Central Asia: April 10, 2005


Demonstrations have broken out in Uzbekistan, and they have more to do with protests against corrupt government, than in demands for more democratic rule. The ousting of the dictator in Kyrgyzstan has caused the dictators of the other Central Asian nations to review their plans and make adjustments to avoid suffering the same fate. The Central Asian form of dictatorship is not as brutal as that practiced by the fascists and communists, as it depends more on traditional tribal customs. This involves more bargaining than "winner take all" and mass murder. Pro-democracy groups hope this can be made to evolve into real democracy, but the clan leaders are mainly out to get all the goodies they can. Islamic conservatives are still a minority, and not growing at a rate that would make them contenders any time soon. Meanwhile, the governments of Central Asia are content to allow American and Russian military bases to remain where they are, unmolested.


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