The idea that the people of Kyrgyzstan have risen up, all on their own, to establish “democracy” and the “rule of law” in a land that has never known either, is the sort of fairy tale that even the most naïve will probably greet with a considerable degree of skepticism. This is especially true if we look at the sort of characters who are coming forward as the new “democratic” leaders of this poor isolated country of some 5 million:

opposition leader and former Vice President Felix Kulov, sprung from jail by the “Pink Revolutionaries,” was a deputy interior minister in the Soviet era, when he commanded troops who killed dozens of protesters who stormed a police station in southern Kyrgyzstan during the last days of the Soviet Union;

former Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev – under his regime, in March 2002, riots broke out in his home region in the south, protesting the arrest of their parliamentary deputy. Police fired into a crowd of 1,500, and five people died. Bakiyev was forced to resign after an investigation;

Ishenbai Kadyrbekov – elected “provisional” speaker by a dubious amalgam of the former parliament and others. Mr. Kadyrbeko is an incumbent deputy leader of the Communist Party, who accused the administration of President Askar Akayev of bugging his telephone (something a Communist would never do!), and a man, furthermore, with a somewhat dubious reputation. ~Justin Raimondo

It is becoming easier to spot the fake democratic revolution. A reliable guide to its falsity is the degree to which mainstream American newspapers praise and marvel at the latest budding of democratic joy. We could be fairly sure that the Ukrainian “revolution” was one of the most staged and least authentic because of the wall-to-wall coverage and support it received from the chattering and political classes, and the Lebanese “Cedar revolution” was comparable. Today’s Chicago Tribune carries a ludicrously extensive, one-sided article exulting in the overthrow of the Kyrgyz government (which, correct me if I’m wrong, was for all its problems and flaws a friendly and generally pro-American government). As Mr. Raimondo already observed earlier this week, this “revolution” has been more like a conventionally violent, destructive revolution than the implicit threat of mob violence that hung over Kiev for a month.

I’m hardly an admirer of democracy, even when it’s not as managed and fake as the Yushchenko mob or the outpourings of the “Lebanese people,” but could it be that replacing one set of “ex-communist” apparatchiks with another has changed nothing meaningful in the way in which ordinary Kyrgyz people are governed? How do Kyrgyz people benefit if they are robbed, as they will be, by elected criminals rather than entrenched, ruling-party criminals?

If the men listed in Mr. Raimondo’s column, cited above, are the best representatives of democracy and reform, then Kyrgyzstan surely has bigger problems than flawed elections or constitutional irregularities. It continues to suffer from the kleptocracy that has ridden on the backs of the Kyrgyz, an already largely destitute nation, most of which scratches out a basic living from traditional pastoralism. Whether President Akayev had remained in office or not would not have changed that, and his removal is not going to remedy seriously Kyrgyzstan’s problems.

What it will do is pull this poor, out-of-the-way country onto the center stage of the continued contest between Russia and the United States over political control in the former Soviet republics. Fostering instability in central Asia, however, harms Russia and legitimate American interests (to the extent that there are any American interests in central Asia at all) and serves the interests of only two elements: the Chinese on one side and Islamists on the other.

Mr. Raimondo is, of course, correct that this “revolution” is in no way a spontaenous expression of popular will (though certain demagogues have no doubt manipulated the looting crowds into believing that they made the “revolution” happen) and reeks of intervention yet again.

If there were some small prospect of better, more just government after the “revolution,” then it might be slightly less offensive and obnoxious interference in the internal affairs of another country, but in none of the targeted states have the “revolutions” done anything but entrench a different sort of dictator or demagogue who will naturally govern in his own interest.