Trouble for Bush's Ally
My fellow guest blogger Hilzoy noted earlier the violent government crackdown on protestors in Uzbekistan. The situation is horrific.
President Islam Karimov is of course one of President Bush’s allies in the so-called “war on terror.” Yet since the uprising on Wednesday, Karimov has run his own campaign of terror.
Karimov branded the protestors as “criminals” and “extremists,” sending his military out to suppress them. The government’s own media/propaganda machine started broadcasting false reports that that these “extremist” protestors were using women and children as “human shields” when in fact Karimov’s military was actually massacring women and children in the street.
And in order to prevent reports from getting out, Karimov blocked international television signals of CNN and the BBC.
The situation is atrocious, but President Bush knew all along that Karimov did not respect human rights. The former British ambassador to Uzbekistan testified that the Uzbek interrogation process included downing, rape, suffocation, and yes, the boiling of victims. Yet the CIA and the U.S. military have special permission to take prisoners of the “war on terror” to Uzbekistan precisely because such methods are used. And Karomov’s autocratic government receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year in U.S. tax payer money.
Enough is enough.
Also, read an eye-witness report of the government violence.
[X-posted at Freiheit und Wissen]