December 30, 2005


Ex-envoy to Uzbekistan goes public on torture (Anne Penketh, 30 December 2005, Independent)

Britain's former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has defied the Foreign Office by publishing on the internet documents providing evidence that the British Government knowingly received information extracted by torture in the "war on terror".

Letter #1
FM Tashkent
TO FCO, Cabinet Office, DFID, MODUK, OSCE Posts, Security Council Posts

16 September 02

SUBJECT: US/Uzbekistan: Promoting Terrorism

I quite understand the interest of the US in strategic airbases and why they back Karimov, but I believe US policy is misconceived. In the short term it may help fight terrorism but in the medium term it will promote it, as the Economist points out. And it can never be right to lower our standards on human rights. There is a complex situation in Central Asia and it is wrong to look at it only through a prism picked up on September 12. Worst of all is what appears to be the philosophy underlying the current US view of Uzbekistan: that September 11 divided the World into two camps in the "War against Terrorism" and that Karimov is on "our" side.

If Karimov is on "our" side, then this war cannot be simply between the forces of good and evil. It must be about more complex things, like securing the long-term US military presence in Uzbekistan. I silently wept at the 11 September commemoration here. The right words on New York have all been said. But last week was also another anniversary – the US-led overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile. The subsequent dictatorship killed, dare I say it, rather more people than died on September 11. Should we not remember then also, and learn from that too?

Chile's not really the best example to use, because it is so obviously a case where American support for "fascism" served both our interests and those of the nation in question spectacularly well. After all, knowing what we know today about how Allende-type regimes tended to devolve and how Pinochet's evolved, who wouldn't whack Allende again? Of course, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, South Africa, South Korea, etc. all worked out rather well too, so it's not clear he has any point at all.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 30, 2005 2:00 PM

Actually, no, 9/11/01 killed at least a thousand more, than 9/11/73; which was an insurrection or
rebellion by the military against the encroaching
marxism of Alllende, and his left supporters in
the MIR; not a terrorist attack. England had it's
Pinochet named Cromwell, and it recovered.

Posted by: narciso95 at December 30, 2005 11:49 PM

Pinochet evolved? Into a better dictator?

Posted by: Grog at December 31, 2005 12:50 AM

How do we know that US intervention in Chile worked out well? Every other country in Latin America that suffered from US intervention is in worse shape now than it was before we stuck our greedy paws in their politics; is Chile some kind of exception?

Posted by: Grog at December 31, 2005 12:53 AM

El Salvadore, Nicaragua, and Panama are worse off now, than they were ?

Been using Pinter as your sole info source again ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 31, 2005 2:31 PM