Monday, June 13, 2005

Outrageous Backpedaling on Uzbekistan

In direct contradiction to the advice of leading senators and State Department officials, Pentagon representatives blocked a NATO investigation into the government-sponsored massacre of hundreds of civilians last month in the Uzbek city of Andjian, the Washington Post reports in Tuesday editions. With Russia, the United States refused to back British and European calls at a meeting of NATO defense ministers for an international investigation into the incidents of May 13, reportedly due to concerns that the Uzbek government would cut off access to an air base the US uses if we backed the investigation.

This rollback of strong State Department language calling for an investigation seems to have come after a lengthy inter-agency bout of squabbling, as the Post article notes in depth. The Pentagon, concerned about keeping access at Uzbek air bases, seems to be doing all it can to blunt calls from State for a strong, international investigation into the events at Andjian. This is unconscionable, and in effect amounts to little more than blackmail by the murderous Karimov government.

Will America allow our so-called "allies" carte blanche with their own peoples' lives so long as we get to continue using their airspace and landing strips? What a great moral lesson we set for the world by doing so. As Senators McCain, DeWine, Sununu, Graham, Biden and Leahy wrote in a recent letter, "in the aftermath of the Andijan massacre, America's relationship with Uzbekistan cannot remain unchanged." They were right.

President Bush now has a chance to stand up for democratic ideals and the rights of people to live without fear that their government will send troops to gun them down in the streets of their cities. The question now is, will he side with freedom?

2 Comments:

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Phil S said...

Don't hold your breath waiting for Bush to take a positive stand!!!!!

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I was expecting from Pentagon from day one of massacre. I'm from Andijan and I live US. I can foresee now how radical groups will use it against US and it will be Pentagon's policy that will create 'self-fulfilling prophecy' of new wave of terrorists in Uzbekistan.

By 2000, World Bank and many other US and western organization have closed doors in Uzbekistan because of its many terrible records. Talibans by that time gained 95% control of Afganistan. Only 5% controlled by Northern Allience. Afgan general Dostum is ethnic Uzbek and is now minister of defence for Karzai. Northern Allience was supported by Uzbekistan materially and technically to sustain a buffer on 137 kilometer border with Afganistan.

However, it was obvious that Taliban will overcome that 5% later or sooner and Uzbekistan was afraid that Taliban will start to infiltrate to Uzbekistan. Uzbek government sent its envoy to Taliban to see if they can agree on some sort of a treaty. What is more important, Taliban sent and Uzbek President hosted Taliban envoy in his presidential residency in 2000 too. It was shown on TV!

Newspapers were screaming that Uzbekistan was first to officially recognize Taliban (terrorist) government.

Then Sep 11 happened. Uzbek president saw a new savior in Bush and was quick to offer it base to bust Taliban. Karimov's regime was saved.

Now, there is no Taliban anymore.
Now, Pentagon trained uzbek anti-terror forces and equiped them fully. Those american trained forces served well Karimov on May 13.
Now, there is no need for US military backing anymore.
Now, Karimov doesn't need US military assistance as much Rumsfeld needs uzbek air base.
Now, there are new and better allies for Karimov. China and Russia are happy to snatch Karimov from Bush.

No wonder Rumsfeld is ready to sacrifice massacre of non-american civilians. He sacrificed thousands american solders since sep 11. Who are uzbeks? Third world inferior homo neanderthalesis some sort.

I was right about Pentagon from day one. I regret that Collin Powell lost out to Rumsfeld.

My hope is there will be presidential elections in Uzbekistan in two years. There will be yet another Karimov trained president at the helm. But it will not be Karimov anymore. Unless Karimov extends with monarchy yet again.

I hope new US gorvenment will be able to persuade new uzbek president to take on more liberal path to develepment. For that reason I want Bush to keep its military base in Uzbekistan and State Department continue to be involved in Uzbek affairs.

My heart goes out for those innocent who were killed on May 13th. My mind stays focused on hope for those who still live in anguish.

Time will come for truth to unveil.
They did not die all in empty vain.
I believe justice will prevail.
Until then I live with their pain.

Gu Ga

 

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