Monday, October 31, 2011

Championing Human Rights

With the supply route to occupied Afghanistan via Pakistan increasingly problematic, the Americans are turning to what US officials have dubbed the “Northern distribution network” (NDN) to ensure the viability of their Central Asian outpost of empire. The key link in that network is Islam Karimov, the absolute ruler of the former Soviet republic [Uzbekistan], and a killer whose human rights record is on a par with Tamerlane’s – the Mongol conqueror whom Colin Wilson rightly called “the most spectacular sadist in world history.”


[T]here is documented evidence that prisoners have been boiled alive – climaxed by the slaughter of thousands of unarmed protesters in Andijan, in 2005, when Uzbek troops fired into a crowd.


The US reaction was muted, at first, but eventually even the Bush State Department was forced to acknowledge that something was rotten in the state of Uzbekistan, and recommended cutting-off military aid. That aid, however, continued in some form under the “anti-terrorist” rubric, no doubt, and now the Obama administration is successfully pressuring Congress to lift the sanctions and let the cash flow officially. The President recently placed a personal call to Karimov congratulating him on the anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence – on the very day human rights groups sent a letter protesting his administration’s cozying up to Tashkent.


[The] Uzbek lobby has a lot of clout among Washington insiders, enough to pressure the Senate Appropriations committee to insert a human rights “waiver” into legislation authorizing overseas military aid to the Karimov regime.


“Over the last six years, things – I have a little different view. There are human rights abuses, but they’re wanting to be back into the world community. We need a northern transportation route. If this is pulled off and we can get a new agreement with the Uzbekistan government, we could reduce by 50 percent what flows through Pakistan. [...]So I am supportive of the waiver. I am not supportive of disengaging the monitoring. But to me this is a wise decision at an appropriate time.” [Senator Lindsey Graham]

Justin Raimondo

Yes, we can’t very well go all out against Pakistan until we get another supply route set up, now can we?

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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