Our Uzbek Problem
From the May 30, 2005 issue: The character of the Karimov regime can no longer be ignored in deference to the strategic usefulness of Uzbekistan.
President Bush should lead the international pressure on Karimov to allow journalists, legitimate relief workers, and trustworthy investigators to travel to Andijon and render a verdict on the events there. That verdict will likely be harsh for Karimov, and it should have consequences for U.S. aid to and support for the regime. Washington cannot turn a blind eye to massacres in a country where U.S. troops are based and that receives U.S. assistance. Here as elsewhere, the principle of linkage between a regime's behavior and relations with the United States must be reestablished. And if not in Uzbekistan, where we have so much leverage, how seriously will others take our promises and our warnings?
--Stephen Schwartz and William Kristol