This is a republication of a post authored by Andrew Korybko, which was first published in OneWorld. It has been adapted with full permissions obtained from the author.
The Hybrid War of Terror on Kazakhstan that was unleashed on January 5th, possibly by the US’ subversive anti-Russian “deep state” faction in a desperate attempt to derail the upcoming talks with Russia on European security issues, was way worse than the US’ January 6th. Nevertheless, many of those who are adamantly opposed to what transpired on that second-mentioned day are passionately in support of what just happened in Kazakhstan.
The objectively existing and easily verifiable fact is that both examples are instances of weaponized protest movements, also known as Color Revolutions. Regardless of however one might feel about one or the other event, this much is undebatable. Whether it was politically dissatisfied followers of former US President Donald Trump or similarly dissatisfied Kazakhstanis enraged at their government’s preplanned removal of fuel subsidies, both events are characterized by increasingly riotous mobs.
The crucial difference, however, is that Trump-affiliated one only seized partial control of their country’s Capitol after the government refused to capitulate to their political demands and was later successfully removed from the premises by the security services with minimal casualties. The Kazakhstani mob, however, got everything that they wanted from the government after it reimposed its price controls, yet the most radical members within it actually intensified their destabilization operations.
What followed was a spree of urban terrorism not unlike that which tore through Ukraine during “EuroMaidan” or all across America during summer 2020’s similar Hybrid War of Terror that was waged by Antifa and “Black Lives Matter”. Over 12 members of the Kazakhstani security services were killed (3 of whom were beheaded), multiple government buildings seized and even torched, and the Almaty International Airport was even briefly taken over too, all of which led to at least 1,000 injuries that day.
Those who support what happened in Kazakhstan on January 5th yet are against what happened in the US on January 6th are therefore shamelessly hypocritical and driven by explicitly ideological double standards. There’s no other credible explanation for why they’d be against the comparatively much mildly and less violent Color Revolution in Washington DC last year but fully support the much more intense and violent one that just took place in Almaty yesterday.
This suggests that, as the cliched saying goes, “the ends justify the means”. In this case, the employment of Color Revolution technologies for regime change ends is acceptable when it’s against a government that’s considered to be within Russia’s so-called “sphere of interests” but absolutely unacceptable when it targets the US’ own government. Furthermore, those who are against January 6th usually support summer 2020’s spree of urban terrorism carried out by Antifa and “Black Lives Matter”.
The reason for this second observation is the same as the first, “the ends justify the means”. At that time, those who despised Trump would stop at nothing to destabilize his government in an attempt to manipulate voters against him at the then-upcoming polls in the desperate hope that Biden’s victory would bring an end to that particular Hybrid War of Terror. “The Anti-Trump Regime Change Sequence Is Worthwhile Studying” more in-depth for those who are interested in learning more about it.
The common denominator connecting some folks’ double standards towards Kazakhstan’s January 5th, the US’ January 6th, and summer 2020’s Hybrid War of Terror on America is their subjective belief that regime change ends are justified by any means – including the employment of Color Revolution technology – only if it advances their ideological vision at home or abroad. When the same techniques are employed by their opponents against their vision, they’re vehemently against them.
Those people’s minds won’t be changed even if others blatantly call them out for their hypocrisy, but dwelling on these observations can lead to some further insight into the larger trends at play. Simply put, the double standards toward the use of Color Revolution technology as a means towards any particular end won’t go away anytime soon since these techniques have proliferated over the past two decades to the point where just about any interest group can attempt to employ them.
The ideal scenario would therefore be if there was some sort of intergovernmental understanding – if not formal agreement – regulating the foreign use of these technologies against other states as well as stipulating the range of acceptable responses from victimized governments. This proposal is similar in spirit to strategic arms regimes such as the US-Russia nuclear pacts but would obviously include many more countries and perhaps all of them in the best-case scenario since anyone can use this technology.
The reason why this is a practical proposal is that highly politicized double standards will continue to abound at the international level over victimized governments’ responses to Color Revolution threats and associated Hybrid Wars. Their reactions are sometimes exploited as the pretext for imposing sanctions against them or pressuring these states through other means. It would help stabilize the international system and remove prevailing uncertainty if there were agreed-upon “rules of the game”.
Of course, the lack of credible enforcement mechanisms and the political will to impose such against all violators means that this proposed pact would ultimately just be a so-called “gentleman’s agreement’, but it could still go a long way towards signaling good faith to negotiate other issues of concern in a more meaningful way. Every person is entitled to their opinion about whatever event it might be, but it would be best for states to have a consistent stance towards similar issues.
Victimized governments should have the freedom to respond to Color Revolution-driven Hybrid War threats however they deem necessary to ensure the security of their majority peaceful citizenry that’s being terrorized by those provocations without worrying about foreign media or sanctions pressure afterwards. Terrorism has no specific identity attached to it (ethnicity, religion, region, political cause, etc.) since it’s just a collection of tactics and strategies aimed at advancing a certain end.
Having said that, “one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter” as another cliched saying goes, so it’s inevitable that some governments could subjectively define objectively non-terrorist actions and movements as terrorist-connected in order to justify a disproportionate response against them. There’s no silver bullet solution for preventing this from happening or adequately responding to it when it does since such designations might continue to be debatable depending on one’s perspective.
Be that as it may, there are some actions that are unquestionably terroristic in nature such as killing (not to mention beheading) members of the security services, seizing and burning government buildings, taking over airports, and wantonly torching the town. There shouldn’t be any reservations about supporting a targeted state’s response to those terrorist acts since politicizing it would implicitly place one on the terrorists’ side exactly like those who are against the CSTO’s Kazakhstani mission.
The takeaway is that ideologically driven double standards towards the employment of Color Revolution technologies as a means towards whatever end won’t go away at the civil society level but could possibly be regulated at the intergovernmental one, even if only through a “gentleman’s agreement”. Those who express blatant double standards towards different Color Revolutions without compellingly explaining why should be called out as hypocrites and discredited as the partisan hacks that they are.