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US plans for Uzbekistan

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    US plans for Uz Simon Jones http://simonjones1.blogspot.com/2005/06/us-plans-for-uz.html Events in Andijan on May 13-14 and subsequently there and in Tashkent
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2005
      US plans for Uz
      Simon Jones


      Events in Andijan on May 13-14 and subsequently there and in Tashkent
      are all evidence that US plans are in motion and are well coordinated.
      While the imprisonment and murder of devout Muslims by their
      purportedly Muslim leader is hardly news, just as in Egypt, Algeria,
      Morocco or Jordan, the large numbers killed in Andijan required a show
      of protest. NATO's call for an independent inquiry was appropriately
      rebuffed by Karimov; after all, the US is not allowing an independent
      inquiry into torture and murder of Muslims at Abu Ghraib and
      Guantanamo. The pot can't call the kettle black.

      Bush attack dog succours (suckers?) 'opposition'

      But Mr K seems to have forgotten that US puppet dictators are
      dispensible when their people loathe them too much, and it appears the
      US has decided to go ahead with its alternative of supporting a
      'democratic' change of government in Uz, messy though that will no
      doubt prove to be. Senator McCain, accompanied by Senators Graham and
      Sununu, launched the operation with an impromptu visit to Uzbekistan
      on May 29, presumably to call K's bluff. K refused to meet with them
      (K always meets US senators) or to allow any other officials to do so.
      So the senators proceeded to meet openly with representatives of the
      opposition (the two nationalist parties Birlik and Erk and the Ozod
      Dehqonlar (Free Peasants) party). These approved-of opposition forces
      were then harrassed, but not tortured or murdered. And nonemergency US
      embassy personnel and family members are being evacuated, purportedly
      because of possible terrorist attacks (but which terrorists - state or
      nongovernmental - are not clear).

      Take a moment to deconstruct what McCain told Reuters: "The model the
      government has chosen in response to this event is going to fail. The
      people in this country deserved better. The United States must make
      this government understand that our relationship is very difficult, if
      not impossible, if the government continues to repress its people." In
      case the point was not crystal clear, Sununu added that "This level of
      political and economic repression is unsustainable." Coincidentally
      NATO announced it would no longer cooperate with the Uzbek military,
      and refused to participate in K's cover-up investigation of the
      Andijan massacre. The gauntlet has been thrown.

      Salvation from UofChicago and WB

      This latest twist follows on several high profile post-Andijan events
      by the so-called Sunshine coalition, including a press conference May
      18 (the same day as an unfortunate IMF conference in Tashkent praising
      K's reforms) calling for new presidential elections, and the "2nd
      Congress of the Sunny Coalition of Uzbek businessmen" with its
      "unanimously elected Chairman" Sanjar Umarov, a "businessman and
      economist recently from the United States".

      According to Umarov, "the time of consolidation has come for the
      forces that want a true and not puppet democracy, freedom, respect of
      human rights, inviolability of private property, and a reasonable tax
      policy." (Note his hilarious juxtaposition of priorities.) The
      coalition is committed to "liberal free market reforms" and its press
      release states its priority to be the mass privatization of land and
      the continuation of Karimov's policy of making Uzbekistan "one of
      America's foremost allies in the War on Terror." It calls on
      Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov to work cooperatively with
      Sunshine Uzbekistan in "creating an open, free market, democratic
      society." An exercise in squaring the circle, but as witnessed in
      Georgia and Ukraine, an important part of the protocol of US regime
      change in the CIS. No mention of the 7000+ devout Muslims jailed,
      tortured and/or murdered, or freedom for Muslim political parties.
      Funny, that.

      The public face of these 'opposition forces' is Nigora Hidoyatova,
      "successful businesswoman in the cotton industry" (whatever that
      means), a leader of the unregistered Ozod Dehqonlar party, and one of
      the founders of the new Coalition of Democratic Forces. Hidoyatova
      says the accelerated privatization plans are "only suggestions, and
      Uzbek economists, as well as their colleagues from the University of
      Chicago, are working out a comprehensive program." She also calls for
      continued close relations with the US and crows that the coaltion has
      had contacts with the WB. (Wolfowitz will no doubt be a great help in
      alleviating Uz's troubles.)

      Clearly these people have been well coached by the most hardened
      neocons. The fact that these 'opposition' leaders are able to spout
      their US-quisling-wannabe nonsense loudly, and at the same time
      fearlessly call for Karimov's ouster indicates the extent of their
      protection by the US. In fact a prominent Uzbek defector,
      ex-Ambassador to the US Muhammadbubor Malikov, is the real founder of
      Ozod Dehqonlar, and is sitting comfortably in the US, awaiting the
      'liberation' of Uzbekistan (a la Karzai, Chalabi or Reza Pahlavi).
      Hidoyatova and Umarov both met with him last year in Washington. This
      supposed farmers' party is illegal but is tolerated and its leaders
      are treated with kid gloves, though its local members are beaten and
      jailed (but not murdered and tortured).

      Missing from the equation

      The US is clearly counting on its Cold War political capital
      accummulated during the late Soviet period and early post-Soviet
      collapse to allow it to remain in control here, despite having
      supported their beloved Karimov all these years, not to mention
      initiating the slaughter of (who knows?) 100,000s of Muslims in Iraq.
      The extreme poverty and naive goodwill of most Uzbeks means that many
      still long to go to the US to work, strive to imitate a western
      lifestyle, and give the US the benefit of the doubt with respect to
      its role here.

      But all this ignores
      1/ the fact that K himself has been the spokesman for privatization a
      la UofChicago, and
      2/ leaves out any role for the real opposition forces here, which are
      Muslim and nationalist.
      The most prominent nationalist politician, Erk leader Muhammad Salih,
      who lives in exile in Norway and was sentenced to death in absentia,
      pooh-poohed this sunny coalition as "based on individual ambitions" in
      an interview with RFE/RL. Salih is himself pro-US, pro-market and
      cooperated with Karimov until the latter turned against him in 1992,
      forcing him and his family to flee for their lives. Relgious
      oppositionists - presumably followers of Hizb ut Tahrir or the Islamic
      Movement of Uzbekistan (though these are probably more shadows
      projected by the US and are mostly unknown to Uzbeks) - are not even
      interviewed in the mainstream press, but a statement by HuT
      headquarters in London claims that the entire Andijan prison revolt
      was orchestrated by Karimov's security forces with assistance from
      Russian Special Forces in order to massacre Uzbek Muslims. So it would
      appear they have little time for sunshine or nationalism.

      Israeli connection

      Israel has had close ties with the Karimov regime since establishing
      diplomatic relations in 1992, and K made a state visit to Israel in
      1998, quite the coup for Israel and K. In September 2000, Karimov
      appealed to Israel for aid in combating the rise of Islamic violence
      in the region. Of the 200,000 Bukharan and Russian Jews who already
      emigrated since 'independence', half live in Brooklyn and half in
      Israel. One of the three major Uzbek mafias operates out of Israel,
      and the emigres are constantly popping up in Uz as 'JV' operators, or
      as new Israelis just hanging out (whatever that means).

      Prominent US Jewish leader Leon Levy once hailed Karimov's regime as a
      "democracy for all the Islamic countries." This love affair reached
      dizzying heights last summer, when former Israeli minister Natan
      Sharansky, a supposed advocate of spreading democracy around the
      world, defended the regime against critics who would "slander and
      defame the courageous struggle that Uzbekistan is waging against

      During the Andijan tragedy, coincidentally, a homeless Russian was
      murdered by the security guard in front of the Israeli embassy. It
      turns out he was unarmed and it is widely speculated that this was a
      set-up to justify the slaughter being carried out by Israel's great
      friend and to provide a little media diversion from its own slaughter
      of Muslims in Palestine.

      Israeli and Jewish support of K was automatic after the massacre in
      Andijan. And what's there to be surprised about? Oppression of Muslims
      here is merely an extension of the oppression of Palestinians or the
      Iraqis by USrael. It's a win-win situation for Israel: either it will
      justify further oppression of Muslims or, just as good, encourage the
      estimated 25,000 remaining Jews to emigrate.

      The Federation of Jewish Communities, which operates synagogues and
      day schools across the former Soviet Union (including Andijan),
      reacted immediately, praising K's support for promoting Jewish
      schooling and culture, and saying it will increase the budget for
      Uzbekistan to make sure the Jewish community has enough security.
      [Translation: more Mossad agents awaiting instructions if it looks
      like the Muslims start to get their sh*t together. You can bet your
      bottom dollar that there are Mossad agents in Andijan among the
      estimated 500 Jews living there.] Tashkent Cheif Rabbi and
      Lubawitcher* David Gurevich said, "The Jewish community of Tashkent
      and other cities continues to live a normal life and condemns any
      disorders against the existing authorities."

      USraeli-Russian-Chinese dilemma

      The level of disgust with the present regime is so high now that
      locals widely believe that the bombings in 1999 and last year in
      Tashkent were actually provocations by the government to justify
      further oppression of the real opposition threat, which the 23 Muslim
      businessmen in Andijan so beautifully embodied - the threat of devout
      Muslims entering the government, pushing aside the old Soviet
      nomenklatura and their post-Soviet clan friends, and prosecuting the
      present politicians for their many and brutal crimes. This would be
      anathema to both the US and Israel, not to mention Russia and China.

      The ready support of K's brutality by both Russia and China clearly
      follows their geopolitical needs - to better suppress their own
      Muslims, and no doubt they both secretly hope the pro-US sunshine
      politicians can pick up the pieces when K's regime finally collapses,
      a bizzare and ironic situation for otherwise political enemies. The
      alternative of Uzbekistan descending into chaos a la Iraq is the big
      risk for them, though not so much for the US, for whom Uzbekistan is
      not of any great geopolitical importance anymore. So this war dance is
      still in the choreography stage.

      By increasing the suppression of Muslim believers to the present
      extreme, K has boxed himself in, and any future government will
      achieve stability only after reaching out to the Muslims, freeing the
      religious-political prisoners, allowing Muslims to organize
      politically, and recognizing Islam as the basis of Uzbek society. This
      certainly is not the scenario that USrael has in mind, but the clever
      neocon fantasies concocted in Washington and Tel Aviv are not ordained
      by any God to come to pass. Sometimes 'worse' actually does mean
      'better' for society.

      To recap: the USreali strategy from Afghanistan to Iraq, Palestine,
      etc is to let the brave Muslims start an uprising, get killed in large
      numbers (the more gooks dead the better), and then when things fall
      apart, move in with secular emigre quislings and try to control
      things. The mantra is 'secular democracy - no Islam', with Iran or
      Saudi as examples of Islamic disasters. In other words, 'westernize
      Muslims and they will accept USraeli imperialism.'

      Maybe it will work, but the results in Afghanistan and Iraq are hardly
      encouraging, and it ignores the long-term corrosive side effects of
      this imperialist policy. The new elite, armed by the US, simply cannot
      guarantee an adequate standard of living for the masses, since the
      wealth is mostly divided up among themselves, and the defanged
      official Islam simply cannot erase the long and legendary legacy of
      Islamic social justice, inevitably leading to unrest, continued
      religious crackdowns and the inevitable return of ruthless dictatorship.

      But Iran is not the monster it is portrayed as in the mainstream
      press, and the Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia was the brainchild of
      19th c Britain imperialism and is a close ally of the US. It is the
      secular Arabic regimes - Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco - that
      are the real disasters, mostly supported by USrael. Thank God that
      Turkey has finally shaken off the pro-US secularists and has allowed
      some breathing room for Islam to inch society away from its soulless

      A fitting denouement

      Remember McCain's sabre-rattling trip to Kiev last November
      threatening US ire if Yushenko wasn't elected in Ukraine? Well, the
      increasingly high profile Khidoyatova told a press conference in exile
      in(surprise!) Kiev on June 2: "Uzbekistan is really in a revolutionary
      situation. We're at a crossroads - either things will unfold like they
      did in Romania or they'll evolve peacefully."

      * * *

      *A Jewish cultural organization founded in the 18th c which considers
      its most recent head, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), to
      be the messiah. Its promotional site boasts that it has 4,000
      full-time emissary families directing 3,300 institutions and a
      workforce that numbers in the tens of thousands dedicated to the
      welfare of the Jewish people worldwide. It boasts four centers in
      Uzbekistan (Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, and (surprise!) Andijan),
      each with its 'Chabad emissary'


      A not-so-nice postscript

      The latest is there's a split in the military after troops were forced
      to murder the 1000+ Andijanians and dump many of them into mass
      graves. However, the alternatives to K are worse at this point - the
      'KGB' (Rustam Inoyatov) or the interior minister (Zakir Almatov), who
      of course have been behind all the torture and killings, but
      consequently have their people in high places and have the weapons
      (courtesy of USrael and NATO). Almatov has issued orders to harrass
      foreign diplomats who have reported being stopped by militia and
      having their licenses taken away. The Israeli and other embassies are
      also evacuating their nonessential staff.

      So is K's Frankenstein going to crush him and take on a life of its
      own? Can US patsy democrats triumph? Or will Muslims finally shake off



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