Daily archives: June 24, 2005

“Post modernist” foreign policy

UK Watch- Promoting Democracy?:Since 2001 Britain has been using the ‘historic window of opportunity’ (to borrow a term from US Secretary of State James Baker) created by the events of September 11th, to prop up dictatorships in Central Asia. One very prescient example of this was the virtual tolerance of one of our allies in ‘the war on terror’ to commit mass-murder. Uzbekistan’s crackdown on protesters in Andijan was, according to Human Rights Watch, ‘so extensive, and its nature was so indiscriminate and disproportionate, that it can best be described as a massacre’.

Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, criticised coalition support for Uzbekistan when the invasion of Iraq was being planned, using similar human rights abuses as justification. ‘The US will claim that they are teaching the Uzbeks less repressive interrogation techniques’ said Murray, ‘but that is basically not true. They help fund the budget of the Uzbek security services and give tens of millions of dollars in military support. It is a sweetener in the agreement over which they get their air base.’

Murray was promptly sacked for speaking out against his masters, but sometimes eminent figures are kind enough to communicate Britain’s foreign policy with some level of candour. Before the invasion of Iraq, Robert Cooper, Tony Blair’s ‘foreign policy guru’, laid out the principles at the core of Britain’s international affairs in his article ‘Why we still need empires’, where he stated: ‘when dealing with old-fashioned states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era ‘ force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself.’

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Uzbek “entrepreneur” denounces “devilish plot” by “foreign-policy dinosaurs”

Monsters and Critics – Uzbek newspaper slams UK, US diplomats over Andijon: The following is the text of the article, published in the Uzbek newspaper Pravda Vostoka on 17 June under the title “The incident was certainly well organized”; subheadings have been inserted editorially; ellipses as published:

I am an entrepreneur. Like all people in Uzbekistan, I am concerned about the events in Andijon and what is going on that relates to that tragedy.

Owing to shortage of time, I did not travel to Andijon myself, so that I am judging the events from the press and from Internet web sites. I carefully watched both of the news conferences given by our country’s president, Islom Karimov, and I share the head of state’s opinion that such rebellions cannot arise just like that in our land of plenty…

Should we be surprised, though, at these Western foreign-policy dinosaurs, if they choose all kinds of impostors as ambassadors?

I had the opportunity several times to encounter, in an appropriate situation, “Her Britannic Majesty’s ambassador to Uzbekistan”, one [Craig] Murray, who looked more like a tramp than a senior diplomat from a leading Western country. Dubious legends of his adventures in the bars of Tashkent are still doing the rounds.

One can only wonder why, before interfering in our affairs with various international investigations, Mr Straw did not conduct a small internal investigation about how his ambassador was discrediting Great Britain as a citadel of democracy by his regular drinking bouts and dissipation. If these are the norms of democracy that all kinds of Straws and Rices are so concerned about, and which such Murrays “are trying to introduce in backward Asia”, may God preserve us from such democracy and such advisers.

Uzbekistan victim of “some devilish plot”

I am an Uzbek entrepreneur of Russian nationality. I was born here, and I know the language, customs and traditions. I pay my taxes properly and have neither the time nor much of a desire to dabble in politics. Let that be the preserve of those whom I pay those taxes to support.

But, as I explore the length and breadth of the Internet and read the mass of material on the events in Andijon, the more I come to realize that some devilish plot has been hatched against my country…

Numerous Western experts and political analysts discourse wisely on our affairs, reminding one of the well-known Ilf and Petrov characters in “pique waistcoats” [old men in their novel “The Golden Calf” who keenly discussed world politics, but were ignored by everyone]. Although thousands of kilometres away and without knowing exactly where Uzbekistan is on the map, they shed crocodile tears over the supposedly huge casualties and incalculable sufferings of the Uzbek people. Paid, small-town rights advocates, who are ready to sell both their Motherland and their own mothers for free grants, play up to them assiduously…

For the sake of the future, we are simply obliged to defend our Motherland and our president’s policy if we want to go on seeing Uzbekistan as an independent and prosperous country…

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