'Mission accomplished,' said Mike Stone, a pudgy, bearded American, in his office outside the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, where just over a week ago a crowd drove out President Askar Akayev and his family.
Stone is project director for Freedom House, a pro-democracy foundation part-funded by the American government, which published opposition newspapers that fuelled popular discontent in the weeks prior to the so-called tulip revolution.
Brian Kemple, a lawyer who runs a project for USAid, the development arm of the US government, said internal dissatisfaction with a corrupt regime was what motivated the protests.
"I have seen hundreds of allegations about how we are a fifth column, American agents," said Edil Baisalov, director of the US and British-funded Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, which backed a series of anti-Akayev demonstrations. "They are completely wrong."