Civil Disobedience

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

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Five years ago, a mostly nonviolent revolt nicknamed the Tulip Revolution ousted an authoritarian government in Kyrgyzstan. The new regime soon proved repressive as well, and another wave of people-power protests began to brew. Today the rebels seem to have succeeded, according to The New York Times:

Large-scale protests appeared to overthrow the government of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday and its president fled before an outbreak of mayhem and violence in the capital of Bishkek and elsewhere in the country, an important Amerian ally in Central Asia. Government officials said at least 41 people had been killed in fighting between riot police officers and demonstrators.

While the opposition declared that it was forming its own government, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev left Bishkek in the presidential plane, though it was not clear whether he was leaving the country or heading to another Kyrgyz city. Earlier in the day, the police used live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades against a crowd of thousands that massed in front of the presidential office in Bishkek, according to witness accounts.

Geopolitical context:

The upheaval raised questions about the future of an important American air base that operates in Kyrgyzstan in support of the NATO mission in nearby Afghanistan. American officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was functioning normally.

It also posed a potential embarrassment for the Obama administration, which angered the Kyrgyz opposition last summer by courting Mr. Bakiyev in an ultimately successful attempt to reverse his decision to close the base, angering the opposition.

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  1. Meanwhile the former (?) government blames the Russian media for supporting the opposition. Ah, America supporting the tyrant while Russia supports the opposition (who’ll probably turn into tyrants in due time).

    Isn’t the great game grand?

    1. You bet your sweet ass it is!

    2. One theory that the Russian government might be acting to weaken or unseat Bakiyev: http://www.eurasianet.org/depa…..610a.shtml

  2. Sound like Teabaggers to me.

    1. It couldn’t have been teabaggers. No reference to racists was in the piece.

      1. Only Americans are racists these days. This includes all of and only, those Americans who are not “progressives”.

        Beyond that, there’s no more racists left in this world.

        1. You’ve never been to Belgium.

  3. I humbly suggest that all existing and emerging nations that end with “-stan” consider changing their names.

  4. Where does Borat fit into all of this?

    1. High Five!

  5. 1) The Burma/Prince Technique: “The Nation Formerly Known As Xstan”

    2) The For The Children Technique: “Xstannous Fluoride”

    3) The Oliver Hardy Technique: “Xstanley!”

  6. LOL at “mostly nonviolent”

    1. SHUT UP DANNY DEVITO

      1. Oh. Suddenly the last few days make so much sense.

  7. It also posed a potential embarrassment for the Obama administration,

    Doesn’t everything?

    1. You have no idea.

  8. NO JYSTYZ NO PYZ

    KYRGYZ BACK TO THE WYGYRZ

  9. Excellent for Kyrgyzstan! Hopefully the third time round these people can get a better deal.

    1. If they keep throwing out governments they will eaitehr end up wit a totalitarian regime that will end all protests or more likely will create enough fear of popular takeover that governments will respect democratic rights. If Kygyistan beomse a stable democracy in the next few years it will do more to help stability in Afghanistan in less than a decade than anything the NATO or the UN could do.

      1. In the spirit of that whole Jeffersonian “tree of liberty” thing, has it been twenty years yet? 😉

        1. 19 this Chistmas

    2. there is no “better” deal. Beyond the revenge element (notice that most of the leaders of the opposition were dismissed cabinent ministers from last year) – this was about electricity. The lack of it and the price of it.

      And nobody is going to make it any better for them. They have few natural resources and their hydro power is no longer an export as it can’t even manage domestic demand.

      Simply put, this is a country with no future.

      1. I’m sure they said the same thing about Singapore, Hong Kong, etc

        1. Being landlocked and far away from everything might make the situation a little different. But you never know what the future may hold.

  10. Kazakhstan is greatest country in the world
    all other countries run by little girls
    kazakhstan number one producer of potassium
    all other countries have inferior potassium

    1. As long as the leadership didn’t go on a spree just before fertilizer prices crashed, like they did here.

  11. If only we’d send enough foreign aid so those poor people could buy a vowel.

    1. They’d be better of stealing one from Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.

      1. Sorry, the Japanese already stole them all from the Chinese and Mongols, centuries ago.

        1. Besides, they already have vowels. The problem is, vowels don’t come with directions.

          “WTF do I do with this thing?”

    2. Those bastards at Wheel of Fortune keep jacking up the price.

  12. I have to hand it to Raimondo at Antiwar.com. He nailed all these fake revolutions throughout Russia’s sphere of influence. I thought he was just beating his America: Fount of Evil drum, but he got it exactly right. Nicely done.

    1. Nope. The thing about these “fake revolutions” is that they’ve made subsequent revolutions more likely, as has been demonstrated. That’s much better than keeping in power the same apparatchiks who had been there for years.

      It’s especially stupid to call some of them “fake revolutions” because the people who won an election had a political falling out and another party won a subsequent election.

  13. They couldn’t wait for Novemberstan.

    Nothing can embarrass Obamastan.

    “… the president fled …” Now that has a nice ring to it.

    “… though it was not clear whether he was leaving the country or heading to another …” One could only dream of flipping on CNN and hearing that domestically.

    The sooner we become a stable democracy the sooner we get out of Iraqipakiafghanistan.

  14. Five years ago, a mostly nonviolent revolt nicknamed the Tulip Revolution ousted an authoritarian government in Kyrgyzstan. The new regime soon proved repressive as well, and another wave of people-power protests began to brew.

    When marching in the street to depose a tyrant, the person next to you may be marching because the tyrant didn’t go far enough.

  15. OK, I’ve heard of Kyrgyzstan but… Ameria?!

  16. I suspect that Krygyrzkhslzsztan doesn’t have a well-organized military capable of taking down mass dissent. So looking at these countries as an example of successful takedowns and applying those lessons elsewhere could be… dangerous. Especially for the brave soul in the front willing to stand up and protest so the pratt in the back can have his freedom.

    1. But could it inspire others to do the same in Russia…or Iran? That alone makes this a good day for freedom.

      1. Iran? Nah, the majority want Muslim-istan.

        Russia? Nah, they’ve never known anything but repression since the Vikings showed up. Which was what, 1300 years ago?

        Russia’s chances of evolving beyond anything but a hell-hole ended when the Ottomans shut off their trade routes to the Mediterranean.

        1. If they are lucky, the arctic will melt and they will have some kick-ass ports up north.

  17. For some reason I’m reminded of the underrated Cary Grant movie Crisis (which has been released to DVD courtesy of the Warner Archive collection since the blog post).

    1. heard of it

  18. American officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was functioning normally.

    Not anymore:
    “U.S. operations at Manas affected by Kyrgyz unrest”
    http://www.stripes.com/article…..icle=69222

  19. You might find this of interest http://tomgpalmer.com/2010/06/…..-help-too/

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