Friday, March 25, 2005

The Kyrgyz Domino

Betsy Newmark writes "How wonderful to see one more story of people using the weight of popular protest to overturn dishonest elections. And each story inspires another downtrodden people to act for their own freedoms. How far behind will Iran be?"

But the writing on the wall is not so much for Iran but for Saudi Arabia. Askar Akayev took a lot of time to keep the US sweet, signing up for the war on terror. It didn't help him a bit. The US response to the election rigging may have been obscured by diplomatic politeness yet was pretty clear.

To quote (from 16th March):
"Noting that there were reports of demonstrations in several parts of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ereli said the United States calls on that government “to continue to respond to those demonstrations in a peaceful manner.”

In addition, it is important for the government of Kyrgyzstan “to take steps to remedy the shortcomings detailed in the preliminary report and to investigate allegations of fraud and misconduct promptly and transparently," he said."

Matthew Yglesias describes that as tepid but does he really expect them to literally say "You may be a our son-of-a-bitch but you're still a son-of-a-bitch"?

The neo-con thesis had been that tyranny breeds terrorism. The logic of this is that any democracy is better than a tyranny even if that tyranny claims to be fighting terrorism. The quiet but clear US support for democratic change in Kyrgyzstan shows that the US is continuing to follow the new-con strategy if for no other reason that it is the only viable strategy for defeating terrorism around.

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