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's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down