Tuesday, May 17, 2005



Uzbekistan update II

The death toll from the weekend's massacre of protestors in Andijan is now estimated at 700, and the massacre is now being compared to Tiananmen Square. The chief difference of course being that the US didn't beat around the bush in condemning that particular atrocity.

The US has hardened its stance, with Condoleezza Rice calling for political reform and saying that Uzbekistan needed "pressure valves that come from a more open political system" - but it's a long way short of the criticism coming from the Europeans. And it's a long way short of the rhetoric spouted by her boss. Remember this?

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.

That was Bush's 2005 inauguration address. It would be nice if the US actually acted on those ideals, rather than treating them as pretty words for the children.

11 comments:

Why is everything America's fault? The Russians are blaming the protestors. This country used to be part of the Soviet Union. Surely the Russians ought to be harder in their condemnation of the govt since it's in their backyard - yet they blame the protestors.

Posted by Lucyna : 5/17/2005 08:54:00 AM

He's not blaming the United States. He's pointing out their hypocrisy. The Bush government declare their support for human rights, yet they turn around and ignore human rights abuses by their allies when it suits them. It would be nice if they lived up to their rhetoric.

Mikaere Curtis

Posted by Anonymous : 5/17/2005 10:09:00 AM

Idiot, good to see you acknowledge at least a move in the right direction by Bush but I can't help but think that your first reaction to the deaths of 450 people was It's All America's Fault.

Let's compare a few courtiers. Russia, former ruler of Uzbekistan and primary backer. Makes no noises about democracy promotion. France, not doing much. China, not doing much. The US, minor support for Uzbekistan, has reduced military aid to protest human rights abuses, has pushed for human rights. Gives humanitarian aid and also funds dismantling of Soviet era nukes.

So who of all these countries does the anti-American Left go for? You guessed it, the evil US.

And your comparison of Iraq and Uzbekistan is equally reliant on dogma. Who were the primary backers of Saddam? Not Rumsfeld. It was France, Russia and Chianti. The very courtiers who opposed the overthrow of Saddam and who are now doing nothing about Uzbekistan.

And yet it's all America's fault.

Posted by Sock Thief : 5/17/2005 12:20:00 PM

It's not America's fault - it was the Karimov regime which slaughtered these people, and it is they who must be held responsible. However, the US helps prop us this regime, and gives them money for guns which are then turned on their own people. While I don't expect them to invade the place (that may do far more harm than good), the least they can do is stop propping up a bunch of murderers.

As for Russia, I regard Putin as pretty much a lost cause. At least with the US there's some hope they'll behave like decent people.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/17/2005 01:38:00 PM

"At least with the US there's some hope they'll behave like decent people." - those would be the rose-tinted specs you have on today then?

Posted by huskynut : 5/17/2005 03:59:00 PM

But in your actions you imply that Putin is preferable to Bush. Or that France is preferable to Bush etc...

A balanced article would say "there is a problem in such in such a country the international comunity isnt doing anything - whats up with that?" possibly followed by "us should threaten to withdraw monetary support russia should threaten to cut off supply links, china should give then the evil eye."

But your approach implies an adgenda.

Posted by Genius : 5/17/2005 08:23:00 PM

By the way Mikaere in what twisted world do you prefer a country that actively opposes human rights to one that gives them lip service?
By holding hypocrisy as the ultimate standard that is what you do.

Posted by Genius : 5/17/2005 08:28:00 PM

The reprinted (from The Times)piece in the Dom Post today on the history of Karimov is priceless and worth the paper price on it's own! (especially the bit about how the Rendition Place frequently drops off clients for boiling). Now and again the MSM gets it right..
There's no question of relative virtue and guilt, the US is actively complicit in the actions of the Karimov regime, just as they were in Saddam's regime.
As a western power, we have (very)slightly more influence over the actions of other western powers than we have over nations such as Russia, as well as risking being tarred by the same brush in the eyes of non-western powers. Therefore it makes perfect sense to rage louder against the actions of the US than Russia in these matters.

Posted by Huskynut : 5/18/2005 01:21:00 PM

oops, typo - should be Rendition Plane. You know the one.

Posted by Huskynut : 5/18/2005 01:22:00 PM

Well Russia has the most influence over Uzbekistan. Why not express some moral outrage over their inaction. Only recently the US reduced military aid but also provides humanitarian aid and aid to make safe old nukes. What is France doing? Why the outrage just over the US?

And by the way I agree the US should do more and there is a double standard at play but I don't see why other countries should be let off the hook just because of this obsessive dislike of the US.

Posted by Sock Thief : 5/18/2005 02:15:00 PM

You're right Sock Thief, pressure should be brought to bear where possible on France, Russia where possible.
But the critical difference with France is: **France doesn't export people to Uzbekistan for the express purpose of having them tortured**.
There's just no possible sane, human way to defend that fact.

Posted by Husknut : 5/18/2005 03:23:00 PM