Selling Democracy

"Ukraine, traditionally passive in its politics, has been mobilised by the young democracy activists," reports the Guardian. But "the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes." The student groups Otpor in Serbia, Khmara in Georgia, Zubr in Belarus, and Pora in Ukraine have been assisted by the U.S. State Department, National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and U.S. AID. Other players include Freedom House, George Soros' Open Society Institute, and U.S. pollsters Penn, Schoen & Berland.