Saturday, May 14, 2005

Uzbek wants democracy too - but the whitehouse wimps out

Radio Liberty publishes utter trolsh. No pretty language from me on this one. Excerpting from an article titled "U.S. Urges Restraint In Uzbekistan";
"We urge both the government and the demonstrators to exercise restraint at this time," he said. "The people of Uzbekistan want to see a more representative and democratic government, but that should come through peaceful means, not through violence."
Please excuse for one moment (@#$%&@*!!!) "Restraint" ? Where was "restraint" in March 2003?


Moscow, according to the China View, is pulling a similar line.
"Russia is concerned with the unrest in Andijan, Uzbekistan, with which Russia maintains a strategic partnership, and Russia supports the Uzbek government in its efforts to stabilize the situation there," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement posted at the ministry's website.
There are too many 20th century Saddam echoes here, both Russia and the US have an ally in the current Uzbek government and Uzbek president Islam Karimov frequently receives criticism for human rights abuse. However, unlike 21st century Saddam, Karimov pledged to help out in "the war on terror" and has apparently been taking on interrogative duties for the Bush Administration. Don Van Natta;
Now there is growing evidence that the United States has sent terror suspects to Uzbekistan for detention and interrogation, even as Uzbekistan's treatment of its own prisoners continues to earn it admonishments from around the world, including from the State Department.

The so-called rendition program, under which the Central Intelligence Agency transfers terrorism suspects to foreign countries to be held and interrogated, has linked the United States to other countries with poor human rights records. But the turnabout in relations with Uzbekistan is particularly sharp. Before Sept. 11, 2001, there was little high-level contact between Washington and Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, beyond the United States' criticism.

Uzbekistan's role as a surrogate jailer for the United States was confirmed by a half-dozen current and former intelligence officials working in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The C.I.A. declined to comment on the prisoner transfer program, but an intelligence official estimated that the number of terrorism suspects sent by the United States to Tashkent was in the dozens.

So no orange revolution for Uzbek then.

Nick Allen in Moscow;

The sudden eruption of violence capped weeks of peaceful demonstrations in Andizhan over the trial of 23 local businessmen on what supporters say are trumped-up religious extremism charges...

Anticipating official attempts to paint the events as a manifestation of extremism, some in the crowd shouted: "We are not extremists. We want democracy and work." more

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