[Marxism] Kyrgyzstan

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 29 12:37:35 MST 2005


Today's dissidentvoice.org has an interesting article by Mike Whitney that 
makes the case that the coup in Kyrgyzstan was orchestrated by the USA. 
Relying heavily on a secret report purportedly written by the US Ambassador 
to Krygyzstan Stephen M. Young 
(<http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news4/kabar1.html>http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news4/kabar1.html), 
the scenario seems identical to that which took place in Yugoslavia and 
elsewhere.

It should be added, however, that the report has certain formulations that 
make me question its authenticity. For example, it says:

"In this regard, the embassy's Democratic commission, Soros Foundations, 
Eurasia Foundation in Bishkek in cooperation with USAID have been 
organizing politically active groups of voters in order to inspire riots 
against pro-president candidates."

This just sounds a little bit lurid to my ears but let's take it at face 
value for the time being.

Young writes:

"We have set up and opened financing for an independent printing office -- 
the Media Support center -- and AKIpress news agency to interpret 
impartially the course of the elections and minimize state mass media 
propaganda impact. We also render financial support to promising 
non-governmental tele- and radio companies."

By the looks of it, the USA has gotten exactly what it wants, the 
assumption of power by Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who Young describes as "the most 
acceptable candidate in the aspect of fruitful development of relations 
between the USA and Kyrgyzstan."

Now, one shouldn't jump to the conclusion that this has much to do about 
resisting privatization--one of the main grievances against Milosevic who 
was painted as a Stalinist dinosaur in the West--since the fallen head of 
state was eminently disposed to capitalist property relations. The FT 
reported in May,1993:

"Mr Lloyd Bentsen, US treasury secretary, yesterday praised Kyrgyzstan for 
'a bold and courageous reform programme that should be a model for all 
states of the former Soviet Union', writes George Graham in Washington. Mr 
Bentsen spoke after meeting Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akayev, who was in 
Washington for talks with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

"Kyrgyzstan is the first country to qualify for the IMF's new financing 
facility to help the economies of eastern Europe and the former Soviet 
Union make the leap from communism to capitalism."

The July 2002 FT also reports that the Akayev family is no slouch when it 
comes to feeding at the US trough:

"Askar Akayev, the Kyrgyzstan president, has publicly admitted that a 
member of his family is involved in a million-dollar business at his 
country's US-run airbase.

"The admission by the president, whose regime is crucial to the US's 
strategic presence in the region, threatens to spark discontent and will 
intensify opposition calls for his resignation.

"In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Akayev conceded that his 
son-in-law, Adil Toigonbayev, sells jet fuel to Manas airbase, outside the 
capital Bishkek. Some 2,000 soldiers from eight countries - the majority 
from the US - have set up a hub there for flights into nearby Afghanistan."

Speaking of these bases, one would get the impression that a "pro-Russian" 
politician like Akayev might have regarded the bases as a violation of 
national sovereignty on a par with the Guantanamo in Cuba. It is useful to 
remember how Akayev viewed these bases. The FT reported in July, 2002:

  >>Western forces should remain in Kyrgyzstan for "many years", said the 
country's president, Askar Akayev, in the first indication that the west's 
presence in the republics of ex-Soviet central Asia may prove to be long-term.

Some 2,000 troops from eight countries - half coming from the US -have been 
based at Manas international airport outside the capital, Bishkek, since 
the beginning of the year. The airport serves as a hub for operations in 
Afghanistan, which is near Kyrgyzstan but does not share its border.

Paul O'Neill, the US treasury secretary, thanked Kyrgyzstan for its 
contribution to the war against terrorism during a visit this week and said 
that the base contributed to the country's economy.<<

Of course, Putin himself was charitably disposed to the bases as the Daily 
Telegraph reported in September, 2001:

 >>President Putin's offer of support for the expected American air strikes 
against Afghanistan marks a revolution in his leadership and in Kremlin 
policy towards the former Soviet republics and the West.

He has never been one to defy public opinion or Russia's truculent military 
top brass, at least not openly. But by blessing the deployment of US forces 
in Central Asia, Mr Putin has taken the most courageous decision of his 18 
months in power.

Moscow has been outspoken in its sympathy for Washington in the aftermath 
of the suicide attacks but Mr Putin's backing for plans to base US forces, 
even temporarily, in Russia's own backyard is an extraordinary turnaround.

Less than a fortnight ago Russia's defence minister, Sergei Ivanov, one of 
Mr Putin's closest associates, ruled out "even the hypothetical possibility 
of Nato military operations" in the former Soviet Union.

Now, however, the US will have a foothold in a region Russia regards as one 
of vital strategic importance.<<

With the example of Ukraine, Venezuela and Lebanon lingering in people's 
minds, one might assume that the revolt pitted a privileged middle-class 
against a hated government viewed as inimical to its interests. But news 
reports indicate that the protesters had little to do with Kiev's Orange 
Revolution yuppies. By all accounts, the revolt brewed in the largely 
Moslem and impoverished southern regions. Whatever differences exist 
between Putin and George W. Bush, who is represented as his deadliest of 
enemies by various leftwing voices on the Internet, they do share a common 
hostility to all forms of political Islam. The rhetoric used by Putin in 
his war in Chechnya differs little from the post 9/11 "war on terror" 
outlook of Washington.

In Uzbekistan, the US backed dictatorship is reported to torture Moslem 
prisoners shipped there by the CIA to avoid judicial oversight, while 
consigning its own dissidents to boiling oil as the need arises.

After China and Russia revived the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, a 
security group including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, 
Putin and Hu Jintao attended a summit in the Uzbek capital in June, 2004 
with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president and another sworn enemy of Islamic 
radicalism. The meeting culminated with lucrative oil development deals 
with the dictator-torturer of Uzbekistan, which led the shrewd FT to 
comment: "Leaders such as Islam Karimov, Uzbek president, must be delighted 
that Mr Putin and Mr Hu are more concerned about oil and Islam than 
corruption or human rights."

Meanwhile Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the official Institute of 
Commonwealth of Independent States Studies in Moscow, has said, "Unlike the 
recent events in Ukraine, there is no pro-Western or pro-Moscow side to 
this unrest in Kyrgyzstan."

That might be true, but there certainly does seem to be an anti-Moslem 
side, a primary aspect of the New Crusades.


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