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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Anybody who believes the crap
about "liberating" the Iraqis and "bringing democracy" being actual reasons for the invasion needs to learn something about Uzbekistan. This WSWS article is a good place to start:

The sordid episode started when [British Ambassador Craig] Murray gave a speech in October last year that embarrassed and contradicted the American ambassador, John Herbst, and the Uzbek government. Murray described Uzbekistan as a country that “is not a functioning democracy, nor does it appear to be moving in the direction of democracy. The major political parties are banned; parliament is not subject to democratic elections and checks and balances on the authority of the executive are lacking.”

He went on to note that there are between 7,000 and 10,000 political and/or religious prisoners, who in many cases have been falsely convicted of crimes. He said that the use of torture by the police and security services is rampant, citing the case of Muzafar Avazov and Husnidin Alimov, who were tortured to death by the use of boiling water. Murray commented, “But all of us know that this is not an isolated incident. Brutality is inherent in a system where convictions habitually rely on signed confessions rather than on forensic or material evidence. In the Uzbek criminal justice system the conviction rate is almost 100 percent. It is difficult not to conclude that once accused by the Procurator there is no effective possibility of fair trial in the sense we understand it.”

And how have the Bushies dealt with dictator and person-boiler Islam Karimov? Two pictures are worth 2000 words:

According to the WSWS,
The US government acknowledges that Uzbekistan’s secret police “use torture as a routine investigation technique,” but it still funds the organisation to the tune of $80 million. Uzbekistan has great geo-strategic significance and is seen as an important ally of the US in the so-called war on terror. American aid to Uzbekistan tripled to $500 million last year. The country allowed the US military to use its airbases for its occupation of Afghanistan and later agreed to the building of a US military base at Khanabad where hundreds of US troops are now stationed.

One can only assume that the Bushies are happier that the brutal dictator is still in power.

Everyone, including Mr. Karimov, is advised to consider the following picture as they make their plans for the future: