The New Warsaw Pact
It’s not clear whether Barack Obama doesn’t know who Nikolai Bordyuzha is or doesn’t care and that’s disturbing, because Bordyuzha is the proud KGB spy who is the spokesman for the new Warsaw Pact.
The constituents of this terrifying group (here is a photo of their assembled foreign ministers, a true rogue’s gallery), known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, are Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Armenia. There used to be nine members, but Georgia and Azerbaijan both bailed out in 1999, leaving seven. Bordyuzha, a Russian KGB officer, is the General Secretary.
The ragtag assembly of nations that comprise the CSTO include the worst dictatorships of post-Soviet space, and the organization’s charter is essentially the same as that of the Warsaw Pact: mutual defense from the horrific dangers posed by the forces of democracy.
And just as was the case with the Warsaw Pact, the CSTO is rapidly turning into a mutual aid society for the repression of domestic dissent.
Last week Boryuzha told Bloomberg: “The events in North Africa opened our eyes to many things. We must reflect on what happened there and develop means of defense. The whole crisis-response system that was improved a year ago is focused on avoiding threats to security and stability. First and foremost, that’s internal problems”
Defense from, in other words, the popular will.
The CSTO intends to create “a mechanism to assist the legitimately elected leadership of a country to protect constitutional order,” according to Bordyuzha. By mechanism, he means blunt trauma.
What he means by “legitimately elected” is harder to say.
Does he consider Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has held power for twenty years and who wins “reelection” with 95% of the vote and no opponents “legitimately elected”? Given a bit more time, he may well match Stalin’s longevity. Perhaps Stalin too, come to think of it, was “legitimately elected” in the eyes of the CSTO membership.
How about Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose dark regime George W. Bush once openly called a “the last dictatorship in Europe”? Legitimately elected?
Was Russian President Dmitri Medvedev legitimately elected in 2008? The conclusively documented ballot fraud and the fact that former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov was not even allowed to put his name on the ballot tend to imply otherwise. Not even the most ardent Russophiles I know make any claim that Russia’s leadership is legitimately elected.
Are there legitimate elections in Uzbekistan according to the CSTO? Islam Karimov, the only ruler the state has known since the breakup of the USSR, was “reelected” with 88% of the vote in 2007. International observers said the “election” was “held in a strictly controlled political environment, leaving no room for real opposition, and the election generally failed to meet many OSCE commitments for democratic elections.” Uzbeks, at least, can still vote with their feet. Over three million have fled the country in recent years.
Tajikistan? President Imomali Rakhmon, though still a baby compared to Karimov, has held power for 18 years, the same amount of time Leonid Brezhnev clutched his authority, and the country has never held an election judged free and fair by international observers.
Armenia, where opposition activists hold mass demonstrations and openly proclaim they are inspired by the Arab Spring, and Kyrgyzstan, which has actually had meaningful elections approved by international observers, are the most liberal members of the CSTO. But how liberal could they really be if they maintain their membership in an entity like the CSTO and support statements like those made by Bordyuzha?
Still, using the standard set by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, none of the other five members of the CTSO have legitimate elections. Conversely, if the other five members are legitimate then Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are dangerously out of control, and likely to first feel the wrath of the CTSO’s new Gestapo-like stormtroopers.
Meanwhile, President Obama remains silent. He chooses to ignore the creation of new anti-American Warsaw Pact organization, and chooses to ignore the eradication of American values in this segment of post-Soviet space. He does this because he wishes to use the illusion of “good relations” with Russia to score political points in the next election cycle. The world has seen such short-sighted policymaking before, and it has always led to disaster.