July 30, 2005

So It's Democracy After All

For quite some time, people have been wondering whether President Bush's pro-democracy calls are just lip service or a real change in US foreign policy that the US is prepared to pay a price to sustain. The key area, many thought, would be in Central Asia where we were cutting deals to create a network of bases in order to get a handle on Central Asian terrorism and also to supply operations in Afghanistan.

The evidence is now in and it looks like the naysayers have some apologies to hand out. Uzbekistan is so cross with us over our promotion of liberty and democracy that they're willing to forego a fairly serious chunk of change ($15M since 2001) and plunge relations into a deep freeze. Perhaps they fear that the pressure the US is putting on the regime is working well enough that an isolated Uzbekistan is considered better than an Uzbekistan under different, more democratic management.

Posted by TMLutas at July 30, 2005 08:30 PM