Peace through victory - the American way.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Regime Change Without Boots On The Ground

The linked story makes the point that western money, specifically US money, to help build civil society and to fund independent newspapers was critical to helping the opposition take over the country of Kyrgyzstan.

The newspaper that printed stories that fueled the revolt in Kyrgyzstan received funding from the United States and printed its story on a printing press financed by the American government and operated by an American human rights organization.

The United States has been sending money to the former Soviet republic since 1992 to develop democracy and build a civil society. Thirteen years later a popular revolt succeeds, helped by an infrastructure created by that money. Edil Baisolov, a leader of a coalition of NGOs in Kyrgyzstan attributes the revolt's success to the foreign help. "It would have been impossible for this to have happened without that help."

Several conclusions suggest themselves. First, building a democracy takes time. So don't look for us to get out of Iraq any time soon. Second, Western non-military support of democracy can help to bring about regime change. And third, the United States is able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The focus on Iraq is not preventing the US from midwifing the birth of democracies elsewhere in the world.




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