Rushing for Inaccuracy in Bishkek

by Alexander_Visotzky on 4/7/2010 · 6 comments

The upheaval in Kyrgyzstan has seized the media’s attention, but it’s mostly just highlighted how little the major newspapers know about the region and how quick they are to put unsubstantiated facts up.

The NY Times immediately reported that Bakiev had fled the country, which is a bold statement considering Cliff Levy is probably reporting from Moscow and not Bishkek. They’ve now taken a more tepid approach.

BBC also got in on the action of declaring Bakiev toppled, saying,

The Agence France-Presse news agency quoted an airport employee as saying that Mr Bakiyev had flown out of Bishkek aboard a small plane.

Ah, the third hand quote. Now that’s good journalism. In actuality, Bakiev has left the capital to open a shashlik stand in Osh, or so my cousin’s husband’s third grade teacher’s dog-walker claims.

Several other news sources have claimed Bakiev fled, citing rt.com’s report. RT.com? Not to disparage RT, but can’t the media just wait until someone ACTUALLY knows something?

In all likelihood Bakiev is done for, but fact-checking never killed anybody, even if it slows down a story.


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{ 6 comments }

DE Teodoru April 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Mr. Visotzky, I would love to see what you had to say at the time of our beloved “insti-fix” tacticians spooks’ “expertise” when they plotted the TULIP REVOLUTION, the ORANGE REVOLUTION with absolutely no strategic perspective– a record of, NOT American Gov, but only some American Gov AGENCIES’ interests mixed with the wheeling and dealing of Corporate Super-American Hit Man. Kyrgyzstan then became a red flag for the ex-Communist World and it is doing better than then our “freedom crusade cash” ever did—long-term that is—example Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, etc. We, on the other hand, laughed it off so smug about our interventions. In Bakiyev’s case it was ideal– a crook instead of an ideologue. But for the Russians it became an issue of a sub-rosa war of survival, as for the Chinese. Now we’re stuck in Afghanistan with an army that looooooves to shoot and drink cold beer, supplied via two slim tails. Russia gathered its pennies and tried to buy off Bakiyev. His mafia saw that over the long run it would never be forgiven by Moscow but over the short run could buy a lot of Riviera villas thanks to America’s Afghan fix. They tried to take from both US and Russia. That the Russians historically never forgive. The rest of the story would demand a tedious debate of details, preferable under more open dialogue settings later when more leaks make who’s who clear in our wunderbar regime of four stars let loose on the world. But for now, this too is all deja vu, but temporally much more closely and much more recently that Vietnam vs. Afghanistan. I predict BOTH Russia and China will not only win but will be brought closer to the idea that the world cannot continue until someone bursts America’s unipolar cancerous bubble ever metastasizing. Putin’s advantage is that he’s part of a quadrumviate that’s more desperate thus more determined than the Obama’s Dems and the Republican wanna-bes. We, as masters of the universe led by Super Petraeus, will have to fall very hard before we realize that we’re down because we wouldn’t realize that we can’t afford to be up everywhere at all times with all people. Alas, a lot of the victims of clever-by-half American tacticians in camouflage– victims at the strategic level of the acronymoron bureaucrats at the Pentagon– will hate us and will pass that hate to their children so that it lasts and manifests far longer than in eight years stints. Since WWII America never realized what a debt of disdain it has accumulated because it never looked at Churchill’s path of outrageous card-shark as the way to English influence. Now a mere “poodle,” England realizes where American myopia brought it. Alas too many people the world over realize too, not when we are at our peak and can make amends, but when we’re at our sub-primate lowest and can only make noise. Stay tuned, the Taliban sure is. If you’re impatient, just look back on of all the American covert “colored revolution.” One of the first lessons you learn in oil painting is not to mix too many colors on your pallet because the result will be s–t brown and no colors you add can change that!

Brian April 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

Why do you think the Americans sponsored the Tulip revolution? President Akayev was a supporter of the American base at Manas, Bakiyev wanted to close it early on. I mean why would the Americans want to cause turmoil in a country where they already had the base? Wouldn’t you want stability in that case? It doesn’t make much sense.

Kevin Gash April 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I was even disappointed by many of the statements made by the so-called analysts in London and New York. Many of them were discussing various implications for the Manas air base, which is ridiculuous as it is neither an issue for the opposition (Otunbaeva, Tekevaev, Sariev, or Atambaev) or for Bakiev. The overthrow is about domestic problems including rising costs and corruption and not the over-blown conflict between Russian and the US in Central Asia.

Grant April 8, 2010 at 10:36 am

In defense of at least some of those analysts, I image that many of them do give honest, intelligent data to the papers. The papers then cut it down to mere catch phrases in a pre-written paragraph.

DE Teodoru April 8, 2010 at 11:46 am

The issue was not accepting or rejecting the base. Let’s not forget the “democratization” of Islam thing. That is part and parcel of an entire process that goes beyond a logistic center. Even just as a base, with two Russian bases also supposedly in the works, there’s a lot of regional, “near abroad” vs. Americans competition. We are not in Kyrgyzstan merely to put down a base and that base is not just to feed force in Afghanistan. A little wider look to include the Russian, Chinese and US competition would be helpful. As for US role in Tulip Revolution, it was the basis of much of a crisis and I would gladly discuss it henceforth if there’s interest. Again, we are crimped by the fact that a lot is not yet declassified and the leaks are not yet deemed the media’s interest. Stay tuned it will greatly evolve soon.

Brian April 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

You’re still not making sense. Why would so much instability in such a tiny country help the U.S.? It’s not like any of the leaders of the revolution had strong US ties.

I mean take the situation now, which could conceivably deteriorate into a civil war. Do you think this what what the U.S. wants given all the other trouble in the region? Frankly, and unfortunately, I think the U.S. would be happy with a friendly stable government no matter what the form – and that’s the cynical view.

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