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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Our Man in Uzbekistan?

In the 1980s, the Reagan and Bush administrations did all it could, until 1990, to support Saddam Hussein's murderous regime, even helping supply him with technology, hardware, biological and chemical agents and military intelligence that he used to make war with Iran and use massive amounts of chemical weapons on the Iranians and Kurds. At one point Reagan successfully lobbied Congress not to enact sanctions for gassing more than 5,000 Kurdish villagers.

Now of course Saddam has been placed next to Hitler on the Reaganites list of bad guys, and America's collective memory has flushed all relevant history regarding our support for the crimes with which he is now charged.

In Uzbekistan, however, we have an ally whose repression and bloodthirst rival that of pre-1990 Saddam, and surprise, surprise, Bush and Co. are doing little but expressing slight concern and encouraging President Islam Karimov to play nice. Otherwise, he remains a staunch ally.

Read this Reuters article to see how little attention Karimov pays to freedom, human rights and life. In response to protests, he unleashed a massacre at least equal to if not worse than the Beslan school massacre.

Jonathan Schwarz, consistently one of the funniest and insightful bloggers out there, drives the point home with this sickeningly hilarious photo illustration.

One wonders how Americans can believe Dubya is sincere when he squints his little angry eyes over Saddam's atrocities, which were quite real, yet smiles and shakes hands with an equally repressive and dangerous leader. Dubya should come right out and admit that his administration's working motto is "Ignorance is Strength."

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