Our complicity with torture in Karimov’s Uzbekistan is a startling example of Britain’s double standards. But where are Britain’s other most current disgraceful examples of immoral foreign policy, and in particular support of dictators? I want to consider perhaps five of the most egregious examples for a media project. I have my own ideas, but would welcome your thoughts.
There is still no concerted international response to the violence on Kyrgyzstan, either in terms of peacekeeping or aid to refugees. Sporadic killings continue and much of Osh is burnt out. I have to confess at a grim humour in reading this morning articles in the British media by people who plainly know nothing about it: the Guardian has some prime examples of google and wiki knowledge part digested and regurgitated for sale. Here is my own take yesterday:
Yesterday Maxim Bakiyev, son of the recently ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was arrested in the UK when he arrived at Farnboro in a private plane. The interim government of Kyrgyzstan had issued an Interpol warrant for him for corruption. (Note to the police – the “in a private plane” may be a clue).
It is interesting that the specific count of corruption cited relates to Pentagon contracts given to Maxim Bakiyev for the supply of the US airbase in Kyrgyzstan. This appears to be the standard US modus operandi for bribing dictators in Central Asia. In Uzbekistan, the US has given massive supply contracts to dictator’s daughter Gulnara Karimova.
This is yet another ill effect of the Afghan war – the increase in corruption and the personal reward of dictators by the USA. Is the Pentagon exempt from the reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the United States?