|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Coup in Kyrgyzstan: 'Storm Over Asia' Escalates
The situation in the 5 million person Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan is unsettled at this writing. President Askar Akayev fled the capital city of Bishkek March 24, as crowds, mainly led by an opposition coalition openly assisted by the U.S. Embassy, took over the main government buildings. Ex-Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev and former security official Gen. Felix Kulov, freed from prison during the coup, are nominally in charge, after the Supreme Court annulled results of Feb. 27/March 13 parliamentary elections, and the previous parliament convened and appointed Bakiyev as acting President. Akayev, however, has not resigned, though he left Kyrgyzstan, and is believed to be in Kazakstan or Russia.
Events in Central Asia bear out the warning in Lyndon LaRouche's 1999 video, "Storm Over Asia," which identified the motor of instability in this region as the "mercenary force," created through the 1980s "Iran-Contra" drug-financed covert operations, which had matured to threaten China, India, Iran, and Russia. Russia's response, if "pushed to the wall," would be aimed against the countries that sponsor such attacks, LaRouche warned. Now, LaRouche observes, we are facing "the Iran-Contra Syndrome, in the Age of George Soros," as the roles of drug lords and of "Project Democracy" in the Kyrgyzstan events demonstrate.
Akayev, a physicist by training, has been a leading advocate of what he calls "the doctrine of the Great Silk Road," according to which Kyrgyzstan's future prosperity is bound up with great infrastructure projects in Eurasia. He also co-created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which groups Russia, China, and major Central Asian Republics in cooperation on security and economic development.
Dope Mafia and Project Democracy in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akayev warned of the threat of an outside-orchestrated "velvet" coup already in September 2004, and again in December. (See "Ukraine: A Post-Modernist Revolution," EIR, Feb. 11, 2005, for a profile of such operations.) In Kyrgyzstan, the crisis was compounded by ethnic and clan problems, and the deep poverty experienced since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The involvement of drug traffickers in the destabilization became obvious as the biggest riots were in Osh and Jalal-abad, at the head of the infamous Fergana Valley. Extending westward into Uzbekistan, this is a major opium-growing region. Fergana was the center of the civil conflict in Kyrgyzstan 15 years ago. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has been active there. And today, there is an additional factor of an ethnic Uighur insurgency, which is also of concern to China.
On Dec. 17, Akayev told Kyrgyzstan's Defense Council that the February/March parliamentary elections might be followed by large-scale political destabilization. Also in December, Kyrgyzstan's Anti-Drug Agency Chairman Kurmanbek Kubatbekov warned that drug money was likely to be used for a political destabilization. As soon as the election results were made public, revealing that the opposition was going to receive not more than three seats in Parliament, riots started in Jalal-abad and Osh.
A well-informed source in India noted March 25 that there is a loose alliance between criminal drug interests and Islamists in southern Kyrgyzstan. Whatever Washington or Moscow think is going on, he said, the dynamic inside Kyrgyzstan is moving towards north-versus-south civil war, like a similar eruption in Tajikistan in the 1990s. The view in Central Asia is that Uzbekistan is next, and this is well understood by that country's President Islam Karimov.
Soros, U.S. Support for Kyrgyzstan Regime Change Is Overt
Several years ago, George Soros, the "philanthropic" front man for the drug mafia, called the Fergana Valley the most important hot spot on the planet. Soros's Open Society Foundation (OSF) is very active in the Fergana Valley region, as is the Eurasia Foundation, a U.S. government-funded quango (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization) tightly connected with the OSF. Combined, they earmarked $45 million to promote "democracy" and "free press" in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Stephen Young practically boasted to the Washington Post on March 25, that he has been coordinating the opposition parties, to make sure they remain united. On March 24, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Young was meeting with the opposition leaders, and defended the crowds' violent attacks on government buildings.
Bush Thumbs Nose at Moscow with Diplomatic Schedule
After President George W. Bush visits Moscow in May, at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II, he will move on to meet the leaders of the three Baltic countries in Latvia. Then Bush travels to Georgia, where he wants to celebrate the December 2003 Project Democracy/George Soros coup known as the "Rose Revolution." This trip is designed to show that Bush can stand up to Moscow, which is becoming "insular and isolated," according to the Washington Post. It is well-known that the Americans are organizing Jacobin coups in the countries around Russia, and just to make the point clear, Bush will be receiving the new Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko at the White House on April 4.
Paris 'Summit of Four' Discussed Economic Cooperation
Russian media reports on the Mar. 19 Franco-German-Spanish-Russian summit in Paris indicate motion towards signing of the planned EU-Russia strategic economic partnership agreement in Moscow on May 10. The intended intensified economic cooperation will, however, proceed mostly in the context of cooperation among those four countries. Especially prominent were discussions on "lifting the arms embargo against China," which would open the door to cooperation, via the Franco-German-Spanish EADS, joined by Russia, in aircraft manufacturing. In Russia, the firm Irkut has been mentioned in this context. The four would also deliver arms and military equipment to China.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder emphasized that cooperation in energy should be moved from the present level of relations, which is that Europe imports oil and gas from Russia, to a new level envisaging substantial European investment in Russia's oil and gas sector, including exploration.
Thirdly, and emphasized especially by the French, was space technology cooperation. France and Russia signed a bilateral agreement that covers future manned space missions. The design and development of new types of spacecraft and satellites is envisaged in this agreement.
Lvov: Use Stabilization Fund To End Poverty
Academician Dmitri Lvov, secretary of the Russian Academy of Sciences economics section, recently told the widely circulated Argumenty i fakty weekly that 60% of Russians live on incomes below the real poverty line ($182/month) and 20% of them are below even the official line ($87/month). Lvov said that the current 500 billion ruble (over $18 billion) level of the Stabilization Fundwhich is comprised of surplus export earnings and managed by the Finance Ministry, gold/currency reserves of over $120 billion, and Russia's sustained budget surplus are due not only to oil revenues, but to underpayment of labor.
In order to achieve real economic growth, Russia must raise its population above the poverty line, Lvov said. This could be done by spending $8 billion of the Stabilization Fund to increase pensions and wages, as was done in Japan and Western Europe at a certain point. Lvov dismissed claims that such a deployment of money would trigger hyperinflation, saying that a well-prepared influx of domestically produced goods to the market could compensate the increased money supply. In addition, Lvov called for investing the Stabilization Fund in science, education, and aircraft production. With $7 billion, the Russian aircraft industry would be competitive on a world scale. Within a decade, said Lvov, Russia should be trading manufactured products, not just oil, on the world market.
Columnist: Russia Should Reject Wolfowitz ... and World Bank
Moscow-based American analyst John Helmer, writing in a mid-March issue of The Russia Journal, called the nomination of Paul Wolfowitzwho has at been war against Russia "since he got out of short pants"to head the World Bank, an opportunity for Russia. Already under outgoing president James Wolfensohn, Helmer wrote, the World Bank was used by the USA "to destroy the economic foundations of its rival superpower; pay stipends to Russian quislings; and oblige the Russian government to incur sizeable debts for the privilege of being advised to dismantle its systems of command and control, and transfer the nation's most valuable resources into the hands of a dozen individuals eager to betray their country for personal profit." When Russia challenged the World Bank's operations, Wolfensohn appointed, to prepare a defense of the bank's operations, "a minor academic who had enriched himself selling Russians the very advice Wolfensohn asked him to evaluate"Anders Aslund.
The nomination of Wolfowitz, "ought to remove any possibility that Russia, now a greater oil power than Wolfensohn or Wolfowitz have thought possible, would borrow [from the World Bank] itself, or recommend that anyone else should." Helmer concluded that the Wolfowitz nomination could "be an opportunity for President Vladimir Putin to conclude that, from Russian experience, the World Bank does more damage than good, and that, in consequence, it should be isolated and ignored by those countries and economies most in need of development financing."
LaRouche Movement Writers Published In Russia
Recent Russian publications of articles originating with EIR include the following articles:
Mir peremen (World of Transformations), a new quarterly in the traditional Russian "thick journal" genre, published in issue #3 for 2004 a Russian text of Helga Zepp-LaRouche's speech at a workshop of the May 2004 "Europe in the 21st Century: Crossroad of Civilizations" conference in Prague. Mir peremen is associated with the Institute for International Economic and Political Research (IMEPI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The editors presented Zepp-LaRouche's speech as being of interest because it dealt with historical precedents for solving "serious economic and financial crises," especially the 1933-1938 New Deal program of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The speech discussed LaRouche's unique record as an economic forecaster, and as the leading representative of the FDR tradition today. The speech appeared in EIR of May 28, 2004.
The financial monthly Valyutny Spekulyant (Currency Trader) in February carried a round-up of material on the crisis of the U.S. dollar, taken from the economic news digests in EIR Online. The March issue published Mary Burdman's review of the BBC2 film, "The Man Who Broke Britain," and John Hoefle's overview of major banks' derivatives exposure.
In February the online magazine Polyarnaya Zvezda (Pole Star) posted a translation of Jeff Steinberg's May 5, 2000 article "From Cybernetics to LittletonTechniques in Mind Control."