"We will not repeat the mistakes of other generations, appeasing or excusing tyranny, and sacrificing freedom in the vain pursuit of stability," the president said. "We have learned our lesson; no one's liberty is expendable. In the long run, our security and true stability depend on the freedom of others."These statements are probably the purest example of hypocrisy outside of Pyongyang. The United States supported the autocratic regime of Kyrgyzstan, until its people overthrew it. We currently support Pakistan and are buddy-buddy with China. We are aiding Sudan while they commit genocide (hint: Sudan has oil). Because we're so concerned about our global image when we're not tarnishing it by starting unnecessary wars in Oilville and torturing prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere, we're sending terror suspects off to Saudi Arabi, Syria, Egypt and the worst of the worst, Uzbekistan. We're real friendly with them, and they're about as democratic and humane as North Korea. According to the NY Times, this is what guests at Hotel Tashkent can look forward to on their vacation abroad:
Seven months before Sept. 11, 2001, the State Department issued a human rights report on Uzbekistan. It was a litany of horrors.Believing that "no one's liberty is expendable," President Bush appeased and excused tyranny after September 11th. As the same NY Times story goes on to say,
The police repeatedly tortured prisoners, State Department officials wrote, noting that the most common techniques were "beating, often with blunt weapons, and asphyxiation with a gas mask." Separately, international human rights groups had reported that torture in Uzbek jails included boiling of body parts, using electroshock on genitals and plucking off fingernails and toenails with pliers. Two prisoners were boiled to death, the groups reported. The February 2001 State Department report stated bluntly, "Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state with limited civil rights."
The relationship between Washington and Tashkent [Uzbekistan] was formalized at a March 2002 Oval Office meeting between President Bush and President Karimov. Muhammad Salih, the leader of Uzbekistan's pro-democracy Erk Democratic Party, who is living in exile in Germany, said the relationship had strengthened Mr. Karimov's hand.He might want to check with his Commander-in-Chief before he says anything else.
"It's been a great opportunity for Karimov," Mr. Salih said. "But President Bush has to also think about human rights and democracy. If he wants to have a collaboration on antiterror matters, he should not close his eyes on other things that Uzbekistan is doing, like torture."
General Myers said the United States had "benefited greatly from our partnership and strategic relationship with Uzbekistan."
While he noted that there were genuine concerns about Uzbekistan's human rights record, General Myers said: "In my view, we shouldn't let any single issue drive a relationship with any single country. It doesn't seem to be good policy to me."