John Simkin Posted May 17, 2005 Share Posted May 17, 2005 One of the myths of Bush's foreign policy is that he is trying to spread democracy to the rest of the world. Take the example of Uzbekistan. Elections took place in this country in December, 2004. However, opposition parties were not allowed to take part and President Karimov was allowed to maintain his control of Uzbekistan. Not one member of the US administration criticised these elections. On the surface this may seem surprising as Karimov is a former member of the Communist Party. However, Bush does not mind communists when they are his communists. Uzbekistan is a country with a government that wages war on its citizens. According to the UN report published in 2002 torture in Uzbekistan is “widespread and systemic”. Last year Human Rights Watch produced a book with more than 300 pages of case studies. This included the boiling to death of Muzafar Avazov and Husnidin Alimov. Over the last couple of days an estimated 700 civilians have been killed while peacefully protesting against Karimov’s government. However, Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, announced to the press that Karimov’s troops had opened fire on “Islamic terrorists”. He also urged them to seek democratic government “through peaceful means, not through violence”. Jack Straw, the UK foreign secretary did indeed condemn these attacks on peaceful demonstrators but insisted that: “It’s for the people to decide on a change of regime, not outsiders”. This is the same Jack Straw who helped facilitate regime change in Iraq. Bush has not been interested in human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. In fact, when the British ambassador in Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, complained about these human rights abuses, Bush put pressure on Blair to sack Murray. This he did and as a result Murray stood against Jack Straw in the recent general election. Bush not only refuses to condemn Karimov, he helps to prop up his regime. For example, in 2002 the US gave Uzbekistan over $500m in aid, including $120m in military aid and $80 in security aid. Why is Bush so keen to keep this communist dictator in power? The same reason why he removed Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Oil. The US has troops stationed in Uzbekistan. The reason for this concerns the building of a pipeline to bring central Asia’s hydrocarbons out through Afghanistan to the Arabian sea. Control of Uzbekistan is vital in order to preserve this pipeline. So, as you can see, Bush cares nothing for democracy or human rights. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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