Maintaining support for the permanent occupation of Afghanistan on the extraordinary grounds that it protects us from terrorism at home is difficult enough, but made harder by the absence of any credible Islamic terrorist incidents in the West in recent years.
The 2,000 Islamic extremists in the UK of whom Jonathan Evans warned us in 2007 that they posed “a grave threat to national security” have in the ensuing three years managed to kill a grand total of, umm, nobody.
Now if I were a vicious extremist suicide bomber, careless of my own life, indeed anxious to die in a glorious cause, I would undoubtedly over three years have managed to kill somebody, somewhere. If there were two thousand of me, at least someone positively must have succeeded in killing somebody. Lone nutters like the neo-Nazi who bombed gays a decade ago can wreak havoc, so 2,000 people, many of them in cells and networks? The UK should be littered with bodies. Yet not one.
The only possible conclusion is that Jonathan Evans was talking scaremongering bullshit. For which you and I pay him £165,000 a year plus accommodation and car and index-linked pension.
Anyway, fortunately for support for the war, the State Department has been able to issue a warning that there is definitely an active plot to do something, somewhere in Europe.
Old news, you may scoff. Indeed. But I can reveal to you from my own sources that this again depends in large part on information from the Uzbek secret service torture chambers, passed to the German security services. Germany continues to occupy the Termez airbase in Uzbekistan for NATO supply into Afghanistan, and continues to receive Uzbek natural gas via Gazprom.
The US has opened negotiations in Tashkent to increase still further the “Northern supply route” into Afghanistan through Uzbekistan, using Gulnara Karimova, the dictator’s daughter, as the supply contractor. This is in light of continuing disruption to supply convoys through the Khyber Pass.
As usual, lack of interest by western media and public in Uzbekistan enables British, German and American government collusion with Uzbekistan’s vicious totalitarian regime to pass unremarked – even though yet another dissident journalist, Abdulmalik Boboyev, faces a long hell in one of Uzbekistan’s notorious gulags. Not a word of protest from the West, despite the fact that his crime is working for the Voice of America.
This from Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Journalist Abdulmalik Boboyev is facing a possible five-year jail sentence for working for the US-funded Voice of America radio station in the trial that began today in Tashkent, the capital of one of Central Asia’s most repressive countries, Uzbekistan.
He is one of Uzbekistan’s few remaining independent reporters and his trial could signal the start of a new offensive against journalists who persist in gathering and disseminating news and information that is not controlled by President Islam Karimov’s government.
Everything about the case is political, from the defendant to the charges and the probable outcome. The trial will almost certainly be a sham. Boboyev has fallen prey to a dictatorial regime that has been reinforcing its control over the media for the past five years and constantly violates human rights.
But the international community had decided that it is in its interest to look the other way and support this appalling regime. If Boboyev become Uzbekistan’s 12th imprisoned journalist, it will constitute another serious failure of this policy of rapprochement.
The Uzbek authorities could still change course in this case if they want to embark on a real dialogue with their partners, above all the European Union and the United States. We urge them to do so.
A total of four charges were brought against Boboyev on 13 September. Three of them relate to his work as a journalist: defamation (article 139 of the criminal code), insult (article 140) and “preparing and disseminating material constituting a threat to public order and security” (article 244-1). The fourth is a trumped-up charge of “illegal entry into the country” (article 223). He was banned from leaving Uzbekistan the same day.