Monday, April 19, 2010

Is America on the wrong side again?

Kyrgyzstan is located deep in Central Asia

Real change is possible on when there is change. It sounds obvious or even circular, but ultimately change cannot be only rhetorical, it has to be concrete, on the ground, present in the real world. The Clarion Content makes this statement looking from afar at the uprising that occurred in Kyrgyzstan.

Global watchers, news wonks that we are, this was not on our radar. We could have told whom the government of Kyrgyzstan was run by, but not that there was anything about to happen. When something did happen and the existing autocrat was overthrown, America, and the world took note, and here in Durham, the Clarion Content noticed too. We are not sure what everyone else saw, but when we examined what was had gone on in Kyrgyzstan (far more was available on what had gone than on what is going on) it appeared as though the Obama administration had merely continued the policies of King George the II.

Kyrgyzstan has had various autocratic rulers since September 11, 2001. The latest (until last week) had taken power in a period of turbulence during 2005. Shortly after the United States invaded Afghanistan it established a forward air base in Kyrgyzstan. The President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, had been widely presumed to be skimming huge chunks of revenue off of the fuel sales to the American air base. The Kyrgyzstanis sell cheap Russian jet fuel to the American government at world market prices. Additionally, The New York Times reports that the Kyrgyzstani government does not charge the normal 20% sales tax on fuel sales, likely because the companies associated with the fuel sales are(were?) controlled by President Bakiyev.

The Times also reports associations with United States base and fuel sales also helped sully the previous government, "In the haste of the buildup for the war in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, companies controlled by Aidar Akayev, son of Askar Akayev, who was then the president, had wound up with lucrative contracts to sell fuel to Manas (the United Sates base)."

President Obama, despite the accusations of the fringe that he is a left wing lunatic, appears to be hewing too closely to the course set by King George the II for our liking. The situation in Kyrgyzstan reeks of 'real politic' trumping the 'rights' of the oppressed citizenry.

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