[quote]The information may be untrue, but it is valuable because it
feeds into the US agenda. Karimov is very much George
Bush’s man in central Asia. There is not a senior member of
the US administration who is not on record saying warm
words about Karimov. There is not a single word recorded
by any of them calling for free elections in Uzbekistan. [/quote]
so in the words of your own reporter all the information may be untrue but it is “valuable” because it proves his point that the US has an agenda? Very interesting style of reporting.
So Karimov is “our man” in Uzbekistan? Did we install him? I thought the Russians did that?
Bush has not specifically called for elections in many countries, but his overall thrust is clear.
Now, there is some validity to the points that you make. First of all, what are the opportunities for credible democratic opposition in Uzbekistan? Will supporting the overthrow of Karimov deliver a democracy or will it result in something like the shah being tossed out only to see the mullahs come in? This is the same problem we are facing in Pakistan with Musharraf. Want to see him overthrown to bring “democracy” to Pakistan? These are not easy variables to balance.
I completely agree that we should be putting pressure on Uzbekistan to reform but I also think that we have to be realistic about what we can accomplish. How to balance this is the key. Carter completely failed by rushing to implement his “concern for human rights” above all factors. Look at the results in Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Iran to name three. Under Carter’s term of office there were massive protests in Kaohsiung and Kyongju in Korea. What happened? Bloody crackdowns.
Compare this with Reagan’s approach which was to ease Marcos out of the Philippines with minimum bloodshed. Compare his efforts in Grenada. Compare his challenges to the Soviet Union everywhere. Compare the efforts to democratize that were pushed in Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and elsewhere in East Asia during his tenure.
We can push democracy BUT doing it the right way even if it takes longer is not necessarily bad.
Finally, countries like Afghanistan and Iraq deserved to be invaded. The native democracy movement was never going to flourish and develop under the conditions then present. With other countries, we have other options. Witness the new empowerment of women in Kuwait. We can try similar approaches in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and maybe Uzbekistan.
This simplistic refrain that one hears from the Left so often about how if we are going to invade one country for x, y and z reasons, we must invade all is ludicrous. It is especially ludicrous in light of the leftist position (which is set in stone) that all war is wrong. Hence, isn’t it somewhat incredible that the left and the Guardian are basically espousing war against Uzbekistan? Does this make sense to anyone else?