In his latest RT live interview (video; transcript) Srdja Trifkovic discusses the U.S. State Department’s decision to give its Human Rights Defenders Award to a Kyrgyz national, Azimzhan Askarov, who, as an ethnic Uzbek activist, in 2010 played an active role in Kyrgyz-Uzbek ethnic riots that shook the country. Askarov was arrested during the violence, convicted of taking part in the murder of a Kyrgyz police officer, and is now serving a life sentence
RT: Askarov was actively supported by U.S. diplomats. Richard Miles even called him "the father of the colored revolutions." What’s the significance of his involvement?
Srdja Trifkovic: When he’s on the scene, you can be sure that there can be destabilization of the regime under the auspices of “democratic change.” The context is quite clear. Only ten days ago, Kyrgyzstan officially became a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, after passing the accession process by the parliaments of other members: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Armenia—which, of course, is a red flag to the State Department. A year earlier, the U.S. lease at Manas Air Base [near Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan] had ended, and the U.S. was watching one of its putative, important geostrategic assets in Central Asia slipping away.
It’s curious that they [the State Department] weren’t so concerned about this particular human rights case—as they call it—while they were still in possession of the Manas Airport. The sentencing came in 2011, several months after the ethnic riots. There’s no doubt we’re witnessing an activist for Uzbek separatism being lionized in much the same way as Albanian separatists in Serbia, who were actively involved in the clashes with police and the military in the late 1990s, were being celebrated and feted in Washington as “human rights activists” and “victims of violence.” This is just more of the same: whenever relations between the U.S. and a certain country deteriorate because the country is no longer keen to be the U.S. strategic asset, then—like a joker from the sleeve—human rights activists are produced. In this particular case, most likely, guilty of grievous crimes.
RT: Let’s speak more about the significance of Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. had a presence at the country’s Manas Air Base for many years. How important is the country to the Americans?
ST: It’s funny that there is no country in the world that isn’t "important" to the Americans nowadays. Central Asia is the very heart of what Scottish geographer [Halford] Mackinder would have called “the Heartland.” It is an area where, ostensibly, the U.S. doesn’t have vital interests. It’s a land-locked country, one of many in the former Soviet Central Asia, an area which is logically—if we look at the map—a field where Russia, China, and perhaps to a lesser extent, India, have vital interests, but certainly not the U.S. The U.S. interest in Kyrgyzstan is purely the reflection of the strategy of full spectrum global dominance. In other words, there isn’t a single square foot in the world where “vital U.S. national interests” are not involved.
I’m rather glad that Kyrgyzstan has seen the light and decided to throw in its lot with the Eurasian Economic Union, because in practical terms, in terms of its economic development, especially agriculture; and in geopolitical terms, that’s where it should look for its future, that’s where the future investment will come from. Depending on an umbilical cord that is 7,000-8,000 miles long, with distant friends on the other side of the Atlantic in this particular case, would not have been a rational strategy for the nation.
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles, is the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.