Global Citizen: May 2008 Archives
[Image: AP/Wide World Photos - Donald Rumsfeld and Islam Karimov]
Sabrina Tavernise wrote yesterday in the NY Times about how the
Western governments say further ostracizing Uzbekistan by extending sanctions -- America's come up for consideration in June -- will cause it to close back up, increasing instability in a region of vital energy transportation routes and strategic proximity to the war in Afghanistan.
A newly softened tone has already paid political dividends. After Andijon and a volley of criticism from Washington,
Uzbekistanejected the United Statesfrom a military base that was supplying the war effort in . Though there are not yet plans for the base to reopen, the Uzbeks have allowed the Americans limited access to a German base at Termez, and Afghanistan Uzbekistanrecently offered NATO the use of its railway to ship goods to . Afghanistan
That highlights the difficult questions that relations with
Uzbekistanraise for American foreign policy: How much influence should the try to exercise -- if any at all -- over another country's behavior? And will that country be receptive, given the abuse, indefinite detentions and closed tribunals that have been part of the United States ' record in recent years? United States
I posted last week about an Italian man who was locked up by
Customs and Border Patrol for 10 days without cause and then sent back to
But for anyone who thought that nativism and government overreach were strictly American phenomena, the last week has shown otherwise.
It may comfort some in the
However, these diagnoses are mistaken.
The dysfunctional international political system permits an
unconstrained superpower like the
This was the first May Day march I had participated in. It was a lot of fun, and emotionally and (in a strictly secular way :-) ) spiritually uplifting, but I kind of felt like I had missed the party. I heard about crowds exponentially larger in 2006 and substantially larger last year. But apparently, frustration in the pro-migrant community with the lack of progress toward comprehensive reform and fear instilled by widescale raids over the past year-and-a-half had combined to ratchet down participation in this year's march. (With my own eyeballs, I estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 marchers--not something you see every day parading down Broadway, but certainly not the numbers seen in recent years.) It's a shame, because things are about as bad now as they've ever been for migrants in the
The low numbers, then, are a clear indication that the
restrictionists--backed squarely by the