More on Uzbekistan

The NYT has survivors’ accounts of the massacre in Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, on last night’s ABC News, I saw the commander of the US base in Uzbekistan interviewed. He said something like “The host country military are doing a wonderful job protecting the base and we have had no trouble from the disturbances”. That’s the same host country military that was murdering hundreds of its own people a few days earlier. I can’t find a link to this on Google news, so I’d be grateful to anyone who can point me to a transcript.

Bush’s friendly relations with the Uzbek dictator Karimov have been unshaken by this, and any stated opposition to Karimov’s use of torture and murder is meaningless: it’s an open secret that a good deal of it is being done on behalf of the Administration, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition.

The blogospheric right has mostly been either silent or supportive, along with much of the pro-war left. But some cracks are emerging. Here’s a piece by Stephen Schwartz and William Kristol from the Weekly Standard. And on the pro-war left, there are some good pieces from Eric the Unread and Harry’s Place.

Update JF Beck offers a defence of the Karimov dictatorship, ending rather lamely with the weasel words “Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting the Karimov government or its actions. I’m simply pointing out that the “wanton murder” scenario being pitched by the left is open to question”. For Beck, and the rest of the RWDB crew, the important thing is to support Bush and attack the left on every possible occasion, even if it means giving someone like Karimov the benefit of the doubt.

31 thoughts on “More on Uzbekistan

  1. J.F. Beck’s efforts is decidedly gutless, but as I can’t be bothered going through his tedious registration to comment, I’ll vent here:

    The point is not to discern how many police officers need to be killed before you can junk the term ‘massacre’. The point is that nobody knows what the hell happened in Andijan ONLY because Karimov’s neo-KGB won’t let anyone in to find out. This in itself is about as bad a sign as any RWDB could want.

    This is a bad road to head down. Bush-sucking and Bush-bashing aside, Karimov and his secret police represent the very worst of everything the Soviet Union stood for, and the US opposed, in the Cold War. Now is not the time to give that legacy up for the sake of some minor geopolitical exigency.

  2. Does anyone remember Aesop’s fable of the wolf finding excuses to eat the lamb? “You muddied my water”, “But I’m downstream”; “Your father did”, “But he’s from the next farm”; and so on, ending, “Well, I’m hungry so I’ll just eat you anyway”.

  3. There is something tragi-comic about the RWDBs, and the puppet master in the White House, supporting Karimov, an old Brezhnevite communist apparatchik, whose first name is Islam.

    A communist and a Muslim – surely, you would think, Karimov would be top of the pops amongst the people that the neo cons and their apologists would despise, quite apart from his predilection for boiling people alive, etc.

    Apparently not, though.

    If we can invade Iraq to save the Iraqi people from Saddam, then surely we should invade Uzbekistan to save the Uzbeks from Karimov.

    Right, Michael Burgess?

  4. JF, yours is probably the most pathetic update I’ve ever had the misfortune to take the time to read. Why don’t you cut the dissimulation and mud-slinging and tell us what you truly think about Karimov?

  5. Uzbekistan has asked the Americans to leave. Why ? Because they have critised their appauling Human Rights situation in the Fergana Valley (eastern Uzbekistan and the home to many Tajiks and fundamentalist Uzbeks). Maybe.

    Or more likely is it because the Americans whilst pretending to be friends of Karimov on the one hand have it would seem been backing front organisations of the IMU. (Regarded by the Uzbek Government and many observers as a local branch office of Al Queda)

    See – The life and Times of Djuma Namangani Bin Ladens Deputy in Afghan War and founder of the Key Uzbek Islamic Opposition Party the IMU.

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