The US And Kyrgyzstan

A reader writes:

I lived in Kyrgyzstan for 2 years and my wife is from Bishkek, so we have watched the events of the last few days with mixture of dread and sadness. Scott Horton makes a valid point re US payments for the base at Manas, but he misses a much larger one: US complicity in the revolution in 2005 that allowed Bakiev to come to power in the first place.

When President Akaev fled from Kyrgyzstan after similar protests in '05 there was an opportunity to support a broad-based coalition and democratic process for filling the vacuum. The USG had actively intervened in the revolutions in both Georgia and Ukraine, making it clear that the US supported reform-minded opposition leaders. In a real sense, the US actively helped mid-wife these revolutions, providing moral support, logistics and, in some cases, political and technical advice to the reformers. In 2005 when the revolution took place in Kyrgyzstan, many observers were expecting the State Department to take a similar role. It never happened. 

Instead, under pressure from the Pentagon, the State Department caved in and the US stood by. The Tulip Revolution was still born and the reform-minded opposition was quickly marginalized by criminal elements. The result was a regime even more corrupt and inept (if that is possible) than the one that preceded it.

This time around the US needs to actively support acting PM Otonbaeva. She is a great friend of the US (indeed she was the first Kyrgyz Ambassador to the US) and is one of the few members of the political class not tainted utterly with corruption and nepotism.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

Just In