Monday, August 01, 2005

Pragmatism vs Principle

There are two sides forming on the blogosphere as to whether our decision to stand up for human rights in Uzbekistan, at the cost of losing our base at K-2, was the proper thing. Austin Bay has a little discussion of this. Personally I think it was the right decision. Karimov is a vicious dictator who presents more of liability to us than an asset. It is unfortunate to lose the base, especially after spending so much money on it, but giving the appearance of supporting this type of a government just for political expediancy would be even worse. Yes, Karimov may have so legitimate concerns regardining Islamic fundamentalists, but his repressive policies are going to make the problem worse. By banning practically any display of Islam, he is going to drive otherwise moderate Soviet style vodka drinking Muslims towards the extremists.