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Monday, May 16, 2005


More than just shaking hands with Uzbekistan's brutal dictator Islam Karimov, the Bushies have been actively supporting his regime. The WSWS has the details:
The Bush administration’s “global war on terrorism” has recorded one of its bloodiest victories yet with the slaughter of several hundred men, women and children in the Uzbekistan city of Andijan.

This brutal massacre was carried out by the regime of President Islam Karimov, one of the Bush administration’s closest allies in Central Asia. His military forces that executed the mass killings have been trained, supplied and aided by the Pentagon.

Citing the testimony of a doctor in the city, the Associated Press reported that 500 bodies have been laid out in front of a local school waiting to be identified by relatives. Another 2,000 people were wounded when the troops opened fire on a mass demonstration in the city’s central square Friday, the doctor reported.
Washington’s concern for “democracy” and the struggle against “tyranny” in the former Soviet Union and internationally extends only to those countries where it seeks to overturn existing regimes and impose new ones committed to US geopolitical aims. In Uzbekistan, it already has a client state. Karimov may be a murderous dictator, the Bush administration reasons, but he’s ours.

This is a regime that imprisons over 6,000 political dissidents, systematically uses torture and has been known to boil its opponents alive. It is among the most corrupt dictatorships on the face of the planet.

Yet from even before the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington and the subsequent war in Afghanistan, it has enjoyed the closest ties with the United States government.

After 9/11, the US Congress granted Karimov’s regime $25 million in loans to buy US weapons and equipment, another $40.5 million in economic and law enforcement aid and $18 million in “anti-terrorism funding.” This aid has increased steadily every year since.

By 2003, the aid had grown to $86 million. The following year, the State Department announced a largely symbolic cut of $18 million based on a 2002 Congressional decision tying aid to Uzbekistan’s human rights record and political reforms. The Karimov regime was non-plussed, and officials said that the funding would find its way to the country in any case on a piecemeal basis.
And, by the way, our government "renders" people to Uzbekistan to be tortured.