Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bush Breaks Silence on Andijon

As noted in this Reuters article, Bush has finally directed criticism toward President Karimov of Uzbekistan regarding the May 13th massacre.

"We want to know fully what took place there in Uzbekistan, and that's why we've asked the International Red Cross to go in," Bush told a Rose Garden news conference.

"We expect all our friends -- as well as those who aren't our friends -- to honor human rights and protect minority rights," he added.

It has been coming for some time, so we're happy to see Bush publicly address Karimov. Over at EurasiaNet is a solid piece of analysis by Ariel Cohen on the major policy implications of Uzbekistan.

While the best available option may be to press Karimov to reform, a significant number of Washington analysts believe that the Uzbek president is incapable of changing. This inability to open up Uzbekistan’s political and economic systems is detrimental to US security interests, as Karimov’s continued reliance on force pushes Uzbeks, out of desperation, to resort to violence, and possibly embrace Islamic radicalism. As a result, distaste for Karimov seems to be growing in Washington, and many wouldn’t mind seeing a new leader in Tashkent, provided that stability could be maintained.
That, in a nutshell, is the situation. Bush has a difficult choice to make between the status quo and his oft-quoted and lofty principles. If the last few years have taught us anything about this President, it is that he is not hesitant to take risks. It appears that W. is moving away from Karimov quite definitively.


UPDATE: Sergei Luzyanin offers some commentary suggesting that Andijon is likely to be repeated.

UPDATE 2: In an unsurprising move, Tashkent has denied the need for international investigations, but did allow for the possibility of foreign ambassadors to advise an internal review of the Andijon massacres. In an equally unsurprising development, Russia has fully supported President Karimov's unbending stance and has chimed in with rumors of Chechen aid in the uprising on May 13.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do mean you are "happy to see Bush publicly address Karimov"?! Like it matters at all....Bush is a liar and you most likely only know about 15% of his doings...keep reading your little newspapers and clinging to the belief that you have some concept of the truth...Love you.

6:26 PM  
Blogger poster said...

To anonymous-
I will have you know that my newspapers are not 'little' but in fact the most sizable newspapers in the land.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, someone is using my nickname "anonymous" to make me look like a fool. Allow me to make clear that I do not associate myself with the ridiculous comments made by the fake "anonymous" above.

9:47 AM  

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