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Thursday, June 16, 2005 01:57 pm

common sense 6-16-05

art2170

George Washington sagely warned against America’s getting caught up in “entangling alliances” in foreign affairs. President Bush, however, seems to think he’s smarter than the first George W.

As a result of Bush’s arrogance or ignorance or both, our country is now entangled in some ugly and messy alliances that put us on the wrong side of history, morality, and the worldwide yearning for democracy. For example, check out Bush’s buddy in Uzbekistan, President Islam Karimov. Since Sept. 11, the Bush administration has constantly hailed Karimov’s government as a staunch ally in the war against terrorism. But what they’ve not wanted us to know is that their buddy is a repressive, brutal, autocratic, terroristic thug who rules Uzbekistan with an iron fist.

Karimov’s oppression and corruption drove the people to boiling point in May, and protesters poured into the streets. Karimov responded with a bloody crackdown, unleashing his troops and gunning down several hundred protesters and bystanders. Karimov’s government is trying to cover up the massacre by declaring that the uprising was “a planned and well-prepared terrorist act by international radical-extremist groups.” In other words, Karimov says, he’s just a good soldier in Bush’s global counterterrorism fight. “Only terrorists were liquidated,” his spokesman said of the crackdown.

Amazingly, our government is still standing behind Karimov and characterizing the people who rose up for democracy as militants and terrorists. Secretary of State Condi Rice sympathized with the oppressor, saying that no government should have to “deal with terrorists.”

Guess who has armed and trained Karimov’s troops? Our government. Using the Foreign Military Financing Program, the Bush administration has entangled our country with a thoroughly repressive regime, creating new enemies for America among the people who should be our friends.

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