The Voice’s Geography Problem

by Nathan Hamm on 3/22/2005 · 3 comments

Quoth the Village Voice:

George Bush’s march to spread democracy across the Islamic world proceeds across the Middle East, but it comes to a halt in the Caspian Sea basin at the borders of Uzbekistan.

Really? ‘Cause looking at a map, I’d say Turkmenistan. I guess we can forget it exists and ignore its problems (because, you know, who cares anyway?) because it doesn’t really flow in a naive hit piece on US foreign policy.

But here’s the real shocker…

Times have changed, and now we control Uzbekistan.

Could’ve fooled me…

I guess literacy and research skills aren’t required at the Voice. See how many mistakes and unattributed quotations you can find in just five paragraphs.

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– 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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Laurence March 22, 2005 at 4:38 pm

Sort of sad, isn’t it. They just believe what they want to believe, and the heck with the facts. The US did condemn Uzbekistan’s human rights violations and the State department cut off aid — probably one reason they signed that $1 billion dollar deal with Russia’s Lukoil instead of America’s ExxonMobil…

Tim Russo March 22, 2005 at 4:47 pm

Like just about everything the hard left punditry does, it loses a very good point in the haze of cliche anti-Americanism. Yes, we should be calling out Uzbek human rights abuses, as Nathan does on this site all the time. But we no more “control” Uzbekistan simply because we have bases there than we control Afghanistan because we have bases there.

On the Caspian Sea comment, I doubt the author actually looked at a map. That would have been work.

Sepra March 22, 2005 at 4:49 pm

“…here is a list of the U.S. officials who have visited and paid homage to Uzbekistan…”

They can not possibly be serious? I was in Uzbekistan at the time, so I’m not too clear, but didn’t Colin Powell roundly condemn Uzbekistan? And now he’s “paying homage”?

New best friends don’t often deny each other aid money also.

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