IndiaDaily on Tashkent Protests

by Laurence on 5/3/2005 · 2 comments

Balaji Reddy: Butting into internal affairs of others countries can back fire big time–even collapse the strongest military powers

Now in every country all opposition splinter groups expect America to stand for them. This is dangerous for America and others. Every country have a Government and opposition. Sometimes that is democratic, sometime quasi-democratic and sometime totally chaotic or dictatorial as in case of Saddam Hussein. But every country should be allowed to freely exercise the real will of their own citizens.

Take for example: Approximately 100 demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on May 3 to protest the Uzbek government. Some demanded President Islam Karimov’s resignation. Organizers said they decided to protest outside the U.S. Embassy in an effort to attract U.S. State Department and international attention. There were reports of initial scuffles between police and some protesters, most of whom were women and children. Embassy security personnel reportedly kept their distance from the demonstration.

Should America now change regime in Uzbekistan? Well, the Bush Administration must decide that. America is great country. Its success is not in occupying Iraq, Afghanistan with supervised democracies or political influences in Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere. The real success of America was from spread of freedom through culture, compassion and giving. Hollywood for example is much more powerful than American Military in influencing other cultures and countries.

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jonathan p May 3, 2005 at 1:41 pm

Aint this the truth:

Hollywood for example is much more powerful than American Military in influencing other cultures and countries.

Monica Whitlock (BBC) had this bit of insight about the protest:

“The protestors are demanding justice from the government which they say unfairly took possession of their profitable farm, rendering them destitute.
This is a major issue in Uzbekistan, a country of farmers, and it is far more compelling for many of the public than abstract concepts like democracy.”

Nathan May 3, 2005 at 1:54 pm

I agree with the broad theme of the article. The temptation to take sides on these issues must be avoided. Laurence, I know you and I disagree on the extent to which the US supported Kyrgyz protesters, but IMO, we were right to give more rhetorical support to the people who supported the ideals of democracy rather than the bulk of the protesters, most of whom supported the idea of getting their guy into office.

This is a horrible situation for these people, but it would be a perfect example of a bad investment of political capital to get involved.

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