US airbase kicked out of Uzbekistan

Craig Murray comments on the latest developments:

“Let us hope that finally the Bush administration will now recognise the true nature of the Karimov regime. It is symptomatic of the complete failure of Western policy in Central Asia that rather than withdraw with some dignity, the US has managed to hand the dictator Karimov the propaganda coup of kicking out the World’s greatest power.”

“This is not about the response to the Andizhan massacre. To the end the US was muted on human rights in Uzbekistan and still has not called for full elections including the opposition. This is about the Karimov regime’s decision to turn to Gazprom and the Russians, not the US, to develop Uzbekistan’s oil and gas fields. This deal involves Uzbekneftegas and was brokered between the President’s daughter, Gulnara Karimova, and Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek born Russian oligarch who bought 27% of Corus (British Steel).”

“The Karimov regime are determined to keep complete control of the economy so they can continue their massive looting for personal enrichment. They were concerned that Western companies could build centres of wealth not under their direct control. They have therefore decided to turn to Russian and Chinese state companies for investment. These companies operate the system of oligarch corruption that the Karimov regime understands.”

“This is the explanation for Central Asia’s “Diplomatic Revolution” as Uzbekistan turns decisively away from the USA towards Russia and China. There will now be massive pressure by Karimov on Tajikistan and Kirghizstan – both tiny countries dependent on Uzbekistan for energy supplies – to follow suit.”