide world than cappin' on somebody else while having no plan of one's own. It's just all boring white noise and so very, very old.

WARNING: Since in truth, and as you have so astutely discerned with your finely tuned conscienceless-operative-posing-as-liberal-columnist-spewing-highly-dangerous-system-perpetuating-propaganda detector, I in real life do play a small but valuable part in what we call over at The Company "maintaining the status quo," please bear in mind anything you say is going straight to my boss, Porter.

P.S. Thanks for the links. I do appreciate the information.