City of Roses
Over the weekend, as many as 600 protesters are said to have been killed after troops stormed into eastern Uzbekistan and took fire.
Below is a link providing some background data on this overlooked part of the world.
Uzbekistan is an autocratic country, is considered to have more armed forces than any other Central Asian country, and is considered to be one of the worst police states in the world.
Uzbekistan is also considered a U.S ally on the war on terror, as indicated in Bush's March 11, 2002 speech on the South House Lawn:
"In total, 17 nations have forces deployed in the region. And we could not have done our work without critical support from countries, particularly like Pakistan and Uzbekistan."
So, what I'd like to know is, why is a nation widely known for its appalling humnan rights violation, including throwing its own people into tubs of boiling hot water, considered a major partner on the war in terror?
I'd like to add to this what Scott McClellan said in his press briefing last Friday:
Q I have a question on something else. On Uzbekistan, do you have any reaction to what is going on over there, on the crisis? And have there been any high-level contacts since this erupted?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I know that the Department of State has been in touch with our embassy there, and so they probably will be talking more about this at their briefing, as well. We have had concerns about human rights in Uzbekistan, but we are concerned about the outbreak of violence, particularly by some members of a terrorist organization that were freed from prison. And we urge both the government and the demonstrators to exercise restraint at this time. The people of Uzbekistan want to see a more representative and democratic government, but that should come through peaceful means, not through violence. And that's what our message is.
Sounds like a double standard to me, in that our administration was adamant about going to war in Iraq because Saddam was a brutal dictator who also was passionately believed to have WMD's, yet we get a whole different attitude from this same administration toward Uzbekistan, where their leader Islam Karimov does just the same cruel things to his own people.
This is just beyond hypocritical to me.
Why is Uzbekistan an ally on the war on terror? Why does our Administration seem to insist not talking about Uzbekistan? Furthermore, why does our Administration and many who still support the war insist war was inevitable in Iraq and Saddam couldn't be removed without resorting to war?
The innocent people of Uzbekistan bleed no differently than the whole rest of the world does, who are confronted with all the familiar conflicts so much of the rest of the world does:
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"