Tensions continue after a night of unrest in Bishkek, the capital of the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan. A lot of comparisons have been made between the uprising over the alleged electoral fraud in Kyrgyzstan and the earlier revolutions sparked by disputed elections in Ukraine and Georgia. But during 24 hours, VOA Moscow bureau chief Lisa McAdams witnessed the one key difference in Bishkek’s revolution - looting and violence. ~Voice of America

This is the likely fruit of toppling established governments and prattling about bringing democracy to all the corners of the world: disorder, violence and attacks on property, all of the things that have always made sudden political change something rightly to be feared and avoided. It is a measure of how contrived and stage-managed the Georgian and Ukrainian uprisings were that they were peaceful (it also probably does not hurt that most of the feted “revolutions” of the past few years until now have happened in Western or significantly Westernised countries).

The stage managers of this revolution did not take account of the orgy of violence their mob might pursue in the wake of forcing the previous government from power (more likely, they did not care–it is an occasion for them to seize still more power in the upheaval).

No doubt this is what the harbingers of worldwide upheaval call the “messiness” of democracy. Well, we have seen this “messiness” before in the 1790s, and it often ends in slaughter, martial rule and despotism. Now the new leader, Washington’s “main candidate” Bakiyev, claims that someone is plotting to assassinate him and he alludes threateningly to “counter-revolutionary” forces in the best Soviet tradition. We are likely soon to see another aspect of the face of revolution: retribution against forces of the old establishment and “counter-revolutionaries.”