Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"Decent Left" slams Uzbekistan shocker!

Up to now the Decent Left has been silent about Islam Karimov and his regime in Uzbekistan.This was no doubt to show solidarity with Blair/Bush etc. who saw the Butcher of Tashkent as someone who was "with us" in the war on terror. Now Fearless Nick Cohen has come out in print against the Uzbek government. Apparently their human rights record has suddenly come to Nick's attention.What has caused this sudden rush of conscience? Could it be Karimovs recent decision not to allow the USA to remain in their huge Uzbek airbase after the end of this year? There he is, Freedom's Champion - Way to go Nicky boy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Vinnie,

I enjoy reading this site and agree with some of the criticisms made of DA and NC - but this post doesn't really hold up. If you search the Guardian archives for "cohen and uzbekistan" you quickly find articles like

(from 2004)

(from 2004) and


(from 2002), which seems to make his position fairly clear.

Much as I disagree with some of Cohen's recent rhetoric, he's been a fairly consistent critic of authoritarianism - which makes the corner he's painted himself into a rather sad spectacle.

8/30/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a very fair point and looking at the article from 2004 (couldn't get the 2002 one but I'm sure it said much the same thing)he has been consistent on this one. I agreed with what Nick said then. But surely that's the point of this watch, his axis has changed in recent months(6/9?). He has allied himself increasingly with those who have openly supported Karimov, militarily financially,and (as far as was possible)with positive PR. Nick is now, as you say, a rather sad spectacle and I suspect has only revived his anti-Karimov position in the new Melanie Phillips-style persona, because his new mates have gone off IK. By the way what is Boris Johnson doing having a family holiday in Uzbekistan?

8/30/2005 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isakofsky in another post says:
"Surely the point about Uzbekhistan that Nicko over looks is that it's run by our shits. It's not some kind of moral oversight but a piece of real politik, no?" That is a pretty good statement of Nick's problem now.

8/30/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

I don't think it's quite as realpolitiky as that. It's simply that he read the article in the Economist about EU inaction over Uzbekistan, remembered that being rude about EU foreign policy is one of the shibboleths of the Decent Left, and the article pretty much wrote itself (or rather, had already been written - all he had to do was excise the Economist's reference to the US, and indeed the bit where they contextualise their criticism of the EU)

8/30/2005 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do people still read "The Economist"? If so, why?

8/30/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

Hellblazer: Good spot, but remember that the 2002 vintage Nick Cohen was a moral idiot and a fellow traveller of fascism, according to the 2005 Nick Cohen (2002 NC was even opposed to the war against the Taliban).

8/31/2005 06:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Nick is capable of wonderful unprincipled outbursts. I once shared a platform with him for the anti-nazi league. I think it was a teachers' ANL meeting in London. I made the point that a)the Nazis (in Germany) had had a two-pronged method: thuggery in the streets and sophisticated electioneering b)pre-nazi Germany was a parliamentary democracy and the instruments of parl democ weren't able to defeat nazism c)at crucial moments Hitler was able to make alliances with the bosses of the Coal, Iron and Steel industries over, in particular, the taming of the unions and cutting back on workers' right and d) the first people Hitler moved against when he came to power were trade unionists, Communists and left socialists (April after coming to power in January).

In response to this, quite against the spirit of the meeting, Nico leapt to his feet and denounced me as a marxist-leninist! A great contribution to fighting fascism there from Nico.

9/01/2005 06:36:00 AM  

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