Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Torture in Uzbekistan and a bunch of Western hypocrites

It would appear that Craig Murray, who was the British Ambassodor in Tashkent, until October 2004, is  a pretty decent chap. However, that shouldn't entice us to think that the ex-ambassador is representative of a Foreign Office that doesn't only turn a blind eye to abuses of human rights but indeed at least facilitates those abuses . No, using Craig's said fondness for women and alcohol the mandarins in Whitehall and their political masters decided to get rid of him when he started to investigated human rights abuses by the Uzbek government under Islam Karimov, which was apparently  torturing and killing thousands under the cover of combating terrorism. Well, what could they do?  Craig didn't only investigate the killings, when his bosses at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ignored his reports, he went public. No Craig, was bad for business, he had to go,  after all he was "talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession.  .......of people being boiled alive." Although, it might just be that it was Craig 's knowing that "the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on" that got him the order of the boot.

One might wonder, of course, what "information" the CIA receives from half-dead opponents of Karimov who the dictator uses to conjure up a threat of thousands  of thousands of wild-eyed al-Qaeda-trained terrorists waiting to strike; "wild-eyed al-Queda terrorists" and Craig Murray told a different tale in the 'Guardian' on May 16th 2005, some months after hundreds of pro-democracy protesters had been slaughtered in the city of Andijan; "I can give you a direct assurance that they are - or in many cases were - in no sense Islamist militants. They died an unwanted embarrassment to US foreign policy." Which, of course, brings us to what it is really all about and it is all about oil. What after all are a few thousand thousand dead and tortured when black gold comes into the equation?

Moreover, while the hypocrites in Washington would like us to believe that it was their altruistic criticism of the crackdown in Andijan that led to U.S. troops being evicted from the Karshi-Khanabad with Holbrooke's visit Tashkent there is enough evidence to suggest that the base was never really important. Or, not important enough for him to consider its re-opening a possibility when asked in Kazakstan this week.  Furthermore, a reasonable modicum of deductive skills might bring us quickly to the conclusion that an Islam Karimov who knows how to play the "Great Game" card and turn to China or Russia when it is desirable or opportune to do so, could afford to turn his back on the Americans in 2005. Nevertheless, getting to use Uzbekistan's railway, which is already being used to funnel military supplies for NATO into Afghanistan does seem to be important to Washington and that and other considerations mean that the hypocrites in Washington are making every effort to get their relationship back on track with a dictatorship that tortures its opponents to death.

Yes, Craig Murray cares about human rights and he gets upset when people get boiled alive or raped in front of their family with a bottle. The governments in Washington and London don't only not care about human rights but they are actively involved in the abuse of those rights and in torture. Or is Mr Murray telling lies when he say that "the CIA was sending people to be tortured in Uzbekistan?" Still, "Uncle Sam" and his number one side-kick "John Bull" can rest assured, they are not the only ones and we are informed that, the "lover of rain forests", Sting put up a less than convincing defence of his decision to play for Gulnara Karimova, the despot's glamorous daughter and anointed heir. A defence which failed to mention the some two million pounds that he received for the concert. Nevertheless, let us not be too hard on Sting who is only one of an array of Western stars and governments who want a piece of the Karimovs' cake. After all, we are only talking about turning a blind eye to boiling people to death and raping them with bottles.

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