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100's People Killed in Kyrgyzstan Protests
#41
LAst Friday and over the weekend there was a counter-uprising in several southern towns. Around 100 people stormed one government building. The riots were put down. pravda.ru on Monday said "Roza" was firmly in control and there would be no more "colour revolutions" in the former Soviet space.
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#42
More on Mackinderland:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?c...&aid=19327

Quote:Kyrgyzstan as a Geopolitical Pivot in Great Power Rivalries
Washington, Moscow, Beijing and the Geopolitics of Central Asia


by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Kyrgyzstan as a Geopolitical Pivot

The remote Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan is what Britain’s Halford Mackinder might call a geopolitical ‘pivot’—a land that, owing to its geographical characteristics, holds a pivotal position in Great Power rivalries.

Today the tiny remote country is being shaken by what appears to be an extremely well-planned popular uprising to topple US-backed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Preliminary analysts suggested that Moscow had more than a passing interest in promoting regime change there and that the events unfolding might be Moscow’s attempt to stage its own ‘reverse’ version of Washington’s ‘Color Revolutions’ -- Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003 or Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004, as well as the 2005 Tulip Revolution that brought the pro-US Bakiyev to power. In the midst of this ongoing power shift in Kyrgyzstan, however, who is doing what to whom, is far from clear.

At the very least, what is playing out has huge strategic implications for military security throughout the Eurasian Heartland -- from China to Russia and beyond. It therefore has staggering implications for the future of the United States in Afghanistan and Central Asia and by extension in all Eurasia.

Political tinderbox

The protests again the US-backed Bakiyev began in March over allegations of extreme corruption on the part of the President and his family members. In 2009, Bakiyev began amending an article in the country’s constitution regulating presidential succession in case of death or unexpected resignation, a move widely seen as an attempt to introduce a "dynastical system" of power transfer in the country, one factor which fuelled the recent nationwide protests in Kyrgyzstan. He placed his son and other relatives in key posts where they raked in huge sums for the US airbase rights at Manas – reportedly as much as $80 million a year -- and other enterprises. [1]

Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries in Central Asia with more than 40% living below the official poverty line. Bakiyev named his son, Maxim -- who also managed to find time and funds to buy part ownership of a UK football club -- to be head of the country’s Central Agency for Development, Investment and Innovation, where he gained control over the country’s richest assets, including the Kumtor gold mine.[2]

Late in 2009 Bakiyev sharply hiked taxes on small and medium businesses and early this year imposed new taxes on telecoms. He privatized the country’s largest electricity company and in January the private company, rumored to have been sold to friends of the family for less than 3% of its estimated worth, doubled electricity prices. The price of heating gas was raised by up to 1000%. Kyrgyzstan’s winters are extremely cold.

The opposition charged that Maxim Bakiyev had arranged a sweetheart privatisation of the state telecom to a friend domiciled in an offshore company in the Canary Islands. In short, popular rage against Bakiyev and company existed for good reason. The key issue was how efficiently that rage was channelled and by whom.

The protests erupted following the decision by the government in March to dramatically raise prices of energy and telecommunications by fourfold and more, in an extremely poor country. During early March protests, Otunbayeva was named spokesperson for a united front of all opposition groups. She appealed at that time to the US government to take a more active interest in Kyrgyzstan’s Bakiyev regime and its lack of democratic standards, obviously with no result.[3]

According to informed Russian sources, at that point Roza Otunbayeva spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to discuss the deteriorating situation. Immediately on its formation of an Interim Government under Otunbayeva, Moscow was the first to recognize the acting government and made an offer of $300 million in immediate stabilization aid, transferring a portion of a 2009 Russian loan of $2.15 billion that was promised Bakiyev’s regime for construction of a hydropower plant on the Naryn river.

The $2.15 billion was originally announced just after Bakiyev declared he would close the US base at Manas, a decision that American dollars managed to reverse some weeks later. Clearly in Moscow’s eyes, the Russian aid and Bakiyev’s announced closing of the US base at Manas were linked.

The latest $300 million tranche of the pledged $2.15 billion from Moscow, re-opened after the ouster of Bakiyev, will reportedly go directly to the Kyrgyz National Bank.[4]

According to a report in Moscow’s RIA Novosti, ousted Prime Minister, Daniyar Usenov, told Russia’s ambassador in Bishkek that Russian media outlets, which enjoy a major influence within the former Soviet state—whose official language is still Russian—had been biased against the Bakiyev-Usenov government. [5]

Bakiyev government security forces, reportedly including Special Forces sharpshooters on rooftops, killed some 81 opposition demonstrators, leading to a dramatic escalation of the protests in the first week of April.

What is remarkable about the events and suggests that there is more going on behind the curtains, is the fact that the full-blown popular uprising exploded onto the scene with little pre-warning in the international media.

There had been protest demonstrations repeatedly since Bakiyev took control in the Washington-financed 2005 Tulip Revolution. [6] That Washington-financed regime change of 2005 had involved the usual list of US NGO’s including Freedom House, The Albert Einstein Institution, The National Endowment for Democracy and USAID.[7] None of the previous protests until this April, however, had the obvious thoroughness and sophistication of the latest one. Events seem to have caught everyone by surprise, not the least the corrupt Bakiyev family and his Washington backers.

The smoothness with which allegiance of the army, police and border security was gained within the first hours of protest suggests very sophisticated pre-planning and masterful coordination. Not clear at this point is whether that came from operative s from abroad, and if so, whether from Russia’s FSB or CIA or whomever.

On April 7, as Bakiyev was losing control, he reportedly rushed to the Americans, but as they saw the blood on the streets caused by Bakiyev’s sharpshooters and the growing fury of the crowds against the government, they reportedly whisked the President and his family to his hometown of Osh, apparently hoping to bring him back after events had calmed.[8] That never happened.

Following the resignation of his entire government, including the heads of the army and national police and border guard, Bakiyev resigned on April 16 and fled to neighboring Kazakhstan. At latest report he is holed up in Belarus, having reportedly gained entry by bringing with him over $200 million for cash-strapped Belarus President Lukashenko.[9]

Kyrgyzstan’s new, interim opposition government, under the nominal leadership of former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva, has declared it wants to set up an international investigation into alleged crimes committed by Bakiyev. Criminal charges have already been filed against him, his sons and brother and other relatives.

Bakiyev had little choice but to flee. The army and police had already sided with the Otunbayeva opposition days before he fled, in an indication that the events were at the very least extremely well planned by at least some parts of the opposition.

A geographical pivot

Kyrgyzstan today plays the role of a geographical pivot. The land-locked country shares a border with China’s Xinjiang Province, a highly strategic point for Beijing. One of the smallest of the Central Asian states, it is also bordered to its north by oil-rich Kazakhstan, on the West by Uzbekistan and on the South by Tajikistan. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan overlaps the politically explosive resource-rich area known as the Ferghana Valley, a multinational ethnic and political friction zone located also in Uzbekistan and Tajikstan.

The country itself is highly mountainous, with the Tian Shan and Pamir mountains taking some 65% of all land area. Approximately 90% of the country is more than 1500 meters above sea level.

In terms of natural resources -- other than agriculture ,which comprises a third of GDP – Kyrgyzstan has gold, uranium, coal and oil. In 1997 the Kumtor Gold Mine opened one of the largest gold deposits in the world.

Until recently the state agency, Kyrgyzaltyn, owned all the mines and operated many of them as joint ventures with foreign companies. The Kumtor Gold Mine, near the border of China, is 100% owned by Canada’s Centerra Gold Inc. Until the ouster of President Bakiyev, his son, Maxim, head of the State Development Fund, ran Kyrgyzaltyn which is also the largest shareholder of Centerra Gold, the Canadian company that today owns Kumtor.

Significantly, even though he has not been formally elected by Kyrgz voters, Centerra in Toronto, perhaps with a nudge from the US State Department, has already announced it has named Maxim Bakiyev’s “replacement,” as head of Kyrgyzaltyn, Aleksei Eliseev, Deputy Director of the Kyrgyz State Development Agency, to the Board of Directors of Centerra.[10]

Kyrgyzstan also has significant reserves of uranium and antimony. Kyrgyzstan also has considerable remaining deposits of coal of an estimated at 2.5 billion tons, especially in the Kara–Keche deposit in northern Kyrgyzstan.

However, even more pivotal than the mineral riches is the major US Air Force base at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, opened within three months of the US declaration of a global ‘War on Terror’ in September 2001. Shortly thereafter, Russia established its own military airbase not far from Manas. Kyrgyzstan today is the only country that hosts both Russian and American military bases, an uneasy state of affairs to put it mildly.

In sum, Kyrgyzstan, sitting in the center of the world’s most strategic landmass, Central Asia, is a geopolitical prize coveted by many.

Washington walks on political eggshells

The US State Department had tried to get Bakiyev to hold on in apparent hopes they could disperse the protestors, quell the street riots and keep their Tulip man in power. Hillary Clinton initially called on the Parliamentary opposition – government ministers who objected to Bakiyev’s corruption and nepotism -- to “negotiate” and “develop a dialogue” with the US-financed Basiyev Presidency. The State Department then issued statements that the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was still functioning, despite reports that his entire administration had resigned.[11]

On April 7, during the peak of the drama when the outcome was still unclear, US Assistant Secretary of State P. J. Crowley told reporters, “We want to see Kyrgyzstan evolve, just as we do other countries in…the region. But, that said, there is a sitting government. We work closely with that government. We are allied with that government in terms of its support, you know, for international operations in…Afghanistan.” [12] George Orwell would have admired the exercise in diplomatic doublespeak.

On April 15, when it was clear Bakiyev had little support within the country, the US State Department declared that it will side with neither the country's ousted president nor the Parliamentary opposition. In a statement indicating Washington is walking on eggshells hoping not to crack any, especially affecting its Manas airbase rights, State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley declared, “We want to see the situation resolved peacefully. And we're not taking sides.”[13] Since then, after talks with Foreign Minister Otunbayeva and her associates, the State Department and Obama have warmly backed the new political reality.

Otunbayeva, a leading Communist Party member during the Soviet days, had served as the first Kyrgyz ambassador to the United States in the post-Soviet era, and later as a special assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The interim government headed by Otunbayeva says they are going to write a new constitution within six months and prepare for a democratic election in the country. The opposition claims to be in control of the situation in Kyrgyztan though riots and looting outside Bishkek are still being reported.[14]

Whose coup?

While there is much speculation about an on-the-ground role by Russian intelligence in the ‘anti-tulip revolution,’ we must leave that as an open question.

In comments during his Washington visit on April 14, a week into the upheaval, Russia’s Medvedev expressed concern about the stability of the country: “The risk of Kyrgyzstan's breakdown into two parts - north and south - really exists. This is why our task is to help our Kyrgyz partners to find the mildest way out of this situation." He outlined a worst-case scenario where an unstable Kyrgyz government could be left powerless as extremists flood into the country, creating a second Afghanistan.[15]

US White House Adviser on Russia, Michael McFaul, speaking from the Prague arms control talks, referring to the unfolding events in Kyrgyzstan, stated, “This is not some anti-American coup. That we know for sure; and this is not a sponsored-by-the-Russians coup.” [16]

At least nominally, Washington might well have reason to believe they can “work” with the new Interim Kyrgyz leaders.

Roza Otunbayeva is well known in Washington since she served there as Ambassador during the 1990’s.

Her Number Two in the Interim Government, former Parliament Speaker and a key figure in Washington’s 2005 Tulip Revolution that brought Bakiyev to power, Omurbek Tekebayev, was brought to Washington back then by the State Department for one of their “visitors programs” -- where emerging foreign political figures are presumably taught the beauties of the American way of life.

Tekebayev spoke openly at the time of that experience: “I found that the Americans know how to choose people, know how to make an accurate evaluation of what is happening and prognosticate the future development and political changes.” [17]

Thus there is evidence that the latest events in Kyrgyzstan could have been backed by Moscow as a “reverse” Color Revolution, one executed to control growing US military presence in Central Asia. And there is evidence it may also have been a second US-backed regime change, perhaps after the Obama Administration became alarmed that its man, Bakiyev, was getting too economically close to Beijing. The third and least likely version is that the events were executed by a rag-tag disorganized domestic opposition that never before managed to rally more than a few thousands to the streets to protest Bakiyev policies in the past five years.

Clear at this point is that both Moscow and Washington are going to considerable lengths to show some minimal unity on the emerging events in the country.

Kanat Saudabayev, head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), on April 15 said the safe exit of Kyrgyzstan President Bakiyev from Kyrgyzstan was the result of joint efforts by Obama and Russian President Medvedev. [18]

Clearly both Washington and Moscow eagerly want to have a strong presence in whatever government emerges from the strife-torn Central Asian country of five million people. What is less well known but equally clear, is the vital stake China has in stable relations with Kyrgyzstan, a neighbor with whom it shares a long border. Most interesting from here is where events will go in the forlorn but geopolitically strategic country.

Manas Airbase future?

One of the most pressing questions for Washington is the future of the vital US airbase at Manas near the capitol, Bishkek. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed the “important role Kyrgyzstan plays in hosting the Transit Center at the Manas Airport,” according to an official State Department statement of April 11. She left little doubt what Washington’s priority is in the country. It’s not democracy nor is it economic development.[19]

Following the Washington declaration of the War on Terror in September 2001, the Pentagon got basing rights in several strategic Central Asian countries, ostensibly to help wage the war against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. In addition to basing rights in Uzbekistan, Washington got the Manas concession in Kyrgyzstan as well.

Most extensive of course has been the US military presence in Afghanistan. In one of his first acts as President, Obama authorized the ‘surge’ -- adding some 30,000 troops and approving construction of another 8 new ‘temporary’ US bases in Afghanistan, bringing the total bases there to an astonishing 22, including the huge airbases at Bagram and Kandahar.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has refused to put a time limit on the duration of the US military presence in Afghanistan. That is not because of the Taliban, but clearly rather the long-term Washington strategy of spreading the ‘war on terror’ across all Central Asia including into the strategically vital Ferghana Valley bordering Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. This is where the latest events in Kyrgyzstan become geopolitically more than interesting for Russia, for China and for Washington.

On April 14, Gates told the press that he was confident the US would retain rights to use Manas for what the Pentagon calls its Northern Distribution Network, flying supplies into the Afghanistan war theatre.[20] Just days before, interim government figures in Bishkek had indicated US rights to Manas were high on the list to be cancelled.

During a meeting with Russia’s Medvedev, President Obama agreed that the Kyrgyz events were definitely not a Russian counter coup. He extended immediate US recognition of the Interim regime of Roza Otunbayeva.

The question at this point is what role Kyrgyzstan will play in the high drama geopolitical chess game for control of Central Asia, and with it, control of the Eurasian Heartland as British geopolitician Halford Mackinder termed it. The key major actors outside Kyrgyzstan in this geopolitical high-stakes chess game across Central Asia are China, Russia, and the United States. In the next part we examine the geopolitical interest of China regarding fellow Shanghai Cooperation Organization member Kyrgyzstan.

F. William Engdahl is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes

[1] RIA Novosti, Russia's Medvedev blames Kyrgyz authorities for unrests, says civil war risk high, April 14, 2010, accessed in http://en.rian.ru/exsoviet/20100414/158570646.html

[2] John C.K. Daly, op. cit.

[3] Leila Saralayeva, Kyrgyz opposition protests rising utility tariffs, AP, March 17, 2010, accessed in http://blog.taragana.com/politics/2010/0...ion-23948/

[4] RIA Novosti, Russia throws weight behind provisional Kyrgyz govt., April 8, 2010, accessed in http://en.rian.ru/exsoviet/20100408/158480874.html. Well-informed former Indian Ambasador, K. Gajendra Singh in an article published in Russia’s RIA Novosti also states that Putin had spoken with Otunbayeva twice since the protests began on April 7 and that she had also visited Moscow in January and March of this year. (K. G. Singh, Geopolitical battle in Kyrgyzstan over US military Lilypond in central Asia, Ria Novosti, 13 April 2010, accessed in http://en.rian.ru/valdai_foreign_media/2...55369.html).

[5] RIA Novosti, Kyrgyz prime minister protests Russian media reporting of riots, April 7, 2010, accessed in http://en.rian.ru/world/20100407/158462398.html


[6] Richard Spencer, Quiet American behind tulip revolution, London, The Daily Telegraph, April 2, 2005, accessed in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew...ution.html

[7] Philip Shishkin, In Putin's Backyard, Democracy Stirs -- With US Help, The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2005.

[8] Kyrgyzstan National Security Service ‘source’, Specially for War and Peace.ru, April 10, 2010, translated from Russian for the author from http://www.warandpeace.ru/ru/news/view/46021/

[9] Report from Russian political blog War and Peace.Ru. accessed in http://www.warandpeace.ru/ru/news/view/46417/

[10] Centerra Gold website, Toronto, Canada, accessed in http://www.centerragold.com/about/management/

[11] David Gollust, US Urges Dialogue in Kyrgyzstan, 7 April, 2010, Voice of America, accessed in http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/US-...20737.html

[12] P.J. Crowley, comments to press regarding events in Kyrgyzstan, April 7, 2010, cited in John C.K. Daly, The Truth Behind the Recent Unrest in Kyrgyzstan, http://www.oilprice.com.

[13] AFP, US 'not taking sides' in Kyrgyzstan political turmoil, April 15, 2010, accessed in http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BN...10389.html

[14] Hamsayeh.net, New Interim Kyrgyz Government to Shut Down the US Airbase at Manas, April 9, 2010, accessed in http://www.hamsayeh.net/hamsayehnet_iran...ws1114.htm

[15] Karasiwo, Nuclear deals and Kyrgyz fears – Medvedev in Washington, April 14, 2010, accessed in http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new...washington

[16] Maria Golovnina and Dmitry Solovyov, Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders say they had help from Russia, The Globe and Mail, Toronto, April 8, 2010, accessed in http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/worl...le1527239/

[17] Sreeram Chaulia, Democratisation, NGOs and ‘colour revolutions’, 19 January 2006 accessed in http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalizati...s_3196.jsp

[18] BNO News, OSCE says Kyrgyzstan President Bakiyev’s departure is the result of joint efforts with Obama, Medvedev, April 15, 2010, accessed in http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/worl...48625.html

[19] Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, US Clinton Urges Peaceful Resolution of Kyrgyz Situation, 11 April, 2010, cited in RIA Novosti, accessed in http://en.rian.ru/world/20100411/158517788.html

[20] Donna Miles, Gates expresses confidence in continued Manas access, American Forces Press Service, April 14, 2010, accessed in http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123199625
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
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#43
At least 23 people have been killed in clashes in Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city of Osh, officials say.
More than 300 people were injured when hundreds of youths fought in the streets of the southern city.
A state of emergency has been declared. Armoured vehicles are in the city and officials say calm had been restored.
However, local journalists say soldiers are not in control, and that a group of young men has attacked soldiers in the city and taken their weapons.
The interim government has been struggling to restore order after a violent uprising in April.
Continue reading the main story
The current situation demands self-restraint, wisdom and patience from all of us
Roza Otunbayeva Interim President In pictures: Kyrgyz unrest
Since then, there have been fears of an upsurge in violence between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the south.
Osh is home to a large ethnic Uzbek community, and is the power-base of the ousted President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
The leaders of Russia and China have appealed for calm.
The violence has also raised fears of a civil war in the country, where both Russia and the US have military bases.
Gun battles Interim President Roza Otunbayeva said that security forces had brought the situation under control but that the situation remained "tense".
She said those responsible for the violence were "trying to destabilise Kyrgyzstan and plunge it into fighting or conflicts".
She called on people to show restraint and "not yield to provocations".
[Image: _48047446_009501071-1.jpg] Officials say the shooting has stopped However, local reports suggest ongoing, sporadic violence.
According to local reports, fighting broke out between rival gangs and developed into gun battles late on Thursday.
Gangs of young men armed with metal bars and stones attacked shops and set cars alight in the city.
Firefighters tried to put out the fires, but angry youths reportedly threw stones to prevent them doing their job.
Residents say the shooting continued into Friday morning and that helicopters were flying low overhead.
A number of buildings, including cafes, a local TV channel and a theatre, were also said to be on fire.
Many of the injured were being treated for stabbing and gunshot wounds, health ministry spokeswoman Yelena Bailinova told the Associated Press news agency.
More than 40 were reported to be in a serious condition.
Ethnic tensions It is not clear who is behind the violence.
[Image: _48047173_kyrgyz_osh_june10.gif] It appears that the majority of the properties belonged to ethnic Uzbeks.
In recent weeks, several incidents have prompted fears of inter-ethnic violence between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.
The country's interior and defence ministers are reportedly travelling to the region.
Mr Bakiyev fled with his family to Belarus after clashes between government forces and protesters on 7 April, which left at least 85 people dead in the Central Asian state.
The violence was the culmination of months of discontent over rising prices and allegations of corruption in Kyrgyzstan, which had been regarded as one of the more progressive states in the region.
The interim government has promised to hold elections in October, after a constitutional referendum on reducing presidential powers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pa...290717.stm
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#44
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/06/13-3

Published on Sunday, June 13, 2010 by Reuters Kyrgyzstan's Death Toll Rises to 84 as Ethnic Riots Spread

by Hulkar Isamova

Kyrgyzstan - The worst ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan in 20 years spread at the weekend with armed gangs stepping up attacks that have killed at least 84 people and the ousted president warning the country faced collapse.


[Image: kryg.jpg]Servicemen drive armoured vehicles in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan June 11, 2010. At least 12 people were killed and 126 were wounded during the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan on Friday, the Health Ministry said. (Credit: REUTERS/Alexei Osokin)

Witnesses saw bodies lying on the streets of the Central Asian republic's second largest city Osh as houses and shops in an Uzbek neighborhood burned for a third day.

Snipers fired at ethnic Uzbeks fleeing for the nearby border with Uzbekistan in fighting that has spread to the city of Jalalabad and surrounding villages.

"God help us! They are killing Uzbeks like animals. Almost the whole city is in flames," Dilmurad Ishanov, an ethnic Uzbek human rights worker, told Reuters by telephone from Osh.

The interim government of Kyrgyzstan, an ex-Soviet republic hosting U.S. and Russian military bases, has granted shoot-to-kill powers to its security forces in response to the deadly riots between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the two southern cities.

The Interior Ministry said it had sent a volunteer force to the south because the situation in the Osh and Jalalabad regions -- strongholds of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev -- remained "complex and tense."
Renewed turmoil in Kyrgyzstan has fueled concern in Russia, the United States and neighbor China. Washington uses an air base at Manas in the north of the country, about 300 km (190 miles) from Osh, to supply its forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he believed 15 Pakistani citizens had been taken hostage and one killed in Osh. About 1,200 Pakistanis, mostly students, live in Kyrgyzstan, though many have returned home for summer holidays.

The new upsurge in violence has resulted in almost as many deaths as the riots that accompanied the overthrow of Bakiyev in April. Interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva has accused supports of Bakiyev, who is exiled in Belarus, of stoking ethnic conflict.
Bakiyev issued a statement from Minsk describing claims he was behind the clashes as "shameless lies."

"The Kyrgyz republic is on the verge of losing its statehood. People are dying and no one from the current authorities is in a position to protect them," he said.

Supporters of Bakiyev briefly seized government buildings in the south on May 13, defying central authorities. The Otunbayeva government has only limited control over the south, which is separated from the northern capital Bishkek by mountains.

Kyrgyzstan appealed on Saturday for Russian help in quelling the riots, which the Health Ministry says have killed 84 people -- 75 in Osh and nine in Jalalabad -- and wounded 1,122.

Retired builder Habibullah Khurulayev, 69, said he was afraid to leave his apartment in the besieged district of Osh. Uzbeks armed with hunting rifles manned improvised barricades to keep out Kyrgyz gangs with automatic rifles, he said.

The gangs had attacked a hospital 600 meters from his home, while pleas by Uzbeks for a military escort to the border 10 km (6 miles) away had been ignored, he said.

"They are killing us with impunity," he said. "The police are doing nothing. They are helping them kill us ... There are not many of us left to shoot."
Ishanov said the fighting had spread into villages around Osh. In one settlement, smoke rose after prolonged gunfire.

In Jalalabad, gunmen shot at firefighters racing to a blaze at the Uzbek-run University of Friendship of Peoples, wounding a driver, Emergencies Ministry spokesman Sultan Mamatov said.

Russia has said it will not send in peacekeepers alone but would discuss the situation on Monday within a Moscow-led security bloc of former Soviet republics known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was following the situation closely and had discussed it with the leaders of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the two powers bordering Kyrgyzstan, the Kremlin said.

Kyrgyzstan's interim defense minister Ismail Isakov renewed his government's appeal to Moscow on Sunday, saying Russian special forces could end the conflict quickly.

The latest clashes are the worst ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan since 1990, when then-Kremlin leader Mikhail Gorbachev sent Soviet troops into Osh after hundreds of people were killed in a dispute that started over land ownership.

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan intertwine in the Fergana Valley. While Uzbeks make up 14.5 percent of the Kyrgyz population, the two groups are roughly equal in the Osh and Jalalabad regions.

Residents of Osh fled to the border with Uzbekistan on Saturday, and thousands of women and children made it across. But Uzbekistan closed the border overnight and some people have been unable to cross, said Cholponbek Turuzbekov, deputy commander of the Kyrgyz border service.

(Additional reporting by Olga Dzyubenko in Bishkek, Andrei Makhovsky in Minsk, Conor Humphries in Moscow and Robin Paxton in Almaty, Writing by Robin Paxton; editing by Noah Barkin)

© 2010 Reuters
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#45



Hulkar Isamova, Reuters June 14, 2010, 3:34 am



OSH, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) - Russia sent hundreds of paratroopers to Kyrgyzstan on Sunday to protect its military facilities, Interfax reported, as ethnic clashes spread in the Central Asian state, bringing the death toll from days of fighting to 97.
Ethnic Uzbeks in a besieged neighborhood of Kyrgyzstan's second city Osh said gangs, aided by the military, were carrying out genocide, burning residents out of their homes and shooting them as they fled. Witnesses saw bodies lying on the streets.
Interfax news agency, citing a security source, said a battalion of Russian paratroopers had arrived in the country on Sunday to help protect Russian military facilities.
A Russian army battalion is usually around 400 men, but Interfax referred to a "reinforced battalion," which can include as many as 650 troops.
"The mission of the force that has landed is to reinforce the defense of Russian military facilities and ensure security of Russian military servicemen and their families," the source was quoted as saying.
Kyrgyz news website www.24.kg cited a Kyrgyz defense ministry source as saying Russian troops had landed at Kant air base aboard three Russian IL-76 aircraft.
The interim government in Kyrgyzstan, which took power in April after a popular revolt toppled president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has appealed for Russian help to quell the riots in the south. Bakiyev, exiled in Belarus, said Kyrgyzstan was on the verge of collapse.
"God help us! They are killing Uzbeks like animals. Almost the whole city is in flames," Dilmurad Ishanov, an ethnic Uzbek human rights worker, told Reuters by telephone from Osh.
Led by Roza Otunbayeva, the interim government has sent a volunteer force to the south and granted shoot-to-kill powers to its security forces in response to the deadly riots, which began in Osh late on Thursday before spreading to Jalalabad.
The Interior Ministry said the situation in the Osh and Jalalabad regions -- strongholds of Bakiyev and his family -- remained "complex and tense."
"Residents are calling us and saying soldiers are firing at them. There's an order to shoot the marauders, but they aren't shooting them," said ex-parliamentary deputy Alisher Sabirov, a peacekeeping volunteer in Osh.
Takhir Maksitov of human rights group Citizens Against Corruption said: "This is genocide."
Renewed turmoil in Kyrgyzstan has fueled concern in Russia, the United States and neighbor China. Washington uses an air base at Manas in the north of the country, about 300 km (190 miles) from Osh, to supply its forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he believed 15 Pakistani citizens had been taken hostage and one killed in Osh. About 1,200 Pakistanis, mostly students, live in Kyrgyzstan, though many have returned home for summer holidays.
The upsurge in violence has killed more people than the riots that accompanied the overthrow of Bakiyev. Otunbayeva, whose government has only limited control over the south, has accused supporters of Bakiyev of stoking ethnic conflict.
Bakiyev issued a statement from Minsk describing claims he was behind the clashes as "shameless lies."
"The Kyrgyz republic is on the verge of losing its statehood. People are dying and no one from the current authorities is in a position to protect them," he said.
Retired builder Habibullah Khurulayev, 69, said he was afraid to leave his apartment in the besieged district of Osh. Uzbeks armed with hunting rifles manned improvised barricades to keep out Kyrgyz gangs with automatic rifles, he said.
The gangs had attacked a hospital 600 meters from his home, while pleas by Uzbeks for a military escort to the border 10 km (6 miles) away had been ignored, he said.
"They are killing us with impunity," he said. "The police are doing nothing. They are helping them kill us ... There are not many of us left to shoot."
The Health Ministry said 97 people had been killed -- 83 in Osh and 14 in Jalalabad -- and 1,243 were wounded.
Ishanov said the fighting had spread into villages around Osh. In one settlement, smoke rose after prolonged gunfire.
"Kyrgyz groups are driving in and setting homes on fire. When the people run out, they shoot at them," Andrea Berg, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said by telephone from Osh.
In Jalalabad, gunmen shot at firefighters racing to a blaze at the Uzbek-run University of Friendship of Peoples, wounding a driver, Emergencies Ministry spokesman Sultan Mamatov said.
APPEAL TO RUSSIA
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan intertwine in the Fergana Valley. While Uzbeks make up 14.5 percent of the Kyrgyz population, the two groups are roughly equal in the Osh and Jalalabad regions.
The latest clashes are the worst ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan since 1990, when then-Kremlin leader Mikhail Gorbachev sent Soviet troops into Osh after hundreds of people were killed in a dispute that started over land ownership.
Otunbayeva has asked Russia to send in troops. This appeal was renewed on Sunday by interim defense minister Ismail Isakov, who said Russian special forces could quickly end the conflict.
Russia has said it will not send in peacekeepers alone but would discuss the situation on Monday within a Moscow-led security bloc of former Soviet republics known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was following the situation closely and had discussed it with the leaders of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the two powers bordering Kyrgyzstan, the Kremlin said.
Kazakhstan, which holds the rotating chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe's main security and human rights watchdog, will send a special envoy to Kyrgyzstan, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.
Meanwhile, thousands of women and children have crossed the border into Uzbekistan. Cholponbek Turuzbekov, deputy commander of the Kyrgyz border service, said Uzbek authorities had since closed the border. Reports varied on the number of refugees.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said in a statement it was in talks with the interim government on the supply of humanitarian aid, and called for "the immediate restoration of order."
Berg of Human Rights Watch said she understood thousands had fled. Some had crossed the border and others were massed on the Kyrgyz side, mainly women and children.
"The men stayed. They are either dead or in Osh, trying to protect the houses that haven't yet been set on fire."
(Additional reporting by Olga Dzyubenko in Bishkek, Andrei Makhovsky in Minsk, Robin Paxton in Almaty and Conor Humphries in Moscow; Writing by Robin Paxton; editing by Noah Barkin)
http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/73930...es-spread/
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#46
Kyrgyz violence triggers Uzbek exodus
Sun, 13 Jun 2010 23:03:06 GMT
Font size : [url=javascript:inc()][Image: font_inc.gif][/url] [url=javascript:nor()][Image: font_nor.gif][/url] [url=javascript:dec()][Image: font_dec.gif][/url]
[Image: aghaie20100613221618937.jpg]
A burned-out Uzbek residence smolders after being torched by Kyrgyz men in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan, on Sunday.


Ethnic bloodshed in Kyrgyzstan has run amok for the forth successive day, forcing over 75,000 minority Uzbeks to flee across the border into Uzbekistan.

The rampage, which first began last Thursday between minority Uzbeks and ethnic Kyrgyz groups mainly in the southern city of Osh, remains unabated as reports on Monday indicate that Kyrgyz mobs have set fire to stores, houses and villages belonging to the Uzbeks and slaughtered those who attempted to flee.

The Thursday riots, which claimed more than 100 people lives and left over 1,100 injured, were the worst ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan in two decades and the bloodiest since former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was toppled in April .

In the wake of the unrest, thousands of Uzbeks have fled in panic to the nearby border with Uzbekistan after their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men, Associated Press reported, quoting several witnesses.

Most of the refugees were elderly people, women and children, and many had gunshot wounds, according to a statement issued by Uzbek Emergencies Ministry.

Thousands of machete-wielding youths indulged in looting Uzbek properties in south Kyrgyzstan's Jalal-Abad region on Sunday while police forces were seen on the defensive fearing the violence may thoroughly spiral out of control.

Meanwhile, Interim President Roza Otunbayeva accused Bakiyev`s family of being behind the unrest, saying the former president has conspired to disrupt a June 27 constitutional referendum and new elections due in October, an accusation that was flatly denied by Bakiyev, who currently lives in exile.

Earlier on Sunday, Russian security officials said a battalion of paratroopers have been deployed in the turmoil-hit country, home to US and Russian military facilities in the Central Asian region.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=130...=351020406
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#47
Kyrgyzstan: Bloodstained Geopolitical Chessboard
Rick Rozoff

Events in a remote, landlocked and agrarian nation of slightly over five million people have become the center of world attention.

A week of violence which first erupted in Kyrgyzstan's second largest city, Osh, in the south of the country, has resulted in the deaths of at least 120 civilians and in over 1,700 being injured.

More than 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks have fled Osh and the nearby city of Jalal-Abad (Jalalabad) and three-quarters of those have reportedly crossed the border into Uzbekistan.

A report of June 14 estimated that 50,000 were stranded on the Kyrgyz side of the border without food, water and other necessities. [1]

Witnesses describe attacks by gangs of ethnic Kyrgyz against Uzbeks with reports of government armed forces siding with the assailants.

The following day the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that 275,000 people in total had fled the violence-torn area.

On June 14 the deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Osh, Severine Chappaz, was quoted as warning: "We are extremely concerned about the nature of the violence that is taking place and are getting reports of severe brutality, with an intent to kill and harm. The authorities are completely overwhelmed, as are the emergency services.

"The armed and security forces must do everything they can to protect the
vulnerable and ensure that hospitals, ambulances, medical staff and other
emergency services are not attacked." [2]

The government of neighboring Uzbekistan had registered 45,000 refugees by June 14, with an estimated 55,000 more on the way. United Nations representatives said that over 100,000 people had fled Kyrgyzstan, mainly ethnic Uzbeks to Uzbekistan, by June 15.

According to a news account of the preceding day, "Kyrgyz mobs burned Uzbek villages and slaughtered residents on Sunday, sending more than 75,000 Uzbeks fleeing across the border into Uzbekistan. Ethnic Uzbeks in a besieged neighbourhood of the Kyrgyz city of Osh said gangs, aided by the military, were carrying out genocide, burning residents out of their homes and shooting them as they fled." [3]

Accounts of hundreds of corpses in the streets and a hundred bodies buried in one unmarked grave have also surfaced.

The government of acting (unelected) president Roza Otunbayeva (the nation's first ambassador to the United States in the early 1990s) called up all reservists under 50 years of age and issued shoot-to-kill orders in the affected areas.

On June 13 Russia deployed a reinforced battalion of as many as 650 airborne troops to the Kant Air Base in Kyrgyzstan where Russian air force units have been stationed since 2003. (Russia had also sent 150 paratroopers to the base after April's overthrow of Otunbayeva's predecessor Kurmanbek Bakiyev.)

On June 15 two chartered planes repatriated 195 Chinese nationals from Kyrgyzstan, flying them into the adjoining Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. By the following day almost 1,000 Chinese had been rescued.

India, Pakistan, Turkey and Russia also evacuated citizens from the nation.

Both the Collective Security Treaty Organization consisting of Russia, Kyrgyzstan and five other former Soviet republics and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization of China, Russia and all Central Asian nations except for Turkmenistan have addressed the Kyrgyz crisis.

This month's bloody rampages were an aftershock of those following the overthrow of President Bakiyev in early April [4], following which at least 80 people were killed and over 1,500 injured. At that time Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that "Kyrgyzstan is on the threshold of a civil war." [5]

The current violence in Kyrgyzstan, which may prove to be terminal for the 19-year-old Central Asian state, is a continuation and inevitable culmination of that of April. The latter in turn occurred five years after
the overthrow of the government of President Askar Akayev by a coalition of opposition forces led by Bakiyev, Otunbayeva and Felix Kulov, a coup that was widely celebrated in the West at the time as the high point of an inexorable wave of what were characterized as "color" and "rainbow" revolutions in the former Soviet Union and beyond.

Two months after the 2005 putsch in Kyrgyzstan, U.S. President George W. Bush was in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi where he crowed: "In recent months, the world has marvelled at the hopeful changes taking place from Baghdad to Beirut to Bishkek [the Kyrgyz capital]. But before there was a purple revolution in Iraq, or an orange revolution in Ukraine, a cedar revolution in Lebanon, there was a rose revolution in Georgia." [6]

Bush's statement, his transparent endorsement of the "color revolution" model of extending U.S. domination over former Soviet states and Middle Eastern nations, has been echoed by former U.S. national security advisor and self-ordained geostrategic chess master Zbigniew Brzezinski who was quoted by a Kyrgyz news source as saying, "I believe revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan were a sincere and snap expression of the political will.” [7]

The ringleaders of the 2005 violent, unconstitutional takeover in Kyrgyzstan divided up top government posts, with Bakiyev becoming president, Kulov prime minister and Otunbayeva acting foreign minister.

Regarding the "hopeful changes" that Bush and Brzezinski acclaimed, it is worth recalling that the only two elected presidents in the young nation's history are wanted men forced into exile. The "shock therapy" privatization of the nation's economy in the 1990s, as disruptive as it was abrupt, laid the groundwork for subsequent destabilization, but that buildings are flammable is no defense for an arsonist.

The Pentagon opened the Manas Air Base (also named the Ganci Air Base by the U.S.) near the Kyrgyz capital in December of 2001, two months after the invasion of Afghanistan to support military operations in that nation.

The base, since last summer called the Transit Center at Manas, has seen hundreds of thousands of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization combat troops pass through in the interim.

Washington's civilian hit man for the expanding war in South Asia, which is the largest and most deadly war in the world currently with hundreds of thousands of troops involved and millions of civilians displaced on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, is Richard Holbrooke, appointed Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan after the new administration was installed in Washington in January of last year.

This February he visited Kyrgyzstan and the three other former Soviet Central Asian republics it borders: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Shortly after returning to Washington, "Holbrooke said that the United States would soon renew an agreement to use the Manas airbase, where he said 35,000 US troops were transiting each month on their way in and out of Afghanistan." [8]

Afterward Major John Redfield of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said that during the next month, this March, 50,000 American troops had passed through the Kyrgyz base to and from Afghanistan, and the new commander of U.S. operations at Manas with the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, Colonel Dwight Sones, recently disclosed that "55,000 servicemen were airlifted to Afghanistan via Manas in May." [9]

That is, 20,000 more troops a month over a three-month period and at a rate of almost two-thirds of a million annually.

In February of 2009 Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted 78-1 to close the U.S. air base at Manas and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed a decree to do so.

The U.S. was given "180 days to withdraw some 1,200 personnel, aircraft and
other equipment." [10] The following month Kyrgyz deputies also voted to expel military personnel from Australia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey and France, all nations providing troops for NATO's International Assistance Security Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Popular internal opposition to the presence of U.S. and NATO forces in the country had been mounting as the Afghan war dragged on interminably and especially after the killing of a Kyrgyz civilian, Alexander Ivanov, by an American soldier in December of 2006 and the dumping of 80 tons of fuel into the atmosphere by U.S. military planes the year before. Many Kyrgyz also fear that the use of the air base at Manas for an attack against Iran could pull their nation into a second and far more catastrophic armed conflict.

The situation was made worse in August of 2008 when "A major depot with weapons and ammunition" was "found in a private house in Bishkek rented by U.S. nationals in an operation by Kyrgyz police....According to law enforcement officers, six heavy machine guns, 26 Kalashnikov assault-rifles, almost 3,000 cartridges for them, two Winchester rifles, four machine gun barrels, two grenade launches, four sniper guns, six Beretta pistols, 10,000 cartridges for a nine-millimetre pistol, 478 12-millimetre cartridges, 1,000 tracer cartridges and 123 empty magazines were found there.

"Police said the house belonged to a Kyrgyz national, who had rented it to US nationals.

"They also said there were several staffers of the U.S. Embassy to Kyrgyzstan having diplomatic immunity, as well as ten U.S. military in the house during the search." [11]

The U.S. claimed it had government permission to store the above-described arsenal in a private residence.

Last year Russia negotiated an extension of its military presence at the Kant Air Base for 49 years and offered the Kyrgyz government a $2 billion loan.

In June of 2009 the outgoing U.S. commander at Manas, Colonel Christopher Bence, "said the facility had started to wind down operations" and "has started to shut down and will close by mid-August." [12] He added "that over the past year alone 189,000 troops from 20 countries had moved to and out of Afghanistan via the Manas base" [13] and that "we have started shipping equipment and supplies to other locations and those shipments should be finished by August 18." [14] (Recall that 55,000 Western troops passed through the base last month alone.)

However, earlier in the month President Barack Obama sent a personal appeal to his Kyrgyz counterpart urging him to reverse the decision to expel U.S. military personnel, some 1,300 permanently assigned to the base, and "Kyrgyzstan showed more flexibility on the matter after receiving the letter...." [15]

On July 2 President Bakiyev signed an agreement to extend U.S. military presence at Manas after Washington offered $180 million a year for the use of the base, thereafter referred to as a transit center. "Rent for the land is $60 million as compared to $17.4 million Kyrgyzstan received for hosting the airbase." [16] In early August U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent a letter to President Bakiyev commending him for overriding the near-unanimous decision by his country's parliament, including his own party's deputies, to close down Pentagon operations, instead simply renaming the Manas Air Base while activity there was scheduled to increase.

A Russian report on the transition, a change more formal than substantive, said that "Many experts on Central Asian politics speculated that Bishkek was simply angling for more money and was not intending to close the base." [17]

It is in part a struggle over the $180 million in U.S. funds as well as the $2 billion in Russian aid pledged in February of last year that precipitated April's phase two of the so-called Tulip Revolution.

Complementing the new arrangement with the Pentagon, last December Kyrgyzstan authorized the establishment of a NATO representative office in its capital. A spokesman for the nation's parliament said at the time, "Until recently, the NATO representative office was located in the city of Astana, Kazakhstan." Kyrgyz Defense Minister Bakyt Kalyev stated: "NATO recently started to pay special attention to Central Asia in light of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

"The relocation of NATO's official to the territory of Kyrgyzstan will proceed as part of the Partnership for Peace Program. One of the key reasons behind the transfer of the office from Astana to Bishkek is the fact that the territory of the republic houses the International Transit Center." [18]

Richard Holbrooke met with the Kyrgyz president this February to solidify plans for the Manas base.

This March it was announced that the Pentagon is to set up a "counter-terrorism" special forces training base in Kyrgyzstan.

General David Petraeus, chief of U.S. Central Command, visited Kyrgyzstan and met with its president in March. "The visit [came] a day after US diplomats confirmed Washington would provide US$5.5 million to the Kyrgyz government toward the construction of a counter-terrorism training center in southern Kyrgyzstan." [19]

The day after this April's uprising began a Pentagon spokesman said of the operations at Manas that "Our support to Afghanistan continues and has not been seriously affected, and we are hopeful that we will be able to resume full operations soon." [20]

A week later the government of then interim prime minister Roza Otunbayeva extended the lease for the Manas base another year. The next month a record number of Western troops passed through Kyrgyzstan in support of the war in Afghanistan.

On June 10 Robert Simmons, NATO's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, arrived in the Kyrgyz capital to further military cooperation with the new regime. "Simmons visits Kyrgyzstan each time the existence of the Transit Center at Manas, called Manas Air Base until 2009, is threatened. The high-ranking diplomat's first visit to Bishkek took place in May 2005.

"Then, Washington was concerned about the base's future after the March 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan that overthrew President Askar Akayev. Simmons paid another visit to the republic in February 2009, or two weeks before President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced his intention to close the base. This time, Simmons met with Roza Otunbayeva, head of the Kyrgyz interim government, and acting Finance Minister Temir Sariyev, who is responsible for budget income." [21]

In addition, "Kyrgyz media say Washington has paid $15 million in first-quarter lease payments ahead of schedule and promises to transfer the second tranche to the cash-strapped Kyrgyz budget soon." [22]

On June 8 EurasiaNet, "operated by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute," [23] ran a feature entitled "Pentagon Looks to Plant New Facilities in Central Asia," which included these excerpts:

"The Pentagon is preparing to embark on a mini-building boom in Central Asia. A recently posted sources-sought survey indicates the US military wants to be involved in strategic construction projects in all five Central Asian states, including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

"According to the notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website in mid-May, the US Army Corps of Engineers wants to hear from respondents interested in participating in 'large-scale ground-up design-build construction projects in the following Central South Asian States (CASA): Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; and Uzbekistan.'

“'We anticipate two different projects in Kyrgyzstan. Both are estimated to be in the $5 million to $10 million dollar range.'” [24]

On June 14 Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan told CNN that "the refueling and troop transport operations at the U.S. transit base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, continue 'unabated' by ethnic riots in the southern part of the country....Refueling operations had been halted while the United States negotiated new fuel contracts with the interim government...but late last week refueling started again." [25]

An analysis recently appeared on the website of the German international radio broadcaster Deutsche Welle which provided insightful background information regarding the current crisis in Kyrgyzstan:

"Bakiyev's installation as president in 2005 with US backing may have provided Washington with a friendly government with whom to do business with but it also gave the US a significant foothold in a country that some strategists believe is paramount to its plans for regional dominance."

"The inclusion of Kyrgyzstan and three other central Asian states in NATO's
Partnership for Peace program in 1994 was seen as a major step toward increasing US military presence in the region which eventually led to the US base at Manas, outside Bishkek in the north, being established."

"While Manas remains a key hub for US operations in Afghanistan, it is also used as a NATO base - a situation which angers and concerns Russia which fears the eastern enlargement of its former Cold War opponent, putting Kyrgyzstan at the center of a power struggle for regional influence....Russia is also concerned about the possibility of being encircled by NATO member states should the alliance go ahead with its provocative eastern enlargement."

"The Chinese see increasing US influence as not only a threat to its plans for Eurasia, which along with promoting its emerging market policy also includes energy security and supply, but also a threat to the People's Republic itself....Beijing [is] more concerned that the porous nature of the border is allowing US intelligence agencies to run covert destabilizing operations into the strategically vital and politically fragile [Xinjiang] province. Beijing believes the flow of people across the border gives US operations a perfect cover." [26]

Small and seemingly insignificant Kyrgyzstan is the country most vital to U.S. and NATO for the reinforcement and escalation of the war in Afghanistan, even more than Pakistan where NATO supply convoys are routinely attacked and destroyed.

The transit center in the country is the only base the Pentagon has in Central Asia after it was evicted from the Karshi-Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan five years ago.

Kyrgyzstan is Washington's military outpost in a region where the interests of several major nations - Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Iran among them - converge. U.S. stratagems in the nation, whether attempts at the maintenance of a permanent military presence or rotating governments through the use of standard "regime change" maneuvers, will have consequences far more serious than what the status of the diminutive and impoverished Central Asian nation may otherwise indicate.

1) Itar-Tass, June 14, 2010
2) UzReport, June 14, 2010
3) Daily Times (Pakistan)/Agencies, June 14, 2010
4) Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia
Stop NATO, April 7, 2010
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/04/...ntral-asia
5) Russian Information Agency Novosti, April 14, 2010
6) Agence France-Presse, May 11, 2005
7) 24.kg, March 27, 2008
8) Agence France-Presse, March 4, 2010
9) Interfax, June 15, 2010
10) Russian Information Agency Novosti, February 20, 2009
11) Itar-Tass, March 6, 2009
12) Reuters, June 15, 2009
13) Voice of Russia, June 17, 2009
14) Stars and Stripes, June 16, 2009
15) Reuters, June 11, 2009
16) Russia Today, June 23, 2009
17) Ibid
18) Interfax, December 29, 2009
19) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 10, 2010
20) U.S. Air Forces in Europe
American Forces Press Service
April 8, 2010
21) Nezavisimaya Gazeta, June 15, 2010
22) Ibid
23) http://www.eurasianet.org/node/14733
24) EurasiaNet, June 8, 2010
http://www.eurasianet.org/node/61241
25) CNN, June 14, 2010
26) Nick Amies, Kyrgyzstan unrest adds new edge to global powers' regional
rivalry
Deutsche Welle, June 14, 2010
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#48
Quote:The inclusion of Kyrgyzstan and three other central Asian states in NATO's
Partnership for Peace program in 1994 was seen as a major step toward increasing US military presence in the region which eventually led to the US base at Manas, outside Bishkek in the north, being established."

Well,I'd say that's pretty good Orwellian speak.
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
Reply
#49
More geopolitics playing out, although I suspect it's more complicated than the headline....

Quote:Kyrgyzstan threatens to shut US base unless ex-president's son is extradited

Leadership steps up pressure on Britain to hand over Maxim Bakiyev, who is accused of organising violence against Uzbeks

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 17 June 2010 17.48 BST

A senior Kyrgyz official today warned that the interim government would consider shutting a strategic US airbase if Britain refused to hand over the son of the country's ousted president.

The Kyrgyz government believes Maxim Bakiyev, arrested at Farnborough airport on Sunday, helped organise the violence ravaging the country's south.

Kyrgyzstan's deputy leader of the provisional government, Azimbek Beknazarov, said: "England never gives up people who arrive on its territory. But since England and the US fight terrorism and the arrangement with the airbase is one of the elements of that fight, then they must give over Maxim Bakiyev."

Bakiyev, son of the deposed Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was arrested by immigration officials on Sunday after flying into Britain on a private jet. An arrest warrant had been issued by Interpol on charges of money laundering. He has reportedly sought asylum.

The interim Kyrgyz government believes Bakiyev Jr, one of Kyrgyzstan's wealthiest men, financed the unrest that led to the slaughter of hundreds of ethnic Uzbeks and the displacement of some 400,000. In an unverified telephone recording released in May, a month after his father's government was overthrown, Bakiyev Jr is allegedly heard plotting to stir unrest to bring his family back to power. The elder Bakiyev, who has fled to Belarus, has denied any role in the violence.

The US is concerned the new government could seek to shut the airbase it rents at Manas, its main transit hub for troops and equipment destined for Afghanistan. Resupply flights have not been stopped despite the violence in the south, and Washington has distributed millions of pounds in humanitarian aid through the base since the unrest began.

Analysts have dismissed Beknazorov's threat to shut the base. "It seems like his personal initiative," said Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs. "It's total stupidity."

Moscow hopes to see the base shut, eager to maintain a hold over what it sees as its backyard. At the same time, it has denied repeated requests to send peacekeepers to Kyrgyzstan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun...se-warning
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply


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