The West and Karimov’s Anti-Terrorism Charade 204


Hillary Clinton and John Kerry courted Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s brutal dictator, every bit as assiduously as George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.


The west is interested in gas, gold and uranium, but is still more entranced by the allure of the false gold of Uzbekistan’s “successful” anti-terrorism strategy. Karimov was courted as the strong man who held Central Asia against Islamic fundamentalism. His methods – imprisoning, torturing and killing anybody who appeared religious – were viewed as admirable. That all reputable sources acknowledge that 10,000 people are imprisoned solely for their political and religious beliefs did not matter. That young men can be imprisoned or “disappeared” solely for growing a beard, or for praying five times a day, was viewed as “effective”.

The truth is that western governments wished they could do the same thing. The very first words Karimov ever spoke to me were to congratulate me on the fact that Blair had just instituted detention without charge for terrorism suspects – a prime example of the effect abroad of western abandonment of civil liberties.

But of course banning legitimate religious expression does not halt extremism, it creates extremism through frustration. That is why there are so many Uzbeks fighting with ISIS or the IMU in Afghanistan, why it was Uzbeks who blew up Istanbul airport. Unreasonable repression creates terrorism, which is just the effect of the Prevent programme in the UK – or banning the burkini in France.

Western politicians’ idealisation of Karimov shows the attraction to politicians of the idea of absolute power, and the simplicity of their approach to the complex issues being faced across the globe. The destruction of liberty is not the answer.

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204 thoughts on “The West and Karimov’s Anti-Terrorism Charade

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  • Paul Barbara

    @ Resident Dissident September 3, 2016 at 09:22
    ‘Bevin may not be singing Karimov’s praises but Putin certainly is.

    “Vladimir Putin said that the death of a “true leader” whose “name was inextricably linked to every major landmark in the country’s independent history” was a “heavy loss.”

    But what is even more concerning is this comment on Russia Today regarding IUzbekistan’s future direction of travel

    “Karimov’s departure leaves in question the stability of Uzbekistan, a country that shares a southern border with Afghanistan and struggled against jihadism in the 1990s. Uzbekistan’s traditionally neutral stance in world affairs may also change under a new leader.”

    It is pretty obvious where the recent closer links between Russia and Uzbekistan are going. My guess is that the new mafia head in Tashkent will be bowing his head to the capo di capos pretty soon.’

    Yes, I had noticed that too – Putin has certainly gone down a peg or two in my estimation. But he still shines like a beacon way above the likes of the Bush’s, Clintons, Obombas, Trumps, Bliars, Merkels, Hollandes and Camerons of this world.

      • Republicofscotland

        I very much doubt that Kinnock is richer than Putin, Putin has been either PM or president since 1999, he will have a right few quid stashed away.

        • michael norton

          I think I have spotted the flaw in your point.
          Neil Kinnock was not very rich when he was but a mere Labour M.P. and long term leader of the Labour Party.
          His amazing wealth gravy train, only really got going, after he had left the Mother of Parliaments – same as Anthony Blair.
          Neil Kinnock really took the E.U. gravy train and he is still coining it in now, as is Mrs. Kinnock
          They are the SUPER RICH.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Unofficial sources state that he owns more than the 1.5% of Gazprom, the unofficial numbers being close to 5-7% and other large stakes that have been under written not in his name, which would take Vladimir Putin Net Worth 2015 in the range of $100 Billion making him the richest man in the world at this point.”

            “Vladimir Putin’s Net Worth is the highest among his peers making him the richest president in the world and also the richest politician of them all.”


  • Paul Barbara

    Now, another big question – which must be keeping Craig up at night – did Karimov mention him in his will?
    If so, can we have a party in Edinburgh, all expenses paid? I’m up for it!

  • michael norton

    During the summit, the prime minister Saint Theresa
    will also hold her first face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    I wonder if Mr.Putin will point out to Saint Theresa that for most of the last millennium Crimea has been part of Russia.
    Recently the people now living in Crimea voted to re-join the motherland by a massive majority.
    So it seems some what irrational to have sanctions imposed on Russia / Crimea because the people wish to be together again, as one land.
    Let’s see how she could refute?

    • MJ

      Russia of course invaded Crimea and forced its authoritarian rule on the poor people. Now they are all clamouring to rejoin Ukraine so they can lose their jobs and pensions, be prohibited from using their own language and have their war memorials trashed by thugs. Everyone knows that. We must of course leap to their assistance so their wishes can be fulfilled.

    • Republicofscotland

      The name Ukraine, means border lands, (Slavic) is it any wonder they have changed hands over the centuries.

    • Resident Dissident

      “I wonder if Mr.Putin will point out to Saint Theresa that for most of the last millennium Crimea has been part of Russia.”

      Well he would be wrong then wouldn’t he – the Crimea was only annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783. And Theresa might wish to point out that Moscow originally belonged to the Kievan Rus – and even more relevantly point to the Budapest Accord of 1994.

  • RobG

    Successive UK governments have stolen billions from the miner’s pension fund; you know, the same miners who were chucked on the industrial scrapheap during the 1980s. Here’s Galloway talking about it on his Sputnik programme…

    And if you’re tuning in Craig, I heard you on Galloway’s Talk Radio show yesterday evening. I have a lot of disagreements with George, but his ‘Mother Of All Talk Shows’ is just about the only programme in the mainstream that gives a genuinely ‘left’ perspective.

  • Republicofscotland

    Israeli satellite explodes during take-off like a North Korean missilie.

    It is claimed that the satellite was a communications one, believe that if you like, however it has set back the Israeli space programme, quite badly.

    Not to worry though, I’m sure America will fund that as well.

    French satellite operator Eutelsat Communications announced they were joining forces with Israel’s Spacecom.

  • Republicofscotland

    The International Criminal Court is to send delegates into the apartheid state of Israel, to probe wrong doings, they’ll be there for years if not decades.

    “The Hague-based ICC has been considering opening a probe into possible crimes committed by Israelis in the 2014 Gaza conflict for over a year since it was put forward by Palestinian authorities. Israel, however, says the court does not have the right to intervene”

    So the apartheid state doesn’t want the ICC to poke its nose into its affairs, we all know too well why that is.

  • Mo Rios

    Another brilliant analysis. Thank you Craig. I missed your interview on Sky last night. Is there a link?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The lack of interest by CM, the media, and Anglo-American government in conditions possibly changing in Uzbekistan is most unconvincing since none of them, especially the Guardian’s Simon Tisdall, even suggest the possibility that hated Karimov too was assassinated because of his refusal to change anything.

    • Resident Dissident

      They also failed to suggest abduction by Martians – perhaps it is something to do with any lack of evidence and/or the propensity of 78 year olds with a history of poor health popping their clogs.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Abduction by Martians was most unlikely for even them, as his body remained, and was soon buried.

        No known history of bad health, and he died of a second heart attack after surviving the first one, and other organ failure, indicating that he had been poisoned.

        You don’t work as a pathologist for the UK spooks, do you?

        • Resident Dissident

          “No known history of bad health”

          Look it up please – before peddling your unsupported theories

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            So the mods are on your side too, deleting my claim that Islam had no serious health problems despite the old rumors.

            If he was so sick, why did he make no will for his family nor more important one for his succession.

            Guess he was not invincible, just plain nuts too.

      • Paul Barbara

        Also goes against the grain – evil b*stards generally last and last – HW Bush, Kissinger, Brzezinski. Seems ‘Old Nick’ looks after ‘it’s’ own…

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          Oh right, Paul, and don’t forget JFK, Dr, King, Dr. Kelly, Anna Lindh, Bobby, Che, Vladimir the First, Malcolm X, John Lennon, Tony .Crossland, Palme, Patrice, etc., ad nauseam.

          Nice to know they are still around too.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Former OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Gadi Shamni’s characterization of Israel as “bringing occupation to an art form”

    That sounds like the true definition of the Israeli’s in Palestine, they still see themselves for what they really are, an oppressive occupying force, in a foreign land.

  • Doug Scorgie

    September 3, 2016 at 17:13

    “Unofficial sources state…”
    “Vladimir Putin’s Net Worth is the highest among his peers making him the richest president in the world and also the richest politician of them all.”

    Unofficial sources? FFS!

    Do you not remember a few years ago that Forbes magazine had Fidel Castro as the richest man in the world?

    This is western propaganda; complete bullshit and I despair that you believe it.

    • Resident Dissident

      Of course Putin’s declaration that he earns less than a £100k a year and has next no assets is the absolute truth. Those who have read Masha Gessen’s book and followed the sources there may of course have another view.

      • Resident Dissident

        And once you have completed your reseach on Putin’s finances could you look into why his party is usually referred to as the “Party of Crooks and Thieves” by ordinary Russians.

        • John Goss

          As I’ve mentioned many times your fixation with the Russian president (who countless Russians between 60% and 90% support) regarding what a bad man he is is laughable. If I want the George Soros-sponsored ‘Open Russia’ view I know where to find it. But you, and he, are in a minority. That does not make you wrong. But it would be good to see some facts to back up your prejudice in adherence to the Blame Putin meme.

          • Resident Dissident

            The facts are in Masha Gessen’s book and many others should you bother to read them. Why do you think Sochi was more expensive than any other Olympics? Why do you think Russia has suffered massive capital outflows over the Putin years? Why do you think members of Putin’s judo club in Petersburg have a habit of becoming incredibly wealthy?

          • Resident Dissident

            A sure sign of the totalitarian mindset is its inability to respond to criticism other than through dismissal or abuse.

    • Republicofscotland


      Like David Cameron, Putin’s wealth will be hidden, I’m surprised you feel Putin, a man who’s held power in Russia, in one form or another since 1999, would only have his presidential salary to get by on.

      In my opinion, Putin is no different, than, Obama, Hollande, May or Jingpin, a prime example being Putin’s alliance with Erdogan, which has saw Turkish tanks allowed to enter Syria, under the guise of destroying Daesh, when in my opinion, it’s to rout the Kurdish forces.

  • Silvio

    Just as a matter of interest, Paul Craig Roberts has posted today (Sep 3) on his web site (and in an email message to his subscribers) a recommendation for everyone to view a recent interview with Craig published in Jacobin Magazine:

    He wrote:

    How Intelligence Was Falsified To Support Invasion Of Iraq
    British Ambassador Craig Murray explains how British professionals were pressured and threatened to permit false reports.
    This is a good lesson in how bad things happen.

  • YKMN

    New Vaz ‘washes whiter than “snow”‘ to parody an old washing powder advert for the purposes of satire

    so that’s what a ‘ten-day sting’ by two newspapers looks like; whilst in Karimov’s deadly ‘stan where his security services e-bugged & i-burgled their way through society, then abused their national ‘permanent-sting’ databases, makes you think!

    Does ‘oversight’ by ‘overseers’ work when the ‘oversought’ have a thick file on their reviewers . . . what time is Strictly on?

  • Mr. Fishy

    Your ex-excellence,

    I feel like sharing my true experiences from living in Uzbekistan opposing your demonizing him as a brutal murderer.

    In the late 80-s there was a lot of violence in the streets of Tashkent targeted especially at ethnic Russians living there. What was happening after the dark was a kind of terrorism: Russians were killed, raped, and beaten*.

    When Karimov came to power in 1989, all this terrorism stopped immediately! Later, laws were put in effect that prohibited any nationalistic slurs in public.

    This hard FACT hasn’t been much publicized, but it played a tremendous role in consolidating the Uzbekistan society.

    *I understand that this might please you as a Brit. Brits do not believe that Russians are part to the Uzbekistan society, do they? I was told by a Brit that “Russians should have gone from Uzbekistan”— so my apologies for staying.

  • michael norton

    Just got back from a very hot Scotland, brilliant couple of days, locals very friendly.
    Been up to celebrate 100 birthday of aunt.

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