Latest from Reuters

by Laurence on 3/29/2005 · 2 comments

Reuters now claims that the USA and Russia never backed opposing sides in Kyrgyzstan.

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Nathan March 29, 2005 at 1:39 pm

Well, I gotta chime in again and say that they’re right.

I think there’s an enormous qualitative difference between backing a philosophy and backing factions. The US didn’t back any political parties, only NGOs, freedom of the press, and the idea that Akayev should honor his pledges to step down this fall and provide free elections. The result of that is that the ideas put forth by certain personalities do get rhetorical support from us. That’s different than saying “We support Otunbayeva” or “We think Bakiyev won in his constituency.” It also falls in line with a developing Bush administration policy of not committing itself to certain political leaders but to whomever will advance democratic development within a country. The result, especially in places like Kyrgyzstan, are conditional, rhetorical alliances, but not collaborative, sit down, plan, and hand over money support that is much more characteristic of our relations during the Cold War.

Russia sat out too. I’m telling you, they’ll stay uninvolved in these situations from now on so long as they are not genuinely threatened. They’ve learned it costs more than it’s worth to expend heaps of reputation to try to force Little Putins into office.

Laurence March 29, 2005 at 1:58 pm

Well, I wasn’t there, but from the media coverage at first it looked like the USA backed the opposition while Russia supported Akayev. Then, when the riots and civil war threats started, the US backed away a little from the opposition (who didn’t look peaceful) and Russia backed away from Akayev (who didn’t look like a winner). Now they seem to be trying to figure out what comes next…

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