Secrets, Lies and Democracy (Interviews with Noam Chomsky) Copyright © 1994 by David Barsamian
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Radio listener: I'd like to ask about US support for Yeltsin vs. democracy in Russia.

Yeltsin was the tough, autocratic Communist Party boss of Sverdlovsk. He's filled his administration with the old party hacks who ran things for him under the earlier Soviet system. The West likes him a lot because he's ruthless and because he's willing to ram through what are called "reforms" (a nice-sounding word).

These "reforms" are designed to return the former Soviet Union to the Third World status it had for the five hundred years before the Bolshevik Revolution. The Cold War was largely about the demand that this huge region of the world once again become what it had been -- an area of resources, markets and cheap labor for the West.

Yeltsin is leading the pack on pushing the "reforms." Therefore he's a "democrat." That's what we call a democrat anywhere in the world -- someone who follows the Western business agenda.

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