Tick-tock, tick-tock: I have been stating that this part of the world is going to play increasingly across headlines in the West (see the last few paragraphs of my inaugural essay part I below). . .I don't mention this to inflate my own ego, but just to make another loud call that people--activists especially--start to wake up and learn about this region, about Eurasia. . .
So here are some links to articles about the situation in Uzbekistan, from Radio Free Europe and the Eurasian Daily Monitor:
1) Don't believe the media hype: these protests are not purely nor even mostly about people wanting to set-free and defend a group of Islamic fundamentalist prisoners; they are about the poor economic conditions obtaining in Uzbekistan, the most populous of Central Asian nations. The attempt to paint the rebellion as pro-Islamicist is a result of the fact that the US finds the current regime in Uzbekistan to be an ally. There is an important US military base in Uzbekistan used for operations in Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan's president being a close ally, it is important for the US propaganda machine to represent their ally's opponents as a bunch of radical Islamic fundamentalists. But what is motivating the rebellion in Uzbekistan is mostly the same kinds of things that motivated people from Serbia, to Georgia and Ukraine, to Kyrgyzstan and hopefully someday both Belarus' and Russia itself. Its really lucky for the people of Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan that their respective pre-revolution leaders--Milosevic, Shervardnadze, Kuchma Akaev--were not US allies, if you know what I mean. . .
Two articles on this:
From Radio Free Europe (RFE), entitled "Uzbekistan: Economic Concerns Primary in Andijon":
From the Eurasian Daily Monitor, entitled, "Masses Reject Charges of Islamic Extremism":
2) About an Uzbeki opposition journalist's arrest, from RFE:
Check out the links to other articles you will find on the RFE pages.
Eurasia is a frustrated region of the world whose webs of government power, grassroots sentiment, and Western and Russian power are anything but simple and clear cut: the interesting thing to think about is why did protest lead to massacre here; and why isn't the US strongly condemning the massacre and strongly lauding the opposition, and instead sees its pundits making a stink of fundamentalism.