Révolte au Kirghizistan, ou bien au Kyrgyzstan

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Révolte au Kirghizistan, ou bien au Kyrgyzstan

Dans les années 1990, parlant de ces pays des confins de l’Asie centrale ou du Caucase de l’ancienne URSS, les diplomates du State Department parlaient avec ignorance, indifférence ou condescendance des “pays stan” (pays aux noms imprononçables, sinon qu’ils se terminent par “stan”). Depuis, grâce à la politique dévorante inspirée des neocons, ils ont appris à un peu mieux les connaître, mais peut-être pas mieux les noms. Ainsi sait-on à peu près où se trouve le Kirghizistan, ou Kyrgyzstan en anglais (nous-mêmes, avec toujours autant de difficultés avec son orthographe).

La révolte puis la chute du président est, paraît-il, un rude coup pour les américanistes et leur réseau de bases qui protègent notre liberté. (Les USA ont une énorme base au Kyrgyzstan, qui est un pivot pour leur action en Afghanistan, – ce qui montre combien cette guerre les contraint à bien des investissements, pour quel résultat quand on voit son cours…) Envolée, la “révolution des tulipes”. Les Russes ont-ils machiné tout cela?

Le 9 avril 200, sur Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo a une autre interprétation qui, après tout, a la vertu de l’expérience. Il y décrit le comportement habituel des US dans cette sorte de pays aussitôt considéré comme un protectorat dès lors qu’un accord lui a été imposé, avec tous les arrangements en dollars qu’on imagine.

«It is a mistake, however, to interpret events in Bishkek into the language of a new cold war between the US and a “resurgent” Russia: yet this misperception will remain popular so long as the future of the Manas air base is the main focus of US coverage of what’s going on there. As usual with the Americans, it’s all about them.

»And in a sense, it is, because Kyrgyz opposition to the US presence is based on bitter experience. An experience that occurred to Alexander Ivanov, when he tried to pass through a truck stop checkpoint. Ivanov, an employee of Aerocraft Petrol Management, went through the routine security check at the entrance to the base, when suddenly – according to the official report issued by the US military, later debunked – he drew a knife and threatened the well-armed Zachary Hatfield, a US serviceman. Hatfield shot and killed Ivanov, although the evidence for the presence of a knife is sketchy. In any case, popular anger was stoked when the US government offered to compensate Ivanov’s family – for the princely sum of 2,000 US dollars.

»In all US-occupied countries, from Japan to Iraq to the Manas air force base in remote Kyrgyzstan, the soldiers of the Empire are protected by treaty from local justice, and shielded by the base commanders, a policy which encourages the wilding forays that wreak havoc in surrounding areas. In this case, the killing posed the issue of Kyrgyz sovereignty in a dramatic way, and the authorities were forced to react, demanding the lifting of Hatfield’s immunity. This was not granted, but instead, as (the other) Scott Horton put it in Harper’s:

»“The incident was catastrophically mishandled by U.S. military and diplomatic personnel. U.S. spokesmen issued a statement claiming that Ivanov had physically threatened Hatfield with a knife, and that Hatfield shot him in self defense. While making vague and unconvincing statements of “regret” about the “incident,” the soldier was whisked away back to the United States. That was flight to avoid prosecution and to block a homicide investigation–such flight, of course, a serious crime unto itself. While offering vague assurances that the soldier would be dealt with under the military justice system (something which, in the eyes of the Kyrgyz, never occurred), American officials did little to atone for the crime. Kyrgyz newspapers made mincemeat of the proffered excuse, reporting that Hatfield’s claims that Ivanov was armed with a knife were untrue and establishing that Ivanov had made numerous prior deliveries to the base, and was known to the soldier. The Kyrgyz media fanned suspicions that the homicide was an unprovoked act, accounts that American officials only fueled by issuing a false report and failing to convincingly show either contrition or an intention to bring the soldier to justice.”

»The idea that Russia’s agents infiltrated the country, engineered the uprising from behind the scenes, and succeeded in toppling the Bakiyev government so that Vladimir Putin could simultaneously gloat and deny responsibility is rather fanciful, and lacking of proof. A more realistic version of events suggests a simpler scenario: no Russian conspiracy is required – only the random violence and official arrogance that surrounds the overseas US military presence wherever it might be.»

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