Cables Reveal U.S. Pro-Dictator Policy

December 15th, 2010 by Andy in America: Republic or Empire?

No surprise here, unfortunately. This kind of thing has been going on for decades, including since the days of overthrowing popularly-elected governments in Iran on behalf of oil corporations and installing a ruling monarch in its place (I’m sure folks such as Franklin, Jefferson and Paine would have just loved knowing that their attempt at a Republic had come to this). The fact is the U.S. has been continually engaging in a foreign policy agenda which does not correspond to the one a good number of Americans think is the one we are implementing around the world. With foreign policy like this, perhaps we should reconsider the expenditure of all that blood and treasure in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’.

As the U.S. stood by and watched, corrupt autocrats looted the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Dissidents were jailed, massacred–even boiled.

Well, actually, the U.S. was anything but passive. They negotiated deals for oil and gas pipelines. They rented airbases after 9/11. They poured in tens of millions of American tax dollars–all of which wound up in secret bank accounts belonging to the dictators and their families. Meanwhile, average citizens lived in abject poverty.

During trips to Central Asia the locals constantly ask me: “Why doesn’t America stop supporting [insert name of corrupt dictator here] so we can kill him and free ourselves?”

Poor, naïve people. They believe our rhetoric. They think we like democracy. Actually, we’re all about the looting. Dictators are easier to deal with than parliaments. One handshake and a kickback, that’s all you need with a dictator.

Central Asia only had one democratically elected president, Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan. George W. Bush ordered the CIA to depose him in a coup.

Americans who care about human rights have long wondered: Is the State Department stupid and/or naïve? Or did the diplomats in Tashkent and other capitals of unspeakable misery understand the brutal and vile nature of Central Asia’s authoritarian leaders?

An examination of the WikiLeaks data dump answers that question: Yes.

Hell yes.

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So it’s clear: American diplomats have no illusions about their brutal allies. Interestingly, Central Asia’s overlords have a dismally accurate view of corruption in the U.S. government.

“Listen, almost everyone at the top [of the Kazakh regime] is confused,” First Vice President Maksat Idenov told the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan early this year. “They’re confused by the corrupt excesses of capitalism. ‘If Goldman Sachs executives can make $50 million a year and then run America’s economy in Washington, what’s so different about what we do?’ they ask.”

No response was provided.

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