The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions
Size of text
Processing. Please wait...
Uzbekistan tragedy: Intervention or Chaos? Or Intervention and Chaos
HITS: 2096 | 24-08-2005, 11:56 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Uzbekistan , PR and human rights
“The worst is not; so long as we can say, ‘This is the worst’” Shakespeare, King Lear (IV, I, 27)
The universal clamour for “something to be done” about Uzbekistan reaches from the serried ranks of proponents of the invasion of Iraq to find its elusive WMD and overthrow Saddam Hussein to that crusade’s fiercest critics. Ironically, those who doubted every jot of the Bush Administration’s claims about the nature and weaponry of Saddam’s regime are as gung-ho for intervention in Uzbekistan as Washington’s hawks. Unanimity like this among opinion-makers ought to make observers’ queasy. Even if they were right in their analysis of what happened in Andijan, are there solutions not naively optimistic in thinking that Western intervention will necessarily promote a solution which makes matters better for Uzbeks? Remember Mobutu’s Zaire, for instance. Before his downfall in 1997, everyone agreed there too that nothing could be worse than that regime’s kleptocrat. Well, 3 million dead later, perhaps it is time for human rights activists to prepare for the worst case consequences of their own success. Yet Mobutu is still trotted out as simply an example of American hypocrisy during the Cold War when he was backed as an anti-Communist, rather than seeing the unanimous Western governmental and media campaign to remove him in 1997 as a classic example of short-sightedness on the part of the moral indignation brigade.