The OSCE's star turn in American politics

The conservative blogosphere is alive with stories about Texas refusing to accept the presence of election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). Oddly, many of these commentators insist on conflating the OSCE with the United Nations, and so the dispatch of OSCE observers to watch U.S. elections has been neatly melded into the right's general UN-skepticism. 

I haven't seen the OSCE drawn into the American political fray this directly since the mid-1990s. Then the issue was the Bosnian elections, which the OSCE was organizing and supervising. Many of us working in Bosnia at the time were convinced that the organization was being used to help advance Bill Clinton's reelection bid by showing tangible evidence of progress in Bosnia. Clinton had promised that American troops would be out of Bosnia quickly, and the premature elections seemed to be a way of punching the American ticket and heading for the exits. For a while, wags renamed the  OSCE the "Organization to Secure Clinton's Election."


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