Friday, January 06, 2006

Looking for the payoff

Few words but a lot said over at Chicken Yoghurt.

From the Reuters article linked there:
Asked about the absence of such economic reform policies from the programmes of the major parties set to control the government following last month's election, he [Thomas Delare, a senior economic official in the U.S. embassy] said [he] expected the debate on economic policy to begin once parliament convened.
Optimism meets corporate interests meets the right of a democratic nation to chose its own path meets the now apparently obligatory need for every nation to adopt economic policies approved by the US government meets Shiite fundamentalism. Would you like to pick a winner sir? Not easy, that one.

Some sort of trade off might be on the cards. "We''ll pull most of the troops out if you let us make money and keep the oil flowing". After that, you can be as extreme as you like to the Iraqi people and we'll still call you our allies."

Too cynical? Recent history would suggest otherwise. It was Karimov, the totalitarian, murderous, torturing dictator, who ended the US-Uzbek government's love in remember, not the other way round. Here are a couple of photos to emphasise the point. Warning: these photos will turn your stomach (although they are not of torture and you could show them to your children).

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