The Economist: The Most Powerful Villain in Central Asia
This is why The Economist is one of the greatest organs for information. The story of Islam Karimov needs to be told not only as many times as is needed. All of the rhetoric about changing the way that US, and EU, foreign policy has an effect on spreading liberal democracy, peace, and liberty for the better is completely (and I do mean what I say here) empty until regimes like Mr. Karimov's are condemned in the same breath as Saddam Hussein and Usama Bin Laden. In all the American coverage of the riots mentioned in this piece, very little attention was given to the killing being done by a U.S. ALLY IN THE WAR ON TERROR. These forces were not killing militants in a mountain training camp and they weren't mowed down by remnants of the Taleban. Protesters were killed a la Tianenmen Square and the response by those crusading to end the terrorizing of civilian populations has been woefully inadequate.
The only things that I would add to this piece are:
1 - This is not the first news about the repressive tactics of the Karimov government.
2 - This may be the single best example of a morally bankrupt regime that inspires terrorist Islamists to push for Islamic states built to extract revenge from the powers of the world
3 - The haphazard execution of the war in Iraq, both the inadequate planning and the fantical excitement to begin combat, have weakened our moral authority and material preparedness to make any legitimate overtures to challenge this regime diplomatically or militarily
4 - I would wager that the evils of the current administration in Uzbekistan are nowhere near sufficient to warrant a place among the "Axis of Evil" and it is therefore probably not in the top 100 of agenda items for W this term.
the United States needs to not only tighten the purse strings on the money that we send to this "government", but also start talking about what options are on the table.