9 December 2011, 16:29

The U.S. wants its Golos to be heard

The U.S. wants its Golos to be heard
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On Friday, Russian Internet portal Life News published 60 MB of electronic correspondence between the notorious NGO Golos (which can be translated into English as both “Voice” and “Vote”) and the U.S. State Department.

On Friday, Russian Internet portal Life News published 60 MB of electronic correspondence between the notorious NGO Golos (which can be translated into English as both “Voice” and “Vote”) and the U.S. State Department.

The letters detailing financial terms of cooperation between the NGO and USAID leave no space for doubt that the whole activity of Golos was directed and orchestrated from Washington. There are detailed requirements from the USAID financial analyst Julia Kostkina directed to deputy executive director of Golos Grigory Melkonyants concerning the NGO’s expenditure and demanding report on every penny spent.

Also, as can be seen from the correspondence, some of Golos’ activists ask Melkonyants how much exactly the NGO is ready to pay for every reported piece of incorrect voting or electoral fraud.

And, to leave absolutely no space for any doubt, the Life News publications ends with the full text of a “Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Russian Government Harassment of  Golos” dated December 2. “We are proud of our support of Golos,” says Mr. Vietor. “The United States has supported and will continue to support citizens and non-governmental organizations working for free and fair elections in Russia.”

Being caught red-handed, Golos executives tried to backfire. Both executive director of Golos Lilia Shibanova and her deputy Melkonyants said that the correspondence had been acquired by Life News illegally, and that they are going to bring the matter to court.

This might sound convincing but for two small points. One – by reacting this way they fully acknowledge the fact that the correspondence is genuine and they are on Washington’s payroll. Second – they acknowledge that their own activity is illegal, since foreign sponsorship is illegal for Russia’s political organizations. And the activity of Golos disclosed by the publication is purely political. By the way, criminal charges against Golos had been filed with Russia’s Prosecutor General even before the elections when it was already obvious that the more cases of “fraud” they disclose, the more money from Washington they will get.

In fact, the whole campaign aimed at protecting their protégés is only a particular manifestation of the global campaign launched by the U.S. government agencies to promote a completely new type of warfare to protect what is perceived in Washington as their vital interests. The most disastrous examples of this type of warfare were demonstrated by the Twitter revolutions in the Middle East, and now Washington clearly realizes the importance of cyber-sphere for promoting their version of democracy.

The two-day conference in The Hague, sponsored by Google and the Dutch government that started on Thursday has become one of the venues of such warfare. Addressing the conference in The Hague, the U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton and other speakers warned countries like Syria, Iran, China and Russia against imposing restrictions on the Internet. Ms. Clinton specifically made a case of the arrest of a Russian blogger Alexei Navalny who became famous for his reckless criticism of whatever Russian leaders might do, but was arrested for a trivial violation of public order in the wake of the December 4 elections.

The speakers somehow preferred not to notice, that apart from the above-listed “autocratic” countries, more and more countries which are regarded as democracies and the West’s reliable allies, like South Korea and India, have recently started imposing certain restriction on the Internet and social networks. The problem is that the unlimited freedom of expression too often tends to be incompatible with social responsibility, and responsible leaders start to realize that certain limits are necessary.

This does not seem to alter the U.S. stand on what it calls human rights and civil liberties. Waving this banner, the U.S. is ready to wage war on everyone and everybody who resist their dominance.

The recent declaration of gay rights protection the world over is just another demonstration of this kind of offensive. Well, the campaign in favor of Golos and other Russian home-made but foreign-bred liberals clearly falls into this line.

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