Friday, March 25, 2005

The Follow-Through

Kyrgyzstan has officially joined the Ukraine Club. President Akayev was ousted yesterday and acting President Bakiyev has already begun planning new election to replace the contested ones for June. The chaos and protests have claimed their toll on the Central Asian country:

"Gunshots rang out throughout the night in the city of 800,000 people and fires were still burning in the morning with the shop workers attempting to clear up smashed windows."

This does pose an interesting question, because the Kyrgyzstan expression of democracy took the form of violent looting and riots. Unlike Ukraine, where the demonstrations remained peaceful, the Kyrgyzstani opposition took buildings, clashed with police, and looted like mad. Spreading democracy is an admirable goal, but Kyrgyzstan begins to ask whether violence within the democratic process is okay.