Democracy as a means of control, blackmail and robbery

08 04 2005

Lithuanians have a good reason to perceive the US as a pirate wearing the mask of democracy. The official concern over democracy seems to be just a disguise for propaganda attacks, as it is not applied to the humble.

Stalin’s lessons

There is no secret that the Soviet Union fully controlled the absolute majority of Central and Eastern European communist states. Stalin’s version of democracy was established there with active help of the Red Army; and, therefore, remained under Moscow’s control until its final breakdown. The stories of the insurgencies in Hungary and the Prague Spring proved that the Soviet Union was producing completely obedient ‘democracies’.

It seems that the US rarely fights against democratic countries because it can make them obey without directly resorting to force.

The US has perfectly learnt Stalin’s lessons. Americans have nuclear weapons, the best technologies and the most effective special services in the world. The government of the US is always ready to apply its huge potential for political and economic pressure, having under its control the most important international organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Therefore, the US successfully makes numerous countries obey its will.

The course of ratification of the treaty of the International Criminal Court and the Kioto Protocol has convincingly demonstrated that the most obedient to the US are the countries that declare their faithfulness to ‘western democracy’. It seems that the US rarely fights against democratic states because it can make them obey without directly resorting to force.

Democratic countries are easier to control

In Lithuania, illegally collected information provided by special services of ‘friendly states’ recently played an important role at the political impeachment of the former president Rolandas Paksas (mostly because of his sympathy with Russia). His successor, a former US civil servant Valdas Adamkus has not yet expressed any intention of withdrawing Lithuanian troops from the countries occupied by the US.

There is no secret, that the ‘world champions of democracy’ are steadily spying on top officials of other countries, even the friendly ones, and they do not hesitate to exploit the illegally collected compromising material.

In order to subjugate the undemocratically ruled Iraq and take control of its oil, the US had to occupy the disobedient state. Had the model of democracy recommended by the US existed there, simple intimidation of the state officials or blackmail would have done. As it has been proved by the recent events in Serbia and the Ukraine, in democratic developing countries there is a possibility of removing an ‘impertinent’ leader by means of financing a political campaign against him and at the same time supporting his ‘obedient’ adversary.

Lithuania and ‘democratic’ blackmail

Promoting democracy all around the world can become extremely profitable when combined with business interests. The leaders of recently established democracies can be easily convinced that their generous patrons should be properly rewarded. In order to secure good relations with the US and to ensure its support for Lithuania’s application for NATO membership, Lithuania had to ‘present’ Americans with a great deal of its oil industry.

In 1999, in spite of desperate protests by the opposition, the Lithuanian government signed a privatization contract granting the management rights of the Lithuanian oil refinery and 33 percent of its shares to the US company Williams International. Under the provisions of the contract, the Lithuanian government had to compensate for all the losses caused by possible disruptions of crude oil supply from Russia.

Therefore, any supply disruption was extremely profitable for Williams International; and in a couple of years the company not only devastated Lithuanian oil industry, but also pumped about a quarter of a billion US dollars out of the Lithuanian Treasury, which at that time made about ten percent of the annual state budget. To overcome the consequential financial crisis, Lithuania had to introduce a special austerity policy and apply for special loans from the International Monetary Fund.

It will not be easy for the US to change its image in the eyes of Lithuanians, as many of them consider the US as ‘a pirate of democracies’ that robs ruthlessly weak and poor countries, the corrupt officials of which can be so easily intimidated or blackmailed in the conditions of formal democracy.

The above-mentioned privatization contract could be considered to be ‘the price to pay’ for bad negotiating or, putting it in other words, for corruption, if it had not been for the significant pressure from some high-level US officials to sign the contract. Influential politicians from the US implied that the dismal contract with the American company was a necessary condition of Lithuania’s admition to NATO, which at that time was one of the top priorities of Lithuanian foreign policy.

Actually, the US government had formally declared that it did not identify the contract with Lithuania’s prospects of NATO membership, but in spite of this some Lithuanian politicians at that time were flooded with convincing private letters and phone calls from the US, which insisted on crucial importance of the contract.

The US diplomats in Lithuania did not waist their time either. Only when one of the most influential opponents to the contract had paid a private visit to the US embassy, the opposition abandoned its plans to organize a nation-wide referendum on the issue.

In 2000, the Constitutional Court of Lithuania recognized unconstitutional three important provisions of the laws, on which the ill-starred contract was based. Immediately, numerous phone calls and letters from high-level US politicians started arriving again. The US undersecretary of treasury Stuart Eisenstadt was convincingly expressing his concern about the decision of the Constitutional Court; senator Gordon Smith became famous the world over for his convincing letter to then prime minister Rolandas Paksas.

The Lithuanian leaders of that time, afraid of possible vengeance from overseas (who wouldn’t in their place?), continued paying huge compensations, thus completely ignoring the decision of the Constitutional Court.

It was a horrible shock to most Lithuanians. Many of them became then completely disappointed not only with the US, but also with NATO and democracy. Anyway, it will not be easy for the US to change its image in the eyes of Lithuanians, as many of them consider the US as a ‘pirate of democracies’ that robs ruthlessly weak and poor states, the corrupt officials of which can be so easily intimidated or blackmailed in the conditions of formal democracy.

Does democracy really matter?

It was noticed a long time ago that the most influential ‘champions of democracy’, such as the US, the EU and some countries of Western Europe, fiercely criticize most political events, particularly elections, in countries like Russia or Iran and are completely indifferent towards what is happening in their own numerous satellites.

All the fuss about ‘democracy’ seems to be nothing else than a disguise for propaganda attacks against political or economic adversaries.

Many basic principles of democracy, particularly the rule of law, were blatantly ignored at the accession referenda that took place during the procedure of the last EU expansion in the spring of 2003. Only in Lithuania,

  • the media was monopolized by state institutions that funded the greatest part of campaigning for Lithuania’s accession to the EU;
  • some state officials intimidated the journalists, who had dared to point out any disadvantages of the EU membership in public;
  • blatant campaigning by the highest state officials for the EU membership took place during the voting process;
  • as many as about one third of all the active voters were openly rewarded by one well known Lithuanian company

However, neither the EU nor the US concerned themselves at all with the above-mentioned referenda, compared to which, the elections in Russia or the Ukraine looked like examples of genuine democracy.

The handy sound of ‘democracy’

Thus, Lithuania’s experience supports in a somewhat extraordinary way the ‘old truth’ that investment into promotion of democracy pays off very well. By taking advantage of opportunities to blackmail local politicians, some ‘western’ countries not only ensure the most favourable economic policies of the new democracies. From time to time the ‘generous’ champions of democracy can also quietly rob their naive satellites, who usually rely on them blindly.

The indifference of ‘the West’ towards deteriorating democracy in Lithuania creates an impression that only disobedient and hostile states can be named ‘undemocratic’. Therefore, all the fuss about ‘democracy’ seems to be nothing else than a disguise for propaganda or military attacks against political or economic adversaries.

There’s a price to pay the West in order they call you ‘democracy’, is it?

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