Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Those Rainbow Revolutions just keep coming

By Aussiegirl

The Times Online has an article on an emerging democracy movement in Kyrgyzstan modeled on the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. It's interesting to me that the idea of establishing a campaign color has captured the imagination of so many. I love the idea that each revolution will have its own hue -- Jesse Jackson take note -- this is not your father's Rainbow Coalition.

In America I suppose ever since the elections in 2000, when the networks for some reason labeled the Bush states as red and the Democrat states as blue, we've been talking about "red states" and "blue states". I know initially that a lot of conservatives were irritated at the choice of colors because red has always been associated in the conservative mind with communism -- and many felt that red belonged more properly to the Democrats, who espoused a leftist policy. But it's too late to change it now, red we are -- and blue they are -- and come to think of it -- considering the outcomes of recent elections -- the Democrats are blue -- and Republicans are seeing red over all the media bias in Hollywood and the mainstream media outlets.

There are psychologists who study the effects of colors on the human psyche, but probably never before did they imagine that colors would affect and galvanize the imaginations of people the world over struggling for democracy. Let's just hope we don't run out of colors -- or we might be seeing a chartreuse revolution someday -- and the men wouldn't have the faintest idea what to wear to the revolution!

More from the article:

Demonstrators in Krgyzstan are taking their cue from the upheaval in Ukraine
IT WOULD be either the "lemon" or the "tulip" revolution. Kazbek and his friends could not quite decide.

But as they watched Ukraine's Orange Revolution unfold last year, they were convinced of one thing: Kyrgyzstan could be next. Their mountainous homeland was thousands of miles east of Ukraine, and one tenth of its size, but the political parallels between the former Soviet republics were striking.

Kyrgyzstan, like Ukraine, was hailed as a beacon of democracy after the Soviet Union's collapse but had slipped into the standard post-Soviet habits of clan capitalism and authoritarian government. After 15 years in power Askar Akayev, the President, now appears determined to pack the parliament with relatives and allies at elections on February 27 � and to install his chosen successor at a presidential poll in October. Kazbek, a young Kyrgyz democracy activist, had been an election observer in Ukraine and witnessed first-hand the tactics used to mobilise opposition protests there.
Returning to Kyrgyzstan, he co-founded a youth movement, Kelkel, (Renaissance) modelled on Otpor (Resistance), the Serbian group that helped to topple Slobodan Milosevic and spawned similar movements in Georgia and Ukraine.

"We decided on the lemon revolution, because yellow is a colour of change � like on a traffic light," Nazik, another Kelkel leader, told The Times. The tulip idea was to match the Rose Revolution in Georgia. So far, the protests that began in January have attracted only a few hundred people, waving yellow banners and handing out flyers with catchy slogans. But the demonstrations illustrate how the ripples of the Orange Revolution have spread all the way from the new frontiers of the EU to the borders of China.

. . . Moscow has been careful to appear impartial this time, holding talks with opposition leaders as well. But analysts say that it could be heading for another foreign policy failure. "In Ukraine, the West was like a skilful lover, while Russia was like an impotent rapist," Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies, said. "I'm afraid Moscow is going to repeat the same mistakes in Kyrgyzstan."


At 7:07 PM, Blogger Pindar said...

Aussiegirl, you're so right about men and colors--an orange revolution is easy enough to accessorize, you just wear black pants and a blue shirt--but when things get tricky and they choose other colors, well, your average man throws up his hands. I also found out in this article that traffic lights in Kyrgyzstan use yellow for caution--who would have guessed?

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Looks like the old Domino Theory is correct; fall one, fall all!


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