Wall Street Journal Columnist Muhammed Salih: “I call upon the West not to support men like Islam Karimov.”

by Laurence on 6/28/2005

Erk Chairman Muhammed Salih writes in the Wall Street Journal:

So I’ve decided not to write appeals to so-called leaders of the world any more. A better question for me, and other dissidents, is “What’s the Uzbek democratic opposition going to do?”

That’s an easy one. The Karimov regime relies on the army, police and international support as part of the “antiterror alliance” to hold on to power. The first is still strong, the second a bit rotten and the third trying to distance itself from this regime but so far without success.

It’s our job to deal with the army and police. Intelligent generals and officers can be brought over to the people’s side. The same can be done inside the police. As for the third pillar of Mr. Karimov’s regime, I leave it to the publics of countries whose governments are his strategic partners to push for a reassessment. Anyone who claims to love freedom must not only safeguard it for himself but help others win it.

Uzbekistan’s secular opposition has been and is best able to take this country out of the catacombs of despotism. I don’t call upon the West to support Uzbek democracy. I call upon the West not to support men like Islam Karimov.

Read between the lines and it seems that Erk may be asking for US support for a military coup to install his party in power…

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