by Nathan Hamm on 5/20/2005 · 6 comments

I hope to elaborate, but you know the coolest thing about viewing the world through an oily lens? You don’t have to actually deal with facts and issues to get published. Or to impress people.

Win-win. The perfect substitute for research and one heckuva time saver.

Like I said, I hope to find time to elaborate on just how overblown and silly this really is, but if you’re a long time reader, you could probably write it all for me.

Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

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.

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use


sharifabad May 20, 2005 at 6:15 pm

The real tragedy is that the Islamofascists in Uzbekistan have now gained the upper hand and have made the non-violent secular democratic opposition, the traditional standards bearer for freedom and democracy, look like idiots. We all know Karimov is a dead man walking. So who is going to inherit power if the secular democratic opposition has been discredit and identified with the US pro-Karimov stance?

Uzbekestan is a “wedge issue”. It is driving a wedge between liberal hawks-neocons on one side and the Realpolitiks on the other side. It would be a strategic mistake on the part of the US to take the side of the pragmatists and Realpolitiks. US has its huge air bases in Afghanistan and can get another one in Afghanistan just 30 miles from the one it has inside Uzbekistan. If there is one Islamic country without significant oil resources and of less strategic value, it is Uzbekistan.

The harm that this wedge issue is doing on the historic discourse is so immense, that no amount of geostrategic advantage can justify this harm.

US should immediately give a final ultimatum to Karimov and get the Europeans to put equal pressure on Putin, and force their hands. Every day we are getting closer to the point of no return in Uzbekistan where the Islamist ideologues will take over, and by extension the region. The Realpoliticians will turn it into another Chechniya and then excuse themselves: “well aren’t we pinning Putin down on another front?”.

Such policy does not befit the interest of the United States or the liberalization of Uzbekistan.


Tim Newman May 21, 2005 at 8:00 am

I wrote this in response to an article in The Telegraph which asserted that Central Asia was “pretty secular” even before the Russians came. It seems that post Andijon, everyone’s an expert on Uzbekistan even if they couldn’t locate it on a map two weeks ago.

Tim Newman May 21, 2005 at 8:03 am

Ah, I should have read the article first! I see that Hari also thinks that:

Islam has never been strong in central Asia.

Not even in Afghanistan, eh Johan?

Nathan May 21, 2005 at 8:18 am

I wish that there was some kind of cosmic law that dictated writing that the US is doing something in a country next to but not in countries with oil and pipelines (and not to mention that what the country has is bought up by another company) would result in lightning to come down on the writer’s head.

Tim Newman May 21, 2005 at 2:21 pm

….you could probably write it all for me.

I’ve had a go here.

Previous post:

Next post: