The US And Kyrgyzstan

More

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.

Jump to comments

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

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

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

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down