Sunday, July 31, 2005

Farewell, Uzbekistan

Well, here's another dictator we've pissed off. Seems we haven't sent enough insurgents to this rotten hell-hole to have boiled, so Islam Karimov, President of this quaint Central Asian tourist spot, has given us the old heave-ho. Via by way of rubber hose:

WASHINGTON -- The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan has ended its agreement allowing U.S. military aircraft and personnel to use an air base that has been an important hub for American military operations in Afghanistan, administration officials said Saturday.

No reason Uzbekistan was evicting U.S. forces from Karshi-Khanabad air base, commonly referred to as K2, was offered by either the State Department or the Defense Department. The Washington Post, which first reported the eviction notice, said no reason was given by Uzbekistan and that U.S. forces would have six months to leave.

The New York Times reported Saturday on its Web site that a State Department official cited the abrupt action as a response to a United Nations operation to take hundreds of Uzbek refugees from the region.
Well, it's no great shakes to me, other than Rummy might be pissed at Condi for letting this happen, as it follows on some rather mild comments that the State Department make last week about the possibliity that Karimov might have shot up to 750 anti-government demonstrators the other day.

Still, this incident, and comment made by the noze have piqued my interest in other military bases that the US maintains around the world, and the issue about the permanence of the bases that we are building in Iraq. The LA Times reported this morning that we have just erected a base about three miles from the Syrian border that looks to be "long term."

So, tell me again, how soon do we leave Iraq?

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