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February 28, 2005



I think you make some very good points, Jamie.

To take a particularly cynical viewpoint, the current situation beats the Cold War situation. Back then, if a group wanted to unseat those currently in power, they would apply to the major power of their choice (basically the US or the Soviet Union, but occasionally the smaller players) for guns, mortars, and rocket launchers. Once that equipment was supplied, they would proceed to wreak havoc against the powers that were.

Now proposals are neatly written in the proper format, and the weapons are made of paper.

Many fewer deaths, and much better theater. I think generally an improvement.

The insurgents of the Cold War variety used marketing tools, like charismatic and distinctive leaders (think Fidel Castro) and newly designed flags and posters. They just didn't call them marketing tools.

Less cynically, I don't believe that a marketing and branding strategy alone could mobilize all the people that participated in the Orange Revolution. I think you're right that if the new leaders don't live up to the promises, both explicit and implicit, that they've made, the public will demand something else. But that's always been true of revolutions unless they manage to install a government that doesn't allow the demand for something else.

Outsiders always want to influence elections. That's true in the US and UK and everywhere else. They use the methods available to them. Those within the country who want that help will take it, depending somewhat on the legal sanctions. If that help is transparent, as it was in this case, we can comment on it and evaluate it.

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