DC IN MAIDAN WOULD BE PUTIN’S GREATEST REVENGE
Remember the panorama of Kiev’s Independence Square at the height of the 2014 revolution? Army tents, field kitchens, piles of burning tires, black smoke drifting through the frosty air and giant barricades manned by post-apocalyptic warriors straight out of Mad Max?
Now imagine the same Maidan scene at the National Mall in Washington – a square that stretches for three kilometres and abuts in the Capitol. If I were a Kremlin strategist – given their Tarantino-styled post-modernist obsession with re-staging iconic scenes over and over again – I’d be dreaming of orchestrating a colour revolution in the heart of America. That would be Kremlin’s most spectacular revenge for what it sees as US-backed revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia and the Middle East.
This is what comes to mind when Donald Trump starts talking about rigged elections. It is one of the surest symptom of a pending colour revolution. Allegations of rigging is what sparked Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in December 2004. Seven years later, same allegations triggered Bolotnaya protests in Moscow, which the Kremlin read as an attempt to use the same political technology in Russia.
If someone has told Trump about colour revolutions, it would be Paul Manafort, who once advised Viktor Yanukovych, the man who was defeated in Orange revolution and then once again in the Revolution of Dignity in 2014.
Largely based on voters’ honesty and backed up by outdated technology, the US elections can indeed be rigged or disrupted by hackers, as demonstrated by the recent cyber-attacks, which the US authorities blamed on Russian government-controlled hacker. With a very weak voter identification procedure, hardly anything prevents what Russians call “carousels” – when groups of people travel between polling stations voting multiple times.
If violations and disruptions are sufficient to convince a constituency that’s already known for buying half-baked lies like president Obama’s non-US origin, then staging a massive permanent protest will be a technical issue. Occupy Wall Street did work for a while, so this one might work, too.
Can Trump rally a million people – the number which Louis Farrakhan promised but failed to bring to the National Mall in 1995? I have no idea. But if I worked for the Kremlin, I’d definitely try to convey the vision of a DC Maidan to Trump and his advisors.
Kremlin’s evident support for Trump’s candidacy has never been about making him win, but about making America divided, weak and preoccupied with an internal crisis. That worked in Ukraine, which keeps bleeding ever since the latest revolution. Making it bleed is not a means of achieving something, but an end in itself.