Hey, Giorgi! These Uzbeks bet me 50 kopeks I couldn't get three words out of you!

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How serious is the D.C.-Tashkent rupture over the Andijon massacre? Following the killing of (a reported) 500 people by government troops, former supporters of Uzbekistan strongman Islam Karimov are tepidly backing away. More tepid has been the condemnation by President Bush:

In terms of Uzbekistan—thanks for bringing it up—we've called for the International Red Cross to go into the Andijon region to determine what went on, and we expect all our friends, as well as those who aren't our friends, to honor human rights and protect minority rights. That's part of a healthy and a peaceful—peaceful world, will be a world in which governments do respect people's rights. And 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.

Still, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning, a bunch of Senators are making noise, and pressure is growing to dump this dictator—whose usefulness to the administration's policy of International People's Democratic Revolutionary Struggle is no longer clear anyway.

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  1. So if Bush calls for the Red Cross to go into Uzbekistan does this mean that any accusations that they might have about Gitmo will have as much weight as those that they will have about Uzbekistan?

  2. You lose……Comrade!

  3. Our government’s support of the savage dictator, Karimov, is just the kind of stuff that 9/11s are made from. When will our government ever learn?

  4. You lose.

  5. “…and pressure is growing to dump this dictator?whose usefulness to the administration’s policy of International People’s Democratic Revolutionary Struggle is no longer clear anyway.”

    We certainly shouldn’t abandon a perfectly good base on the front lines of the War on Terror just because the local strongman is a murderous thug.

    …This is where I might have suggested that the UN could be helpful, but even if we hadn’t alienated the UN, China and Russia aren’t likely to want to help the people of Uzbekistan create an enduring democracy on their doorstep. …and they probably don’t have much enthusiasm for helping the United States establish Uzbekistan as a morally palatable, regional launch pad either.

    On the other hand, it’s not clear to me that using the freedom loving forces of the United States alone to bring down the murderous thugs is the answer. Maybe the people of Uzbekistan would welcome us with flowers, maybe not. …But there weren’t any flowers in the last can–it was all worms!

    Let’s denounce the murderous thugs, let’s do what we can to bring them to face justice in an international court, let’s do what we can to extend humanitarian aid to the good people of Uzbekistan, let’s not do anything to help the cause of the murderous thugs, but let’s try not get involved in yet another potential civil war.

  6. Uzbeks drank my battery fluid!

  7. Nice SCTV reference.
    Up next on 3CP, Uri’s tractor.

  8. Good morning, this is Guy Cabellero, president and owner of the SCTV television network. I want assure our viewers and, more importantly, our sponsors that we are doing everything in our power to stop this Communist incursion into our programming. Even as I speak, Dr. Tongue, Bruno, and Red Rooster are on a perilous mission to the SCTV satellite to correct this problem. So please, stay tuned to SCTV for more quality programming like Johnny LaRue’s “Jumping for Dollars”!

  9. International People’s Democratic Revolutionary Struggle

    lol — glad to see it acknowledged for what it is. trotsky would be proud.

  10. Well, we certainly shouldn’t be bad tenants if Uzbekistan is letting us maintain bases. We do indeed need those bases for our efforts in Afghanistan (which I support overall, even if I might quibble with details).

    So, let’s be really good tenants. Let’s show our gratitude to the people of Uzbekistan by devoting some land on the periphery of our bases to the Uzbek public.

    I’m thinking of Internet cafes and bookstores and music stores and newsstands without any censorship.

    I’m thinking of an auditorium that hosts debates. Any Uzbek who wants to can reserve the auditorium for a nominal fee and invite any speakers that he wants to debate whatever issue they want.

    Maybe we could invite American gun manufacturers to open shops and target ranges. Uzbeks can buy the finest products of American engineering, and for a nominal fee Uzbeks can practice their shooting. Purely by coincidence, next door to the target range there should be a store that sells large pictures of Karamov. They can do whatever they want with those pictures. If they happen to migrate next door to the shooting range with one of those pictures, well, that’s their prerogative.

    Oh, and since America has agricultural surpluses due to farm subsidies, maybe we could unload some of our excess tomatoes at stores on the periphery of the base. We should also sell spray paint. No telling when spray paint might come in handy.

    Hey, maybe the bookstores could stock volumes on the Romanian revolution. I dunno why, but maybe the Uzbeks would find it fascinating to read about the way the Romanians killed their dictator. And maybe they’d find it interesting to read about recent events in the Phillipines, Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia, and Lebanon.

    Not to mention the ultimate do-it-yourself democracy project: The American Revolution. They definitely need a few books on that.

    After all, if Uzbekistan is being a gracious host to our troops, I think we should show the Uzbeks our gratitude. Devote a small portion of the base to “Freedomville” as a hearty token of appreciation to the Uzbek people.

  11. Oh, it might also be a good idea if the shop selling pictures of Karamov print some of those pictures on small, water-proof stickers that adhere to porcelain.

    Hey, here’s an idea: Produce video games where Karamov’s picture is substituted for the opponents that you’re trying to fight. Instead of fighting a ninja or space alien or whatever, you fight Islam Karamov.

  12. Cripes, thoreau, if the government had its agents introducing people in foreign countries to ideas about popular sovereignty, encouraging them to liberate themselves, and providing material for that purpose, there wouldn’t be any time or money left for spreading democracy.

  13. joe-

    What makes you think I’m advocating revolution? I want to be a good tenant. If the government of Uzbekistan is letting us maintain a base in Uzbekistan, then we should show our appreciation to the fine people of Uzbekistan.

    Heaven forbid that we stir up trouble! I just want to show the Uzbeks how much we appreciate their help!

    In fact, as a token of our appreciation, we could even offer space on the base to whatever company made the electronic voting machines (with paper backups) that Nevada tested last year. Just in case anybody in Uzbekistan is, you know, interested in buying one of those machines.

    Hell, maybe we could encourage sales of those machines in other places outside Nevada. Like Florida. And Ohio. And whichever state is predicted to be the excruciatingly close battle-ground in 2008.

    🙂

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