Pentagon Gives Gulnara Karimova Huge Contract For Supply of US Forces in Afghanistan 260

The UN Human Rights Committee is a body which routinely pulls its punches. It treats member states with respect, whether they deserve it or not. The UN is of course composed of nations many of which have much to hide on human rights, so the glass houses and stones argument is much applied.

In that context, the new advisory report of the UN Human Rights Committee on Uzbekistan is absolutely damning – as damning as these reports ever get. It contains one paragraph of “Positive Aspects” and 25 paragraphs of “Concerns”.

Concerns include lack of judicial independence, widespread use of torture, the position of women, the failure to produce bodies or graves of those executed by the state, lack of freedom of speech and movement, and use of forced labour – to name but a few.

Download file“>Download file

Not even the UN can pretend that the human rights situation in Uzbekistan is anything other than abysmal.

Still more astonishing then that the Home Office has refused the asylum applications of every single one of the few dozen escapees from Uzbekistan to make it to the UK – which still has the Soviet exit visa system and locks its people in. Even last week the Home Office was still claiming at immigration hearings that there is no human rights problem in Uzbekistan. (Fortunately judges have been less blinkered and asylum cases have been won on appeal).

The UN and EU countries continue to use Uzbekistan as a major supply base for the occupation of Afghanistan. Major new contracts between the US and Uzbekistan were signed in March 2009, and Hilary Clinton is to pay an official visit to President Karimov in November this year.

Even more disgusting is that it now emerges that the newly reinvigorated US/Uzbek relationship was made possible in negotiations because the US agreed to contract Gulnara Karimova’s company FMN Logistics to provide the transport for all the US supplies passing through Central Asia to the US forces in Afghanistan.

Not only that, but the Karimov company FMN Logistics is involved in construction and supply services on the US airbases in Afghanistan itself, and has been involved in the massive expansion work to the prison at Baghram Airbase to provide a replacement Guantanamo torture centre further away from media access.

The Pentagon contracts are worth $850 million a year to the Karimovs.

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260 thoughts on “Pentagon Gives Gulnara Karimova Huge Contract For Supply of US Forces in Afghanistan

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  • arsalan

    “have you any idea how insulting it is to call those Jews who support the State of Israel nazis ”*oqJCX0dTzCRKk7qtWGidSbyTNE4rS3zog9OP*YX4sAO0i0jEOIRHroMlM/zionism_nazi.jpg

    Don’t try that on me. I have spoken to real Jews, and know about how your Zionist aided the Nazis in extreminating their families.

    “Just because – I think that an Islamist Caliphinate would replace Karimov’s torture methods – it does not follow that I endorse Karimov instead.”

    Oh but you do, just as you do endorse all of Israel and Americas torture methods.

    As I have said before you and the other Larry talk out of two arses.

    With one arse you say “you dont endorse” while with the other you say “is has to happen otherwise we will end up with the Khilafah which is worse”.

    This thread was about the Americans aiding Karimov and his torture, in exchange of Karimiov aiding the Americans in their torture. And you defended it using weasel words, by stating what you think would happen if they didn’t.

    Larry by another name, you are a Zionist. Someone with the same ideology as Nazis. So you believe in all NAzi methods, as long as they are used against who you regard as lesser human beings. You defence of the aid to the Karimov regime which boils people alive is the same defence Nazis use for concentration camps. The, “I agree it is wrong, but the alternative is worse” root.

    So Larry by another name, you are a Nazi, all Zionists are Nazis.

    This isn’t an insult against Zionists, they insult themselves by adopting the idiology of people who exterminated Jews.

    Cry antisemitism all you like, it wont work with me. As far as I am concerned your statement that Zionists are Jews is the worse possible insult to Jews who lost relatives to the Nazis. Because saying it is possible to be a Zionist Jew is the same as saying it is possible to be a Nazi Jew.

  • stephen

    I can certainly support your view about Uzbeks being vodka drinkers and that they are not fundamentalists. There are also significant minorities of other Central Asian races, Koreans and Russians – although I supect the latter have declined signifcantly, given the awful treatment they were receiving from some Uzbeks.

    I’m just not sure that condemnation of Karimov is enough or will actually achieve very much. Given that the the Western states/Russia are fearful of what a political vacuum in Uzbekistan might lead to (and is the reason why deals are being done with Karimov) – surely there is something else that can be done or encouraged that would demonstrate that other alternatives are possible. Sometimes politicians are not particularly well informed rather than malicious and have to be shown the way out.

    Leaving aside your personal animus(which does exist understandably) how would you advise a British Foreign Minister – knowing full well that they would see the big picture as given?

  • arsalan

    again from one of his arses he says he has condemned Karimov, and from the other “I’m just not sure that condemnation of Karimov is enough or will actually achieve very much”, he tells you to refrain from it.

    Typical double arsed Zionism.

    Craig if you are right that few Uzbecks want an Islamic state at this present time. Then people like me in uzbeckistan need to get our arses in gear and work harder for it, that is when we aren’t being boiled alive by the people stephen thinks you should not attack.

  • Tony

    Now seems the time to get angry. Let us remember with whom to be angry, rather than each other. It reads badly to visitors to this blog and makes us all look immoderate or simply bonkers.

    Seeing the perfidious creosote-bronzed Blair on TV the other night supporting Labour’s election campaign was a horrible experience, but it does define how far New Labour has gone down the road of learning from its mistakes in the Middle East especially. Nowhere.

    If the British electorate wants a change of direction away from illegal wars, torture, political corruption and giving billions to fatcat bankers it must think fast and act decisively. Voting New Labour will not do it, because the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are all the same – Tony Blair, more wars, more torture and more political corruption. Voting Conservative will bring a very similar set of compliance with illegal wars, torture and political corruption. The negative schoolboy sneering posters make it clear.

    We are left with three alternatives – (i) don’t vote,

    (ii) vote LibDem which made its position re. Iraq and Trident unambiguously clear and whose MPs are the most squeaky clean overall.

    (iii) vote for a nasty party like the BNP to upset the main parties.

  • Arsalan

    And Craig, this is important.

    I have direct links to get information from Uzbekistan too.

    Don’t you dare say, what you did was very little. The information I received from Uzbekistan while you were still there said, torture in prisons decreased due to you bringing attention to it.

    I don’t want to get in to my sources, so you can choose to believe me if you want

    or disbelieve me if you desire.

    But I know you made a difference, not from the information you gave, or the media here, but direct from the prisons and torture chambers.

    You have made and are making a difference.

    That may be way Larry, Stephan and the other Nazi bastards are here.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    MJ said:-

    “I find the platitudes about freedom, peace and democracy the most objectionable because they are part of the cynical and deliberate psychological warfare against us. Individuals who fall for it or just don’t care are also victims.”

    Indeed and there is also a lot of hypocrisy. Jeanne Kirkpatrick some years ago, drew a distinction between “dicatorial” and ” autocratic” rule. She was heading down the path of what a former US President said more honestly about a certain dictator, ” He may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch”. And that is much how it works.

  • Richard Robinson

    “I’m just not sure that condemnation of Karimov is enough or will actually achieve very much. Given that the the Western states/Russia are fearful of what a political vacuum in Uzbekistan might lead to (and is the reason why deals are being done with Karimov)”

    I think perhaps “OMG the Muslim steamroller scimitars are coming for somebody somewhere !!!” is a distraction from the original point? I mean, the increasing dependence of the military supply-chain into Afghanistan. But then, I have very little idea what the point of the US/NATO military presence in Afghanistan is.

    Incidentally, I’m very confused about the distinctions between ‘US’ and ‘NATO’ in this. Is it only ‘US’ supplies that come this route. does all the ‘NATO’ stuff come otherwise (Pakistan, still ?)

  • writerman

    Astonishment at the actions of governments, the hypocracy, the brutality, the flowing, rivers of blood; is a kind of luxury. The luxury of still, despite of all the evidence to the contrary, of believing that we aren’t, in reality, ruled over by a class of powerful and totally ruthless criminals, and arguably, always have been.

    The role of the state is to function as the iron fist of power when it has to, and the handmaiden when it doesn’t.

  • technicolour

    MJ: am reading the ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ (Paulo Friere) and the preface has just echoed you:

    ‘Men and women rarely admit their fear of freedom openly, however, tending rather to camouflage it – sometimes unconsciously – by presenting themselves as defenders of freedom. They give their doubts and misgivings an air of profound sobriety, as befitting custodians of freedom. But they confuse freedom with the maintenance of the status quo’

  • technicolour

    By the way, Stephen, your “given that the Western states/Russia are fearful of what a political vacuum in Uzbekistan might lead to” seems almost a textbook example of the above. Could you explain why, for example, Putin would be ‘fearful’ of anything? Unless it directly threatened his own power base, of course.

    How do you equate removal of support for a ruthless dictator with ‘creating a political vacuum’?

  • writerman

    The primary concern isn’t whether a country is ruled by a dictator, brutal or otherwise, and human rights don’t really matter in relations between great powers, except when used a convenient propaganda tool; what matters is whether the dictator or regime is on our side or not. If the dictator is “our boy” then almost anything can be foregiven, or ignored, and even when we express shock and horror at the latest revalation, it’s only a temporary pretence, until the row is over and the dust settles, and then it’s back to business as usual.

  • stephen


    There you go putting words in my mouth again – when did I ask Craig to refrain from criticising Karimov, I did no such thing and don’t think that he should. I just think other steps are required.

    The last thing Uzbekistan needs or wants is the introduction of arsalan and his ilk should Karimov be removed. I could not think of a quicker way of achieving a Russian takeover/invasion.


    You misunderstand me – I don’t support Karimov or any other ruthless dictators for that matter. I am only thinking about effective and practical means for his removal. Yes – the fear of what might happen after the dictator’s removal is a one which actually exists in Western governments/Russia (and anyone who knows anything about Russia knows that this goes a lot deeper than just Putin) and it does encourage some to adopt “the least he is our own bastard” line – but this doesn’t mean I support Karimov or his ilk. What I’m looking for is a means of removing Karimov that doesn’t bring the whole deck of cards crashing down.

    Perhaps one lesson of Iraq is that the world (and ideally the UN) needs to develop some means other than military conflict for removing dicatators (and there is doubt whatsover that Saddam fell into this category – he did undertake military invasions of his neighbours and gas his own population with WMDs – although the prosecute hoim as a war criminal crowd were somewhat silent on the matter at the time). I’m afraid there seems to be a precious shortage of such ideas here.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Perhaps one lesson of Iraq is that the world (and ideally the UN) needs to develop some means other than military conflict for removing dicatators (and there is doubt whatsover that Saddam fell into this category – he did undertake military invasions of his neighbours and gas his own population with WMDs – although the prosecute hoim as a war criminal crowd were somewhat silent on the matter at the time). I’m afraid there seems to be a precious shortage of such ideas here.”

    Agree, mainly, except that it’s not just here there’s a shortage of ideas. And, I could wonder about the idea that the politics of all countries of the owrld ought to be at our disposal.

    And I really _really_ wish it was possible to condemn S.H. for flinging poison gas at the populations of other countries, as he did to Iran on a far larger scale, years earlier. I remember the New Scientist having restrained and scientic conniptions about it, as did the various hositals in many countries that took various victims and couldn’t help them much, or attract any political interest.

    And I wonder how many years it will be before such conversations start up concerning Karimov.

  • Arsalan

    Larry, you can bend your words as much as you like to make them palatable to try and change the meaning for different readers.

    But we have been reading the posts of your former incarnations for long enough to translate Zionist speech in to English.

    I’ll give you an example,

    You wrote:

    stephen at April 1, 2010 1:19 PM to Craig

    stephen at April 1, 2010 8:30 PM to Me

    Together these posts translate to:

    We want to keep Karmiov in power because his rule is good for Israel. So we support all the Aid America gives him, we support the fact the Zionist NeoLabour government of the UK doesn’t think his boiling people alive is a breach of Human rights.

    We do all this because Karimov is good for Israel. But if he is removed dispute all of our support we the Zionists will decide what the Uzbecks should replace his rule by.

    So Zionist, if Zionists want a say in what replaces Karimov, you Zionists should work to remove him.

    As you Zionists do all you can to support his rule, we will hold you Zionists accountable for all his crimes.

    Karimovs rule will end, he knows it will end, that’s why he has resorted to boiling people to delay it.

    As expected the Zionists have sided with the people boilers.

    I don’t know which will fall first, Karimov or your Zionists rule, whichever is first, the other will soon follow.

    So Zionist keep you advice, and I’m sure you and your gang will use ever means at your disposal to try and push Russia towards an Invasion, just as your Neocon Zionists used everything they had to get America and the UK to invade Iraq. We expect nothing else from you Zionist. That is why it is vital to end Zionism to end imperialism.

  • arsalan

    First we had Angrysoba, everyone agreed he was a bigger Moran as he was a Zionist.

    Then Larry came along, I thought they were the same but some thought Larry was not quite an idiot as Angrysoba.

    Now we have Stephen, I still think he is the same as Larry, but some here seem to think he is only half as stupid as Larry.

    As far as I’m concerned they are all the same, whether they know it or not.

    If you have seen one Zionist Nazi, you have seen them all.

  • technicolour

    Stephen, thanks. I feel it’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that the discussion should revolve, or is revolving, around Karimov’s ‘removal’. Or indicative of a (perhaps unconscious) acceptance that removing dictators is what the West and its allies could and should be doing.

    Yes, as you must know, there are many ways in which dictators have been ‘removed’ without murdering, burning, poisoning, crippling and/or displacing millions of terrified people in the process. If the CIA were not so curiously inept at assasinations, there would be more, it seems.

    The best (least manipulated and bloodless) example I can think of is the Portugese Revolution of the Flowers. But there have also been the Orange and Velvet Revolutions; and currently there is the Iranian Green Revolution. And doubtless many others, in places I know nothing about.

    The point is that none of these would have been possible, or been infinitely harder, if the West and its allies had been actively supporting the dictatorships in question. Which was also the point of this post.

    By the way, anyone who knows anything about Russia will know that Putin is not sitting in a room on his own, I quite agree. They will also remember Yabloko, and know that since Putin became President, elections there have variously been declared unfair by the OSCE, the Council of Europe and Amnesty, among others.

  • Ruth

    Yes, it’s interesting. In my view the results of the election have been decided. The UK is going to through a period of unparalleled austerity. The evidence is already here in the huge cutbacks in education. But there is going to be far more to come. We’ll be in a state of national emergency and hence the inevitability of a coalition government, which those who really control the country are working for. I believe the opinion polls are being manipulated and fraud will bring in the required election results.

    Also, I believe the MPs’ expenses scandal was brought into the open to flush out old MPs and bring in new, whose allegiance may not be to their constituents.

    The terror laws, the restrictions on civil liberties and press freedom, the violence shown by the police in demonstrations, trials without juries etc have all been implemented drip by drip to deal with the national emergency.

  • stephen


    Please believe what ever you want to believe – I am sure that given your ability to read and understand any viewpoint other than your own will mean that your are more than capable of reading whatever meaning into my words that you want whatever they actually say.

    And nevermind if your great powers of comprehension and logic fail you, you can always be comforted by your view that there is only one person who actually disagrees with you – perhaps we should call ourselves Spartacus, but then perhaps a sense of irony is one of your many powers.


    I agree that it is best not to ever support dictatorships – but that will not always stop them, and you still have to start from where we are. I’m sure that the answer is in effective international institutions – but the UN has a pretty miserable record in this regard in recent times even before Iraq.

    I carry no candle for Putin whatsover – but i think you will find that the Russian fear of the threat of Islam from the South has much deeper roots- read Hadji Murat by Tolstoy for starters or any history of Russia.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Actually, I don’t think angrysoba is/ was Larry and I don’t think Stephen is Larry either. I’m not sure whether there are two or more ‘larries’, but apart from ‘Larry’, the other bloggers seem pretty singular to me. One can expect conflicting views on a political website such as this, it’s part of the idea of discourse.

    I don’t agree with some of Stephen’s basic premises, which I think stem from an imperialist world-view; there are of course disagreements all the time among imperialists on the best ways – strategies and tactics – to rule the world and control its resources. Nonetheless, I sense that he is at least thinking about his arguments and about what he writes.

    Angrysoba has their own blog, which I think one might describe as (in its broadest sense) politically conservative in tone and which seeks to debunk what it sees as ‘conspiracy theories’ of various kinds but which also has interesting links to the websites of people with whom I suspect Angrysoba might well disagree.

    Larry / the larries seem to enjoy provoking people on an emotional level and tossing out two-line insults and non sequiturs, in both the linguistic and colloquial senses. Yet unlike Stephen, he/ she/ they have not yet answered my very simple question. Why is that?

    There is a danger in distilling the complexities of the world down into a dualistic paradigm. The dynamics are multi-directional; both politics and war are complicated.

    For example (and this is actually a relatively simple example), take Tibet. Now, the Western powers ride on the human rights dynamic there in order to undermine the power of China. The CIA has been supporting, and maybe even running, the Tibet movement – monks, singing bowls and all – for decades.

    But just as the USA committed abuses in its self-proclaimed ‘backyard’, El Salvador (for example), China has committed abuses in Tibet (whether or not it sees Tibet as an indispensable part of its polity is another matter).

    So, if, in the spirit of trying to stop nuns being raped by soldiers trained in the School of the Americas (or whatever it’s called now: ‘Torturers Direct’, perhaps?) and monks being battered by the Red Army, one supports anti-US elements in El Salvador, say, and anti-China elements in Tibet, one may be helping to further the agenda of the CIA in one case and to lessen it in the other. Yet the CIA (and here I use the CIA as a cipher for US power) is not in favour of human rights unless they suit its purposes and whether we like it or not the ‘Human Rights Industry’ (as Roderick Russell called it on another thread) to some extent is instrumentalised – and often fundamentally compromised – by such dynamics.

    I remember Idi Amin. A horrible dictator. He was put there by the UK; he was a good sergeant-major of empire. Later, of course, he ceased to serve the UK’s purposes and indeed became too unstable to be useful. Power went straight to his head. But how many died and suffered in between? Obote was no better, another stooge.

    Saddam Hussein was another US stooge. The US supported the Shah of Iran yet also the Ayatollahs (in spite of appearances to the contrary) as a bulwark against communism. So an imperial power will often simultaneously support and undermine a regime. These modulations help sharpen and intensify the strength of the imperium.

    In Eastern Europe, the EU/ US has a clear, corporate-driven agenda. The opposition to this agenda is often horribly regressive to the point of being racist, bigoted, narrowly tribal, etc. Yet their critique of US/ EU hegemonic power often is not incorrect. Slovakia (where there is a popular party who would expel all people of Hungarian descent) is an example of this, Serbia, another.

    As in Ukraine, a different situation again, there are no ‘goodies’ in such situations.

    What one can do, to the extent one is able, is to analyse and critique the nature and flows of power itself and to realise that in one’s attempt to be principled and moral, ethical, etc., whether one likes it or not, one can and will be used – and instrumentalised – by various aspects of imperium. War is simply a too, in its armoury, one of many tools. The world economy is the major tool. War is used to fuel, and to guard, the hegemonic economy.

    This is not an argument for apathy but simply one for realism; the goal, never to be fully-realised of course, might be that of ordinary people determining their own lives and having fundamental amenities. Forces often pose as anti-imperialist when in fact they are anything but.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised, for example, to discover that the Taliban are being supplied by elements of the same imperium against which they appear to be fighting. We shall see.

    I’m not offering a fully-formed dialectic here, simply a thought-form, or food for many thought-forms.

    End of meditation.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Seen on a LibDem Blog

    “On Saturday I listened to the Radio 4 afternoon play, ‘Murder in Uzbekistan’ about the British ambassador Craig Murray. He must have believed the Labour government when it declared that it would have “an ethical foreign policy”. (Remember that?)

    I heard about Craig Murray losing his ambassadorial post at the time, in 2004. Labour’s foreign policy became decidedly less than ethical when they decided they had to put the “war on terror” first. After that the media has been very quiet about Uzbekistan until this broadcast.

    The play, by David Hare, is based on Craig Murray’s book of the same title. It showed how appalling human rights abuses in Uzbekistan were allegedly condoned by the Labour government even though Craig Murray alerted them to what was going on. All the Uzbeki authorities had to do was to label anyone they arrested as a “terrorist” and they could apparently abuse them with impunity.

    The really sad part is that things have not changed in Uzbekistan as far as I know. Now how could Labour have taken us to war against the cruel and unjust dictator of Iraq whilst condoning the cruel and unjust Uzbeki president Islam Karimov?”

    Mirror, mirror on the wall – will the LibDems change our foreign policy?

    “The Liberal Democrats are determined to resist the slow death by a thousand cuts of our hard-won British liberties. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was a warning, not a blueprint. Yet the Big Brother society that he satirised is growing before our eyes. Our forebears who fought so hard for the rights we have had stripped away would be shocked at what we’ve lost.”

    The 20 Points of the proposed LibDem Freedom Bill:

  • Jives

    But what if Larry From St Louis,Arsalan,Stephen AND Angrysoba were all part of the SAME mirrored call-and-response provocateur dialectic?

    Who’d reeeeally be surprised?

    Not I…that’s fer sure…

  • Jives

    @ Suhayl

    “I wouldn’t be at all surprised, for example, to discover that the Taliban are being supplied by elements of the same imperium against which they appear to be fighting. We shall see.”

    Interesting.I had wondered wjen someone would finally raise that inconvenient,yet vital,question.

    Now…we here are media-bombarded with the Official Narrative.i.e. Taliban=Stone-age nutters who ride shotgun out of Toyota Land cruisers and with an opportunistic Lee Enfield strategy whils the best-ever militarily equipped US/UK/Alliance has been there for almsot 10 years and can’t win-whilst the Official Media-Pentagon narrative lectures about an war that “may” last 50 years??

    Perish the thought but it’s almost like one side would fund the other just to cement the Main Narrative Tinmeline here…

    OR am i just a conspiratorial cynic?


  • MJ

    “I wouldn’t be at all surprised, for example, to discover that the Taliban are being supplied by elements of the same imperium against which they appear to be fighting”

    Yes. The Taliban were of course installed as the ruling party of Afghanistan by the US and the two maintained cordial relations right up until 2001.

    The Taliban make an ideal enemy. Too weak to do any real harm, just annoying enough to justify a prolonged occupation.

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