My Two Cents

by Nathan Hamm on 5/3/2005 · 10 comments

My two cents on the Tashkent protests? Brilliant.

I’m sure that were I up to it, I could check Technorati at some point later today or tomorrow and see that some fools will say that this is calling the United States to account for this, that, or the other thing. Well, the last picture here makes it pretty obvious to me that this is another economic protest that has nothing to do with the United States. But protesting in front of the US embassy is a brilliant, guaranteed way of getting the BBC and whoever else is in town to show up and report (this isn’t a knock on the BBC – I like Monica Whitlock). Beyond assuring that arrests – if they happen – will be witnessed by Western reporters, they get the added bonus of making sure the US embassy witnesses the protest. The sidewalk across the street from the embassy may not be US soil, but there is a political cost for arresting protesters in sight of the embassy.

Of course, maybe none of this was what the protesters had in mind. Maybe they’re just tacitly stating that they think the US embassy is more responsive to their concerns than their own government.


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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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{ 10 comments }

Tim Newman May 3, 2005 at 9:57 am

Please tell me that last picture says:

Father does not go to work. We don’t have bread.

It’s about time my Russian lessons started working.

Student May 3, 2005 at 10:32 am

Tim, the last picture says, “Father can’t find a job”. If he had he would go to work. Peace.:)

Nathan May 3, 2005 at 10:42 am

Damn Russian and its prefixes making things all difficult…

Actually, I kind of like the conceptual connections Russian forces me to make between English words like “find” and “go.”

jonathan p May 3, 2005 at 1:26 pm

Actually, I think it’s “Papa can’t find work.” But I suppose that’s nitpicking.

I rather thought it was a great idea to protest in front of the US Embassy. Great way to get attention, keep from getting immediately beaten up (though I’m sure they’re all in trouble now), and make sure your message is heard. Plus, if the kiddies get hot they can go for a swim in the lake at Park Mirzo Ulugbek!

Nathan May 3, 2005 at 1:32 pm

Well, translation is all rather subjective, but I’d probably go with the Uzbek native’s translation myself. Just sounds more natural.

Tim Newman May 3, 2005 at 1:33 pm

****! ******** *****! Back to the drawing board. ๐Ÿ™

jonathan p May 3, 2005 at 1:36 pm

Nice LandRover icon, Tim! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Student May 3, 2005 at 2:46 pm
Tatyana May 3, 2005 at 9:08 pm

Minor differences in translation are irrelevant (it’s a weird Russian anyway),Tim, since you got the meaning. Bravo.

Nathan May 3, 2005 at 9:33 pm

You got the main chunk of the verb right. Just take it as a reminder that Russian is an absolute bitch once you get past the basic grammar.

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