Following message about the video below is from the blog of Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan. Murray was fired by the British Foreign Office after he refused orders to remain silent and not make waves over the horrific tortures and overt repression the totalitarian Uzbek regime used against its political opponents. At the time the Uzbek dictator was regarded as a valuable ally in the alleged war on terror being conducted by the US and its NATO flunkies.
Photo: RIA Novosti
Irina Chernykh, the leading researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, believes that all tension in Central Asia is determined by the countries’ weakness, which they demonstrate when coping with their internal security issues.
Of course we can say about some tension in Central Asia but this tension has mostly domestic character, than rather inter-state one. The idea is that the domestic problems within each Central Asian country are the most important. Their influence on the Central Asian security is more significant than the relationships between Central Asian countries themselves. The reason is that each Central Asian country is a weak state. We can say that there is a lack of infrastructural capacities in terms of the ability of state institutions to perform essential tasks and enact policy. Also we can say that within the Central Asian countries there is a lack of capacity in terms of a state’s ability and willingness to employ force against the challenges to its authority. And the last characteristic of a weak state which is really very applicable to each Central Asian country is national identity and social cohesion in terms of the degree to which their population identifies itself with the nation state and accepts its legitimate role in their lives.
All tension in Central Asia is determined by states’ weakness. At the same time I can say that Central Asian states resolving these issues, I mean issues which deal with a weak state, they try to use foreign policy. If we will analyze the last border accident between Kirgizstan and Uzbekistan, we can see that this event is mostly determines by the willingness of Kirgizstan to improve or develop its own infrastructure. They construct new roads which lie in disputable territories and touch some national security interests of Uzbekistan. Of course this incident creates some threats to Uzbekistan. And there is another example with the construction of Rogun Hydro Station. It is also connected with the interests of Uzbekistan in national security.
All these cases of course give us evidence that some tension between states exists but at the same time I’m sure that the inter-state tension will significantly influence and increase tension within Central Asia. My argument for this position is not only the last event with enter-ethnic conflict in Osh and Jalalabad in south of Kirgizstan in 2010 but all the previous history during the last 20 years when the Central Asian countries owed independence. We had a civil war in Tajikistan which hasn’t spilled over the Tajik state border, this war was localized within Tajikistan. Another issue or event which I already mentioned is this inter-ethnic conflict in the south of Kirgizstan. No one Central Asian country interfered the Kirgizstan territory for resolving this conflict. Even Uzbekistan, the state which has very close connections with Uzbek diaspora which lives on the territory of Osh and Jalalabad, even Uzbekistan did not take any action to resolve this conflict.
And I think that this fact gives evidence that inter-ethnic relationship will not significantly influence the escalation of Central Asian security situation in the future. Of course we have to take into consideration the fact the US military troops will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 but I seriously doubt that the US is interested in destabilization of the security situation within Central Asia. The reason is that US as minimum is interested in keeping stable situation for the period when they will withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. Moreover the US has interest to share responsibility for the security within the region and in Afghanistan in particular with Central Asian countries. We can say that the concept of a larger Central Asia which was proposed by the US analysts several years ago is also evidence that United Sates would like to share responsibility for security within the Central Asia with Central Asian countries.
The material resources are including the military equipment and some arms which might be given to some Central Asian countries after the US troops withdrew from Afghanistan, from my point of view, will not influence significantly the destabilization of the Central Asian situation in the sphere of security. Why? First of all, the Central Asian countries still have Soviet military standards. And if Uzbekistan for example will take some American equipment or even heavy weapons – how much of this equipment Uzbekistan has to receive for shifting the Soviet military standards to the NATO or US military standards, that is the question. The second point is that the US, from my point of view, are not interested to give some Central Asia countries heavy military equipment because it is a knowhow of the US military services and they will not share because the Central Asian countries are not real allies of the US like Georgia for example.
“We are not planning to participate in activities following the decisions of the EU targeted against Syria,” Lukashevich said in a statement.
In particular, Russia “will not consider requests or agree to inspect ships sailing under the Russian flag or use of any other restrictive measures against them,” Lukashevich said.
The EU Council on July 23 decided to impose a number of unilateral sanctions against Syria, Lukashevich said, adding that Russia saw such measures as violations of other countries’ sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.
The Russian Foreign Ministry previously expressed doubt on whether the new round of sanctions against Damascus imposed by the EU complied with international law and described the sanctions as a “maritime and air blockade of Syria.”
The EU obligated its members to inspect Syria-bound ships and planes from third countries if they were suspected of carrying arms for the Syrian government.
Anti-nuclear protesters, wearing gas-masks, beat metal drums as they march near the Japan’s parliament complex in Tokyo, Sunday, July 29, 2012. Thousands of the protesters rallied to demand the government abandon nuclear power after the accident last year in northern Fukushima. The word on yellow drums reads
An anti-nuclear protester wearing a mask, marches near the Japan’s parliament complex in Tokyo, Sunday, July 29, 2012. Thousands of the protesters rallied to demand the government abandon nuclear power after the accident last year in northern Fukushima. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Thousands of people formed “a human chain” around Japan’s parliament complex Sunday to demand the government abandon nuclear power _ the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations here that are on a scale not seen for decades.
Also Sunday, voters went to the polls in a closely watched regional election for governor in southwestern Yamaguchi Prefecture, where an outspoken anti-nuclear candidate is running.
Protesters said they were angry the government restarted two reactors earlier this month, despite safety worries after the multiple meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in March last year. They were the first to come back into operation since May when the last of Japan’s 50 working reactors went offline for routine checks.
Banging on drums and waving balloons and banners, protesters marched from a Tokyo park and lined up along the blocks around the parliament building, chanting, “Saikado hantai,” or “No to restarts,” and later lit candles.
“All these people have gotten together and are raising their voices,” said Shoji Kitano, 64, a retired math teacher, wearing a sign that said: “No to Nukes.”
Kitano said he had not seen such massive demonstrations since the 1960s. He stressed ordinary Japanese usually don’t demonstrate, but they were outraged over the restarting of nuclear power.
Similar demonstrations have been held outside the prime minister’s residence every Friday evening. The crowds have not dwindled, as people get the word out through Twitter and other online networking. A July 16 holiday rally at a Tokyo park, featuring a rock star and a Nobel laureate, drew nearly 200,000 people.
The crowd appeared to be smaller Sunday. Kyodo News service estimated it at about 10,000 people. Participants said they came from across Japan, underlining the widespread appeal of the protests.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda defended his decision to restart the two reactors at Ohi nuclear plant in central Japan as necessary to maintain people’s living standards. Other reactors are also expected to go back online, one by one.
Reports from government and legislative investigations have been released on the Fukushima disaster, including a recent one that blamed “the Japanese mind-set,” which it said had allowed collusion between the plant’s operator and regulators. The reports have done little to allay people’s fears.
Adding to protesters’ frustrations is the support nuclear power has gotten from regional governments, where the plants are located. They said they planned to vote anti-nuclear candidates into office to effect change.
How the anti-nuclear candidate in Yamaguchi Prefecture fares in Sunday’s election is critical in possibly signaling a break from the past. The state is home to relatively poor rural and fishing areas. Such places, far away from the capital of Tokyo, have been typically chosen to house nuclear plants, with residents won over with jobs and subsidies. There is a plan to build a nuclear plant in Yamaguchi, but doubts are growing over whether that can be carried out.
Tetsunari Iida, the Yamaguchi candidate, is against that plan and nuclear power in general.
“We can change history,” Iida wrote in an online message, criticizing “the nuclear village,” the term here that refers to the collusion between the industry and the government. “That is my choice.”
Mitt Romney would back unilateral military action by Israel against Iran‘s nuclear sites, a senior aide said as the presumptive Republican candidate embarked on a series of high-level meetings in Jerusalem.
“If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision,” Dan Senor, Romney’s senior national security aide, told reporters accompanying the candidate