Central Asia: May 20, 2005


Uzbek president Islam Karimov appears to have put down the brief uprising in the eastern park of Uzbekistan. Karimov is smart, well organized, corrupt and ruthless. The  demonstrators his troops dispersed with force were opposed to the police state methods used to hunt down Islamic radicals. The only group willing to oppose Karimov with armed force are the Islamic radicals, who don't have a lot of religious support in Uzbekistan. But a lot more people would support the Islamic radicals if it meant a less corrupt, and more effective, government. The unrest in Uzbekistan is more about economics than ideology. 


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