I’ll just write off trying

by Nathan Hamm on 12/10/2003

I’ll just write off trying to catch up on the last few days. Work has
been hell. Thankfully, some things said by my boss made things a little
better today.
Anyway, here’s some interesting stuff of late.
Turkey warms up to Georgia?
Afghanistan’s raging constitutional debate.
Turkmenistan cracks down on civic groups.
ATO visits Samarkand, the seat of empire, and Bukhoro-i-Sharif.
Kyrgyz traders offer family members as collateral to Chinese businessmen.
Marchers protest Uzbek policies… in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan!

ATO says Uzbekistan ignores quiet diplomacy.
I’m too tired to fully fisk, but they are kind of selective in their
complaints and analysis. The problem they seize on is that Uzbekistan
hasn’t moved quickly enough and when it makes a gesture, there’s no
guarantee new policies will stick. They’re right on both counts, but I
think it’s a bit presumptuous to make the claims they make (which are
of the “fill in the blanks in what we know with conspiracies and
guesswork” variety so common to this newspaper) without some good
evidence. Also, here’s that selective omission kind of thing that makes
me not respect journalists:

In late September, the government also blocked a congress
of the opposition Erk Democratic Party, whose activists around the
country had reported an increase in harassment.

True enough, but in all fairness, even Erk will tell you, they did meet in Tashkent in late October.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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