Thursday, April 14, 2005
rumsfeld in kyrgyzstan/balkanizing the world
what a laugh -- like there was ever a danger of losing it. we put the new men there. we hold the sword that slew akayev's government -- we know it and he knows it. does he think we'd hesitate to turn it on him if he stood in the way? even as order frays? as secession and war loom?
these last features -- populist disorder, territorial fractures, political violence -- are to be expected in what america is doing. it seems many still do not understand, despite what is going on in iraq, that these plebiscitarian movements for "freedom" are almost by definition antiauthoritarian and antinational. the promise of emancipation and self-government is conflated in the public imagination too often with destructive idealizations of autonomy and lawlessness and the death of political compromise. national fracturing along deeper ethnic or religious lines is a natural product of freedom. what we encourage with the osce (probably ignorantly) is the death of nation-states -- of the influence of modern civilization, really, particularly on lands that were tribal and nomadic well into the 20th c and could easily revert.
we are balkanizing these places. it will be viewed, if it proves a durable movement, in the hindsight of history as one of the catastrophic ideological errors of the declining west, i think -- effectively recreating a feudal, primitive world of hobbesian character and undoing the constructive global influence of high western civility. it is very early in this game, and already georgia talks of needing another revolution to undo the old one. the truth is that few who hoped for so much will or could be satisfied -- and once the door to change through protest, disorder and violence is opened, it is very hard to shut.
note: registan.com seems a good information clearinghouse for events in kyrgyzstan, even if a bit biased to interventionism.