Central Asia Theater

Kyrgyzstan expels US diplomats

It seems the Kyrgyz government, itself put in power by a US-sponsored revolution last year, is increasingly paranoid that Washington is brewing another one. And perhaps with reason. Note that negotiations over continued Pentagon access to Kyrgyz military bases are currently underway. Erica Marat writes for Eurasia Daily Monitor, July 13:

Tibet rail link opens: militarization, globalization —or both?

Tibet's historic isolation is about to be radically broken, both by a new Lhasa-Beijing rail link (the world's highest), and the opening of a new border crossing into India through Sikkim. Tibetan nationalist leader (and Dalai Lama nephew) Khedroob Thondup portrays the rail line as an artery for Tibet's militarization, making the Himalayan realm a possible staging ground for a Chinese invasion of India. From Reuters, July 5:

A nephew of the Dalai Lama has likened a new railway linking China and Tibet to a second invasion of his homeland that will make its people "an endangered race".

Anti-Semitic killings in Uzbekistan

This is not the first anti-Semitic killing in Uzbekistan this year. Yet a Google News search for the story reveals only this account from the vile Arutz Sheva (June 9), voice of the Israeli settler movement. Why is that?

Jewish leaders in the former Soviet Union suspect that anti-Semitism was behind the murder of the secretary of a rabbi and her mother in Tashkent, the major city in Uzbekistan.

Gitmo Uighurs to Albania

Albania, of all places, has agreed to take in five Uighur militants who had been captured by the US in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo. Stateside Uighur advocates and human rights organizations went to court to halt their deportation to China, where they could face torture due to their presumed links to separatist activities. The case casts an ironic light on US exploitation of the human rights issue in China: not only does Gitmo mirror the very conditions the US protests in Chinese prisons, but Washington was perfectly ready to collaborate with the Chinese torture state by deporting the Uighurs. The case also indicates that, US-Chinese tensions notwithstanding, the two imperial powers still have some common geostrategic interests. Now how long before national security wonks (and neo-Chetniks) start squawking about the Uighur-jihadi threat in Albania? From the Uyghur Human Rights Project, May 5:

Cheney does Kazakhstan

Those who think the current global conflict is fundamentally about anything other than a strategic struggle for control of oil can be disabused of their illusions by reading (surprise!) the New York Times (May 6). This includes those who buy the Consensus Reality line that it is all about chasing after Islamist terror networks, and that the Great Power rivalries of the Cold War are a thing of the past. Ironically, it also includes those who buy the Conspiracy Theory line that it is all about protecting Israel, and that the wiley Jews have seized control of Washington. For those who are paying attention, the fundamental reasons for the current paroxysm of hyper-interventionism couldn't be clearer. This story about Kazakhstan and Russia actually has much to say about Afghanistan and Iraq. Emphasis added...

Kyrgyzstan warns US over Manas base

Here's a clue as to the political scorecard in Kyrgyzstan. From Turkey's Zaman, April 20:

The United States was asked to evacuate its military base in Uzbekistan last year and now it has been delivered a "note over its base" in Kyrgyzstan.

Mongolia: protesters launch hunger strike, self-immolate

The situation in Mongolia certainly seems to be escalating. But what can be gleaned of the politics? The ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) certainly seems throroughly market-oriented and globalist, its name as much an anachronism as that of China's Communist Party. Meanwhile, note the Buddhist and even shamanist imagery and tactics associated with the protesters. Again: dare we hope that this is a real indigenous ecological movement, with autonomy from any outside powers? From New Eurasia via Mongolia Web News, April 19:

NY Times: it's China, stupid!

The New York Times does it again. The placement of two seemingly unrelated articles (perhaps unintentionally?) reveals more about the world than either would alone. On the op-ed page today, Tony Judt weighs in, somewhat sympathetically, on the Walt/Mearsheimer thesis that the "influence" of the Israeli Lobby accounts for the US presence in Iraq. Meanwhile, a story about President Hu's visit to Washington (on the front page, if below the fold) reveals far more about the real reason the US is in Iraq—and, alas, will likely soon be in Iran. Emphasis added.

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