When I did my Central Asia diary, I left out two countries. I wanted to finish it so here the two countries are.
March 25, 2005
"The Lesson of Kyrgyzstan
U.S. to Central Asian leaders: Get with the program, or get on a plane," Anti-War.com,
by Justin Raimondo
The US government was instrumental in the overthrow of Akayev, the previous leader of Kyrgyzstan. They made statements in favor of the opposition and against the government. They also invited an opposition leader to Washington, DC. This US support for the overthrow of the government is attributed to two reasons. First, the refusal to allow the US to base AWACS planes in at the U.S. Ganci air base, which is near Bishkek. This refusal apparently was the result of Russian pressure.
The second reason (according to this web site) was that the Kyrgyz government withdrew its tolerance of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamic organization (dedicated to the establishment of the caliphate) that is strongly established in various places throughout Central Asia. This organization has a Marxist structure. The organization itself is nonviolent, but they apparently have close ties to violent organizations.
The Kyrgyz government was tolerant of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir for some time, allowing them to openly spread propaganda. However, in a certain point the government turned against the Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
The Hizb-ut-Tahrir is strongly supported by Freedom House. Some believe the real purpose of Hizb-ut-Tahrir is to overthrow the Russian government.
(Wikepedia---Freedom House is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with field offices in about a dozen countries. It is best known for its annual assessment of the degree of democratic freedoms in each country.
The organisation was founded by Wendell Wilkie and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941, and describes itself as "a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world". It is predominantly funded by the United States government, but also receives funding from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the Soros Foundation. The organization has been criticized for having ties to state power and supporting U.S. international military interventions.)
"Kyrgyzstan: Politicians Underline Pro-Russian Stances Ahead Of SCO Summit,"RadioFreeEurope, RadioLiberty,
While the U. S. retains its air base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, our last remaining air base in central Asia, Kyrgyzstan has now almost completely allied policy with Russia. This last August it hosted an Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conference. They are currently talking about demanding an increase in rent from the United States for use of the airbase.
"The State and Prospects of Kyrgyz-American Relations," Institute for Public Policy
"According to the general assessment of experts, relations between Kyrgyzstan and the United States starting from 2003-2004 have been developing along a steady descending line." Low points include the killing of a Kyrgyz citizen by a US airman at the Manas anti-terrorist airbase, both countries expelling each other's diplomats, and the Declaration of the 2005 Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana.
The country exhibits almost no evidence of Western values. They have no experts on American politics and show little understanding of the interactions between the US, Russia, and China, tending to overreact in response. Kyrgyzstan has yet to decide on whether it will ultimately continue to allow the US to maintain an air base. A roundtable discussion of experts agreed that the US should spend less effort trying to transplant democracy to Kyrgyzstan, where it has little prospect for short-term success, and should instead transfer some technology to the country, something that would have a meaningful impact, such as launching an American chain business or a bank.
"US Assistance to Tajikistan: Fiscal Year 2007," Dushanbe/Tajikistan: Embassy of the United States
US aid to Tajikistan in 2007 broke down into the following categories: democracy programs $6.17 million, economic and social reform, $9.22 million, security and law enforcement $23.34 million, and humanitarian assistance $9.5 million. "The United States places special emphasis on improving Tajikistan 's ability to interdict weapons of mass destruction related cargoes, illicit drugs, and criminals including potential terrorists."
"2006-2007US Embassy Policy Specialist (EPS) Program Research Report," Cynthia Buckley, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, The University of Texas, Austin,
Tajikistan is extremely poor. One of the primary sources of income for the country is money sent back from people illegally emigrating into the Ukraine and Russia. In 2006, estimated that as many as 2 million of Tajikistan's 7.2 million people are currently residing illegally in the Ukraine and Russia. The government estimate of 450,000 is generally considered low. In 2005, estimates of the percentage of Tajikistan GDP that derived from this money sent back from the Ukraine and Russia ranged from 12% to 50%.
This is a major domestic issue particularly in Russia. Russia is trying to leverage this issue to oppose US military bases in Tajikistan. Recently, the Russian government cut off illegal migration from Georgia due to a political dispute with that country. This was noted with great interest and concern in Tajikistan. Russian influence in the country is thereby extremely strong.