By Amit Roy
WESTERN governments and the media have backed protests in the Belarus capital, Minsk, against president Alexander Lukashenko, who is widely accused of rigging his election victory in early August.
But this moral support might prove pointless unless the west is able to match president Vladimir Putin’s threat to send in military help from Russia.
It is worth remembering the lessons from the Arab Spring of the early 2010s when the democratic process went into reverse in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, despite western support for the protestors’ cause.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter marches in Portland, Oregon, are being judged by different standards, with the protestors denounced as “agitators and thugs” by US president Trump. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate who fears the law and order issue is being used against him, has also condemned the violence, though he accused Trump of “fanning the flames of hate and division in our society” and “recklessly encouraging violence”.
Ironically, Putin said of the Belarus protests: “If this fight for natural rights, legal rights, turns into mayhem and rioting, I see nothing good for the country. We have never supported this.”
In other words, one man’s good protest is another man’s thuggery.