14 May, 2005

Stupid rassafrzztng... mumble

It's 1:30, and I'm still incensed at how our government responded to today's violence in Uzbekistan.

The White House just put up their press briefs for the day. Here's the choice McClellan quote:
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I know that the Department of State has been in touch with our embassy there, and so they probably will be talking more about this at their briefing, as well. We have had concerns about human rights in Uzbekistan, but we are concerned about the outbreak of violence, particularly by some members of a terrorist organization that were freed from prison. And we urge both the government and the demonstrators to exercise restraint at this time. The people of Uzbekistan want to see a more representative and democratic government, but that should come through peaceful means, not through violence. And that's what our message is.
Now, granted, maybe it was early and he was talking out of his butt. But here's the quote from Boucher, yacker for the State Department:
QUESTION: Uzbekistan and the EU seem to have blamed the Government of Uzbekistan for the violence. Would that be the view of the U.S. Government, too?

MR. BOUCHER: We have been looking at this situation. We have been following it closely. I would note that while we have been very consistently critical of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, we are very concerned about the outbreak of violence in Adijan, in particularly the escape of prisoners, including possibly members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an organization we consider a terrorist organization.

I think at this point we're looking to all the parties involved to exercise restraint, avoid any unnecessary loss of life. But we are continuing to follow the situation closely. Our primary concern has to be the situation of Americans. We have -- our Embassy has checked on Peace Corps volunteer and -- Peace Corps volunteers and some of the other Americans who are in that area, and they are safe. They've reached out through the Warden system to contact Americans and encourage all Americans to stay inside and avoid the protests. I'd note as well that Uzbekistan's Government has provided increased protection for our diplomatic facilities.
So, at this moment when the Uzbek government has sent troops that opened fire on a crowd of unarmed people, the priority of the U.S. is shifting blame to the victims by calling them terrorists, wondering about the escape of "possible" members of the IMU, and back-patting the Uzbek government for how it's protecting Americans.

This isn't exactly rocket science, but let me make it especially clear for the idiots in charge of this great nation of ours:
Dictatorial strongmen who suppress secular and religious democratic opposition via arbitrary detention and violence only encourage the growth of Islamist militancy.

Grow a brain, jerks. Here's an article from the Heritage Foundation* saying the same.

pissed off

UPDATE: I missed the followup from the State Dept briefing, which is worth posting. Watch the way Boucher dances to avoid bad-mouthing Karimov. Despicable. Too bad Satan only has three mouths... there are legions in our government who would make worthy cud.
QUESTION: Sir, can I just follow up on that?


QUESTION: I mean, but the European Union is blaming the government for this violence and I just wanted --

MR. BOUCHER: I haven't seen the European Union's statement. Certainly the outbreak of violence at this point, I think, is something we all regret and we want to see both sides try to do what they can to calm things down.

QUESTION: Do you think you've been sufficiently critical of Uzbekistan on it's -- on rule of law --

MR. BOUCHER: We've been very -- read our Human Rights Report. It came out two months ago. We've been very clear about the human rights situation there. We've been very factual about it. But, unfortunately, the facts are not pretty.

QUESTION: Regardless of what the European Union said about this, the reports are that Uzbek troops opened fire on a square in this town. Do you think that's a good idea? Do you think that is excessive violence?

MR. BOUCHER: We don't think anybody should be using violence. We think everybody should be using -- whatever -- that everybody should be using restraint and doing whatever they can to avoid violence in this kind of situation, but I'm not going to comment on the latest report. You know, the one before that had other people doing other things. The one before that had criminals being released from a prison, including possible terrorists. You know, this has been a whole series of violent events and both sides need to do what they can to tamp down the violence and deal with these problems peacefully.

QUESTION: Have you conveyed that view directly to President Karimov or to other members of the --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know who exactly I talked to, but certainly our Embassy is conveying that view, yes.

QUESTION: Do you think, Richard, those people, or anyone for that matter, in Uzbekistan has the right to call for the President's resignation?

MR. BOUCHER: We believe that everywhere people have the right to express their grievances and that they should be able to do that, but that they should do that peacefully and that grievances should be perceived -- pursued through a peaceful process.

QUESTION: And if I can try, sort of, the same question in another way, do you think that there is a response to --

MR. BOUCHER: I'll give you the same answer.


QUESTION: Well, that's -- we'll see. Do you think the government's response to what has happened was appropriate?

MR. BOUCHER: Again, we think everybody should be doing everything they can to avoid violence, to calm down the situation and to deal with these differences peacefully.

*Yeah, the fucking Heritage Foundation! Even THEY have a clue.

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