Talleyran had a famous phrase: if people knew who is their ruler they would be horrified!
I thought about this phrase again after the visit of Hillary Clinton, analyzing the words and actions of the Secretary of State, her meetings and talks in Baku.
First time I saw and heard Mrs.Clinton a year ago at a press conference before her departure from Baku.
Apparently, very pleased with the results of her visit, she was so relaxed that began to praise the authorities, and even said that “in recent years Azerbaijan has achieved remarkable achievements in the field of democracy.”
Moreover, it was said with such a great inspiration and emotion, those journalists and officials from both sides were taken aback.
Shy the question from an American journalist, whether Clinton spoke with authorities about the problems of democracy and human rights, made the Secretary of State come back to her senses, though she repeated that the authorities do much to improve the situation, and the USA is well aware of existing problems.
Then another journalist asked the question which made the Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, confused: How can we talk about the great achievements in the field of democracy in Azerbaijan, if your agency, the State Department, in their annual reports, state about ongoing deterioration of the situation in this area? Who should we believe, and how to understand you?
Then Mrs.Clinton had to say that there are problems, they should not be ignored, and Washington is actively working to regulate them. She spoke long and rambling, as if trying to justify herself.
Representative of the U.S. Embassy standing next to me approvingly looked at me quite smiling; and his colleague, a few days later came to me at some event, and gave me his hand approvingly when I expressed surprise at the low level of preparation of Clinton’s speech. “Do not overestimate them,” said the diplomat shortly.
After this press conference, the American media discussed for a long time the question asked at the press conference, and condemned the State Department for ignoring the issues of democracy in Azerbaijan.
So, what has changed over the year? The number of political prisoners and arrested journalists has increased by two times, and even more. However, at the briefing Clinton said nothing about it; she also did not meet with opposition, and only had a talk on abstract theme with a group of representatives of civil society. There was also a separate brief meeting with Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, and that, probably, should be regarded as a message to the democrats of the country …
I am far from accusing Washington of callousness and cynicism. Rather, the talk is about us: one should not overestimate the power and influence of foreign countries until a certain time. While their interests are secured, such as transit to Afghanistan and oil, Washington or Brussels will unlikely spoil relations with Baku. Rather, they prefer stability to the fight against anti-authoritarian regime.
We often confuse priorities with interests. Thus, cooperation with the authoritarian regime may be a necessary measure, but it can last for decades.
At the same time, one day, this cooperation will come to an end. (No wonder that Ali Hasanov so outraged betrayal of the West against Murabak!)
So Washington, Brussels and Strasbourg are surprised amazed, outraged, but do nothing. To make soothing there must happen something like the Arab revolution, or the events in Syria.
I absolutely do not want such scenario in our country, but the events in Guba region have shown that the talk about stability is a myth. The authorities were terrified with youth rallies in Baku in March and April, and the authorities were not able to calm people down. It is incredible, but the authorities instructed not to take bribes! Four months it was possible to register documents, resolve issues, which previously required thousands manat bribes, and walking from office to office officials.
A similar situation occurred in Guba region; where the government “suddenly” began to hear complaints, resolve any issues, etc.
The same processes occur in the area of flooding in lowland areas and in the earthquake zone in the west. Authorities use the carrot and stick policy: try to calm people, persuade, promise, when people go to the streets, and at the same time, then hunt down and imprison activists of those protests.
Someone in a large white house opposite the Philharmonic may be because of naiveté, or stupidity, thinks that it is possible to act so all times. Or maybe they are indifferent because the money and bags and prepared, and have reserves airfields in Europe and overseas.
Mrs. Clinton knows quite well about all, and if necessary, a year later, and two, she will say the same thing, but she can say what she is telling today about Syria – Assad regime must go away! What can we do to awake the authorities, to bring some movement to change something?
This question is both difficult and easy to answer. If to say that civil society should be active, that people should demand, go into the streets, they will not go out! For this to happen, people should be said nothing, they should want it, and it is not possible without a certain level of political consciousness. People go out to streets or a social explosion occurs when people are taken by the throat, or when there is interference from outside. In both cases the consequences are terrible – degradation to lumpens and the collapse of the state.
The revolution leads not to progress, but to regress. It is not possible to remove accumulation of social tension by the dominance of show business on television. But there is another incurable problem in the human psyche: the authoritarian regime is convinced that they would not face the fate of the Shah of Iran, Pinochet, Saddam, Qaddafi, Ben Ali, Mubarak and the others.
For at least 2000 years psychiatrists can not determine why they think so.
Mrs.Clinton and her colleagues have their answer to this question: political correctness does not allow us to call a spade a spade, so wait. They repeat it around the world, and not only in the country, which has no analogues.
V. I. Ulyanov “Turan” Agency