Sunday, June 24, 2007

Now James...

Be careful: Big Brother is watching you
This evening's blog consists of my response to a response to something I wrote. James, an arts manager from Chicago writes the The Buckwheat Waffle Love Hour, which occasionally has some interesting Belarusian content. James also has a strong connection to White Russia in that he is married to Belarusian lady and has spent 8 months in the country visiting with her family. This post specifically replies to James' Back to Being Had

James, about the opposition, I refer you to this "Story": Milinkevich to Pinsk: Kak Ve nye stidna?

This was written directly after attending Milinkevich's speech in Pinsk. Up till this time, my Tanya was convinced that Milinkevich was the man in Belarus. She had this thought after meeting with the opposition guys campaigning on the street to the markets and from literature (several copies of Naradnaya Volya) presented to her at her work. We even had one of the opposition guys come to the house to show us a video of the police talking to their people to prove what a police state it was. After watching Milinkevich speak live, she changed her mind thinking that the man was full of hot air.

Now my friend, listen to what I am telling you here. People voted for who they thought was the best man for the job in Belarus. This is a fact. They voted for the man who they thought was the strongest personality and who best represented their interests. Everyone here thought that Milinkevich was a Euro backed carpet bagger, and people here were not and are not interested in being ruled by Europe. Kazulin was seen, and please forgive me for saying this, as a crazy man. Everyone thought he looked a little odd in his television spot and that he was at least grandstanding by instigating the fight at the "people's conference" when he go arrested. Making one's self a martyr for European money is not how to gain support for your own personal leadership.

This is not only how I saw things from the inside, this is how 83% of the people in Belarus saw it as well.

Now, understanding that Belarus would not receive favorable treatment from Europe because of this vote was not only understood by everyone, IT WAS ALSO ONE OF THE REASONS FOR VOTOING FOR LUKASHENKA. I don't know if you can understand this, but the real THREAT during the last elections was not made by the Belarusian hockey player, Kalhoze manager, last-dictator-of-Europe but by the European money people. They were the one's saying that there would be pain if they were not followed. All Lukashenka said was that he understood the souls of the people of Belarus, that he understood what they really wanted from their lives and that if elected, he would continue to do what he had been doing all along and challenged anyone to show him where he had been corrupt or had not been doing his job.

Since the elections, and this is my opinion from reading basically everything written about Belarus in the conventional media (i.e., all of the sources listed on the BHTimes) it seems as if there has at least been an acceptance of the fact of Lukashenka's popularity within the country and, with the notable exception of the Reuter's interview, Lukashenka seems to have made a reasonable impression on at least a dozen countries insofar as trade and economic opportunities are concerned. These countries include India, China, the Arab states, Korea, Basically all of the CIS, Vietnam and of course, Venezuela. Belarus has also continued to try and create a Union State with Russia. Yes, I understand what you might probably say about these countries, but the fact remains that despite Euro trash talk, Belarus has not been as isolated as you might think. They also by the way make substantial trade in several fields with European countries and the US as well.

What all this means is that despite all of the trumped up media propaganda from the time of the elections, and the major hit from the Russian Gas and oil deals, life has gone on. Milinkevich is now gone, rejected by his own people and the Belarusian opposition in general has been widely criticized as being both inept and even corrupt. They are also seen as being rather a downer because of constantly harping on the negative side of things, rather than admitting that Belarus is a place where people live, work and get along as they can.

I happen to be one of them.

Is it hard in Belarus? Yes it is. Do peoople want a better life here? Yes they do. But what it is really about is that getting there is seen as a task best accomplished by Belarusians, for Belarusians and that the best interests of Belarusians are served. Aparently, becoming economic wage slaves to European interests does not rate highly in the local ideology despite propaganda and rhetoric to the contrary.

More soon...