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The Glorious Shogunate of Kagetora (Factbook)

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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Kagetora
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The Glorious Shogunate of Kagetora (Factbook)

Postby Kagetora » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:18 pm

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Kagetora
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Re: Kagetorian Shogunate

Postby Kagetora » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:20 pm

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If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
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Re: Kagetorian Shogunate

Postby Kagetora » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:49 pm

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If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
Caladan Imperium||Montgomery Broadcasting [EII]

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Re: Kagetorian Shogunate

Postby Kagetora » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:10 pm

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If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
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Re: Kagetorian Shogunate (Factbook)

Postby Kagetora » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:18 am

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If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
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Kagetora
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Founded: Sep 18, 2007
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Re: Kagetorian Shogunate (Factbook)

Postby Kagetora » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:27 am

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If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
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Kagetora
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Re: Kagetorian Shogunate (Factbook)

Postby Kagetora » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:02 am

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If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
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Re: The Glorious Shogunate of Kagetora (Factbook)

Postby Kagetora » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:17 pm

OOC: I ask that this post PLEASE not be deleted, even if the subject of it is considered spam. I'm posting it in my own factbook, so it won't bug anyone. For those who care, this post will likely be updated as I create more. People are free to use these, but please give me credit for creating them.

Also, if you have any ideas you want me to make, comments, complaints, send me a TG. I do not respond to posts in this thread.

Depository for NS related Demotivational Posters created by Kagetora

August 17th, 2009
Godmodding
Newbstomping
Striking Oil
Striking Oil 2

August 18th, 2009
TL;DR
TL;DR 2
Super Soldiers
Read the Stickies
Read the Stickies 2
KGB
Reppyism
Reppyism 2
Reppyism 3
Reppyism 4
Reppyism 5
Lern 2 Spel

August 19th, 2009
GWO
Flaming
Overkill
Ignore
Ignore 2
Ignore 3

November 23rd, 2009
Kagetora
ODECON
Nooklear Holocaust
Comaack
The ODEBOAT
Last edited by Kagetora on Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.
If you want help with something, simply send me a telegram. I'll do my best to respond intelligently, and if I can't I'll refer you to someone who can.
Caladan Imperium||Montgomery Broadcasting [EII]

User avatar
Kagetora
Minister
 
Posts: 2189
Founded: Sep 18, 2007
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Postby Kagetora » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:32 pm

He grimaced as he looked at what he had done for the first time without bloodshot eyes. The figure of what used to be a man lay at his feet, the face hardly recognizable through the blood. The mouth was a mess of broken teeth, and indents exactly the size of a hammerhead dotted the forehead. The rest of the body was in little better condition. The fingers were bent in ways they normally would not be able to, and the forearms resembled the face, evidence to the final, futile attempts of self-preservation. Ribs, cracked and shattered, pierced both the lungs below and the skin above, and left odd lumps where they didn't.



Staring down at his prostrate victim, he felt no remorse, no happiness. Simply satisfaction. This man had stolen everything from him, leaving nothing, nothing at all. His wife? Long dead. His children? Taken away by a government that deemed him unfit to care for his own flesh and blood. His belongings? Sold off one by one to cover basic necessities.



There had been no primal yell in the final moments, no final breath. He had merely panted and grunted as he brought the hammer crashing down over and over. The victim had merely released a weak gurgling as the metal had broken the weak flesh, breaking the windpipe and blood filled his throat.



Standing, he dropped the weapon, and it fell to the carpet with a muffled thump. He wasn't finished yet though. Death wasn't all he had planned. Grabbing the collar of the corpse's bloodstained shirt, he dragged the body into the kitchen, taking care to leave as much as a trail as possible. Quickly the ground was a dark red.



Unceremoniously, he dropped the cadaver. For the first time, he let out a yell as he further defaced the body with his feet, breaking whatever bones in the chest that were as of yet unbroken. For a long time he continued, using his fists when his legs tired, and then finding whatever objects he could that were sharp or blunt and brought them cascading down. For a long time, he released his anger, his frustration, his resentment, his hatred, upon the limp body that lay before him.



Eventually, even his rage was exhausted and he collapsed against the counter and slid down onto the wooden floor. He lay there for a minute, panting. He wasn't even yet, he would never be. But there was nothing more he could do.



Heaving, beads of sweat rolling down his face, mixing with fiery tears of rage, he managed to cough, "Remember before you said you'd give me anything I want? I want my family back."


With a final swing, the nail finished embedding itself into the wood. In the summer sun, even such a simple task was enough to work up a sweat. Staring up into the cloudless sky, he wiped his brow with his gloved hand and breathed out, or rather rasped out. He needed something to drink.



Standing up, he transferred the hammer in his hand to the loop at his belt. Careful to keep his balance even as the fatigue of midday set in, he walked along the unfinished frame of the unfinished house.



"Where are you going?"



Who was that? Everybody was on the other side of the foundation, and he knew everybody here by voice. Turning around, he saw nobody.



Eh, it was just the wind.



He continued on his way. The heat must be playing games with his mind. Nothing a cold hard beer couldn't fix. He'd reached the end of the narrow walkway before he heard another voice, different than the first one, again behind him. Younger, childlike even. It didn't say anything, it was just... giggling.



Turning around again, he looked for a source. Finding none and again attributing it to the heat, he looked again towards the ladder.



A child sat on the top rung, wearing overalls and an old fashioned cap. Black dust was smudged all over his back and he kept dusting even more off his sleeves. The child didn't seem to notice his surroundings, happily laughing and playing with something in his lap.



"Hello?"



The child didn't respond, instead continuing to play with whatever was in his lap. Wait, he wasn't playing with it. He kept bringing it up to his mouth. He must be eating it.



"Hey there sonny. It's awfully dangerous here."



Still no response. Putting out his hand, he put it on the child's shoulder. Even in the heat of the afternoon sun and the thick material of the clothing he wore, it was cold to the touch.



Turning around, the child's face came into view, flickering. Blood was all over the lower half of his face, but still he giggled. Holding out his left arm, what he had been eating was repulsively obvious. Half of his fingers were missing, bloody stumps marking where they'd been moments before.



"I can' eat it aww. You want some?"


He glanced up. Still, he was surrounded by emptiness, and yet all around him wet pines towered, reaching for the clouds. Apart from the gentle pattering of rain on earth and wood, the only noise was his a plodding splash and his foot hit the ground and squelch as his foot left it.



Drawing his jacket closer, he shifted his pack higher. He had a long way to go through the elements still. The path was paved with puddles, but he didn't bother to move to either side to avoid them, his socks and shoes had been soaked through for at least an hour now. What more could a little water do?



Looking back down again, he saw his reflection mirrored in the ground. How odd it seemed, to see the gray sky, his own skin, the green trees, and then beyond that, and yet much closer, the brown earth. But it was worthy only of a brief glance, a momentary distraction, before moving on. As he climbed the hill, the path grew slicker and he had to dig his feet into the muck to prevent from tumbling back.



It wasn't a big hill, and it wasn't long before he reached the top. Taking his hands out of his pockets he stretched his arms wide. Going downhill would be easier than going up, but it was still raining.



He took a step and the earth disappeared below him. Tumbling down, mud covered everything, water soaked what wasn't already, and a myriad of rocks and roots, sticks and stones bumped and bruised whatever was unfortunate enough to end up on bottom. It seemed like it took a long time to get to the bottom, but it only lasted a couple of seconds. When he finally reached it, he stood up and shook himself, wiping off the grime and slicking off the water.



It took him several seconds to notice it had stopped raining. But he still had long way to go through the elements.


They stood in silence in a circle, staring down at what they had done. There was nothing more that could have been done, the best doctors, the best surgeons, the best tools, the best technology. The head surgeon looked up at his team. The anaesthesiologist crossed his heart before kissing his hand and looking down, and the rest just stood in silence.



Dr. Fulton took off his gloves and walked out of the room. The others could alert the necessary people, that wasn't his job. Walking to his office, he felt his world coming down around him. At 29, this wasn't the first time he had come across death in the operating room, but never before had he lost someone under the knife, under his own knife. There was no one to blame but himself, and someone so young, in their late teens.



Sitting in his office minutes later he looked down, fingers trembling as he filled out the necessary paperwork. Unable to concentrate he removed his glasses and rubbed his exhausted eyes with tired hands, and came to a rest with his knees on the desk and his head in his hands. He didn't want to move, he didn't want to think. He'd killed someone. Unintentionally, but even so. What was her name anyway? It started with a K didn't it?



"Dr. Fulton, the donor's asking to know how the operation went." said the intercom. Fulton took one hand away from his face and without looking just pressed his open palm in the general area of the button. Feeling something depress, he replied.



"I'll be right down."



He sighed as he pushed himself up and left his chair. It was a long walk to the waiting area, and it was impressive that the donor was walking already, even with crutches. The doctor decided he wasn't gonna take the elevator.



The hallways were suitably empty as he made his slow, almost painful way downstairs. While it was mere minutes that passed, each step seemed much shorter. It's funny how time seems to warp based on what's going to happen.



Dr. Fulton paused when he finally got down to the lobby where the donor waited. The young man stood there, beaming, leaning on his crutches in the crowded lobby. Weakly walking over to the surgeon he continued smiling even through the pain in his back. Finally he stood in front of Fulton, panting.



"How is she? Can I go see her?"



Fulton shook his head, and the young man's face fell.



"Why not? Is she ok?"



Fulton pursed his lips and squeezed his eyes, a single tear running down his cheek. "Are you her brother?"



This time it was the young man's turn for silence as he shook his head.



"Boyfriend?"



"Fiance."



With that, he turned and slowly walked toward the door, his head held high. He walked looking up, so his tears wouldn't touch the ground.


The wall was warm, heated by the sun that was starting to set over the city skyline. The sounds of the city surrounded them, even as high as they were. Cars honked as people crossed the streets at inopportune times, the endless pattering of thousands of feet rose up, and a multitude of unidentifiable noise cacophonied towards them.



But they didn't notice, they had fallen asleep long ago, so far above it all. The world below was just that, a world apart. The rest of the world was inconsequential, unnecessary. They were together.



They slept side by side, propped against the wall, huddling close as the winds cooled their bodies and tousled their hair until it was indistinguishable whose was whose. His arm was wrapped around her waist, holding her close even as they dreamed. Her head rested on his shoulder, and his cheek atop her head. Though the clouds tumbled across the sky behind them and birds strutted along the rooftop in front of them, time stood still for them. They were together.



As the sun finally disappeared and the earth cooled, she finally moved, somehow managing to move even closer against his side and pulling her legs in. Disturbed by the movement, he opened his eyes with a yawn and breathed in, his senses suddenly offended by the rest of the world that wasn't her. As beautiful as the cityscape was as the natural light was replaced by the billboards, neon signs, and headlights, it didn't compare to the beauty on his shoulder.



It was colder and quieter than before. Uncomfortably so. With a light shake, he woke her, and they left. The rooftop was once again empty. But sometime soon, there would again be a couple. Maybe the same, maybe different. But it didn't matter, because whoever it was, they would be together.


The air is cold. Cold enough to see your breath as it crystallizes in front of you. But it isn't uncomfortable. The water is colder, and only a single set of tracks marks where anyone has been in the water. Otherwise, there is no sign of life.



The sky is gray, matching the water. Cloud meets wave over the horizon, with nothing visible above the waves. Not a ship, not a swimmer, not even a gull. Just emptiness. Nothing is moving but the endless waves, perpetual motion perpetually grinding the rocky shore. Despite the emptiness, or possibly because of it, the ocean is calm as it washes the shore of its past. Washes away the glory, the shame. Washing way its existence itself.



Nothing grows on the beach, matching the waves. Nothing green, just gray. Nothing red, just gray. Nothing blue, just gray. Impassible cliffs lead to the water, towering over the rest. Here, the water is not calm. It writhes and twists into eddies and tides, pools and untouched areas where gray sand gathers only to be scattered by the gusts of winds. The power of the water has ground these rocks down into a fraction of their original size, their smooth fronts rivaled only by their jagged backs.



And yet, with nothing growing, there is still life. A single man stands upon the rocks, seemingly ignorant of the weather. He holds his shoes even on the rough surface, the bottom of his shorts darkened by the unforgiving spray.



He doesn't tolerate the power of the waves, the strength of the wind. He revels in it. He stands firm as his hair is whipped back and forth. He doesn't budge as he is slowly drenched by the froth and the spray.



But even when the elements cannot bring one down, there is always one thing that can. One that can topple governments, makes the strong weak, and even bring cliffs crashing into the water. Time.



As the sun sets imperceptibly, noticeable only by the gradual darkening of the world, he leaves.



And once again, the beach, with all of its power and majesty, is once again empty. Once again, the beach, eternal, is lifeless. Only the power of the waves, the strength of the winds, remain.


Have you ever just sat and thought late at night? Maybe it's about her, or him, or whatever you did that day. It doesn't really matter what it is you're thinking about. Really, as long as you're by yourself and on your bed or even your floor it works. Surrounded by familiar walls. Your mood doesn't matter. Happy or sad, angry or frightened, as long as you're thinking.



Just sit there, deep in thought, and then suddenly you stop doing even that and you're just lying there, staring at your ceiling, and the world is silent, and everything is at peace. You forget the troubles around you, the fights you had with your friends, the quarrels with your family. You forget everything, and the world is quiet as even the insects and the rain, the frogs and the wind stand still.



But something is still not silent, even then. If you listen closely, you can hear something you can't anywhere else. You can finally hear yourself, without words or sounds, you can finally tell yourself what you want, what you need. You hear your favorite memories, worst thoughts, everything you've ever known and everything you will. Never than at this time, are you more you.



And then the moment is gone. Maybe you realized that you hadn't been breathing. Maybe something started moving again, somewhere. It doesn't matter what happened, but you realize that for once you were finally at peace, finally yourself, and that moment is gone. You stop being yourself again, pressured by those around you into a compromise between you and what everybody else wants you to be. You realize that you might never have that feeling again, and long for it. You try to get it back, but as long as you're looking for it, you'll never find it.



Don't move or you'll miss it.


He'd never fired a gun before, much less owned one. It felt cold, bulky, It didn't feel like something a civilized person should be holding or using. But times had changed. People weren't civilized anymore, the social conscience having gone up in flames with the great flash, and the world's dark underbelly was showing, overwhelming what humanity had once been.



The fire of the house across the street threw around the block the shadows of fiends that emerged to run free in the hearts of men, corrupting their spirits, filling them with greed. His eyes reflected the hungering spirit of the fire as they flickered back and forth at the sounds of footsteps and cars, screams and shouts, and gunshots.



He was almost grateful he was alone, even in this hell. It was hard enough to feed himself, find ammunition, and find shelter for one. Although he mourned for his brother, he also envied him. He didn't spend days without food anymore, stay awake for days when raiders were near. He didn't want for water or soap. His clothes didn't need washing or mending.



A figure stood between him and the fire, the silhouette clear. No hair was on its head, but there were giant holes in its ear lobes that allowed light to shine through, and the long thin barrel of a gun was clearly shadowed by the flickering flame.



From his hiding spot, he slowly rose his gun to his shoulder and looked down the primitive sights. Leveling the barrel at the stranger, he waited for the figure to move, unwilling to waste a shot when they were so rare.



The figure was hunched over now, and the gun it held fell to the ground without making a sound. It was down on all fours now, nose to the ground. Sniffing. It's head moved back and forth, side to side on the ground, limbs shuffling around.



Then suddenly it stopped. Stopped and stared. Stared at him.



Still in hiding, he pulled the trigger.



Nothing happened, so he pulled it again. Nothing happened. He started panicking now, because the figure was coming closer, still on all fours. He started frantically pulling the trigger.



Click.



Hearing the gun, it rose up and howled to the night, and charged. Dirty fingernails outstretched, finding purchase first in earth, and then in flesh. Gnashing teeth were at his throat, and the last thing he saw was the rabid eye of what was once a man.



Jolting awake, he held his gun tighter to his chest and shuddered, closing his eyes to the world. Maybe if he didn't see the horrors of reality, he could escape it, if only for a moment. When the tremors had passed, he opened them again.



There, a figure stood between him and the fire.


'Not another one...' he thought to himself, though in his heart he knew that this was barely the tip of the iceberg. Thousands had come already, and thousands more were sure to come. Few had escaped the flashes unscathed.



This one came in half naked, the left half of his clothes burned off, replaced instead by burns that made him barely recognizable as a human being. He, or maybe it was a she, it was hard to tell, was quickly surrounded by overworked nurses, their grimy hands leading the figure to an overcrowded room. Those who knew didn't want to go to that one, the one bitterly named Kingdom Come. Nothing further could still be done for those unfortunate souls.



Amid the flashing lights, the blaring sirens, the piercing screams, the horrendous clamor, he saw a colleague asleep. A miracle. She was slumped in a chair at the foot of a patient's bed, the heart rate monitor behind it showing no activity. Exhaustion must have had finally claimed the tireless hero. Neat strips of cloth were missing from the sleeves and tail of her labcoat, evidence that they had run out of bandages hours ago. Worse, they were running low on anesthetics.



"Sir..."



Fumbling with his hands on his jacket, he yet again wiped blood off, adding to the growing gore, and looked around for a sanitary wipe. Finding none, he shrugged. There was nothing to be done.



"Sir..."



Pulling a needle off the shelf, he found the patient he was looking for on his clipboard, double checking the signage on the door to ensure his bearings were correct.



Jason Baxter, 24. Comatose victim of a car accident. On life support for four (4) years.



"Sir."



He felt a tugging on his sleeve, and turned, lethal needle in hand. At his elbow stood a young nurse. In other times she might have been pretty, but the grease in her hair, stains on her uniform, blood on her hands, and grime on her face took much away from any such image.



"Just a moment."



Turning back to his task, he found the IV line. Squirting a tiny drop out and seemingly satisfied with what he found, he plunged it into the bag and injected its lethal package without remorse. He had been told being a doctor meant making hard decisions, but this wasn't one of them. It was hard enough caring for the living. It was only a few moments before even the gentle breathing of the man on the bed stopped.



'He's one of the lucky ones.'



"Sir, Dr. Roberts needs you in the Pregnancy Ward."



Paralyzed, he didn't feel like he could bring another life into this misery, but he was duty bound to do whatever he could. Turning away from his act of mercy a single thought rushed through his head.



Oh god. Not another one.


Stuff I've written that I want to get out.

The situation in the Middle East is strained, and has been for many years. The entrance of the United States and her allies into the region has merely added yet another set of competing adjectives to the fold. America, the land of the free and home of the brave, the liberator, the democratic stronghold of the world, seems to be holding a double standard. While we have liberated Iraq from a powerful dictator, and taken our revenge upon the terrorists in Afghanistan, we regularly deal with oppressive and authoritarian regimes in the neighboring countries of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The contradictory and mutually counter-productive policies the US government has formulated must be reformed if we wish to accomplish our military goals without compromising American lives and values.



Since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the infamous 9/11, the United States and her allies have been continuously involved in Bush’s ongoing War on Terror. Over the last decade, thousands of Americans have given their lives, thousands more have been deployed to combat roles, and thousands more have been deployed in auxiliary roles to support those in the line of fire. Although the bulk of those deployed to support the Afghanistan War were deployed to Afghanistan, other bases in the region have also received many Americans. Karshi-Khanabad (K2) air base in Uzbekistan and Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan have provided critical support, transportation, and supplies to American military assets, Afghani civilians, and the newly instated Afghan government. As the war continues to push insurgents and extremists into hiding and the surrounding countries, the need for these bases continues to support the more and more isolated and distant hot zones. The soldiers being funneled in Iraq, many of them into Afghanistan, do nothing to help the need for these bases either. Perhaps when the elusive Osama Bin Laden is caught, American leaders can pull our troops out of such an unpopular conflict, but for now, his presence and the wave of destabilizing democratic protests in the region mean we’re there to stay.



In regards to the nearby countries of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, some describe the situation as “America’s War With Itself” (Shishkin). The US government, in its attempts to meet its own self-imposed goals on its self-imposed deadline, has to a large extent ignored the abuse of human rights, the authoritarianism, and the rampant unrest in these countries. Kyrgyzstan, relatively democratic when compared with the authoritarian states in the vicinity, could become a natural and valuable ally in the near future, but America’s “blinkered policy” has given Russian diplomats more influence and courage in the small and fragile nation. Uzbekistan has received a little more humanitarian attention, with the condemnation of a violent episode in 2005 and subsequent aid given to refugees, but the efforts put forward by the government are woefully small and seem to point to a double standard in American policy-making. As the war drags on, it seems unlikely that American policy will change from its current military orientation, with a new oil contract recently awarded to an undisclosed American firm which has been able to produce cheap oil, with many suspecting the low costs coming from the corruption of the Uzbek government (Shishkin par. 6). With a new rights issue appearing in Uzbekistan, in the form of the jailing of Abdulmalik Boboyev, journalist for Voice of America, the US gets another chance to redeem its poor practices over the past years, but Joshua Kucera, analyst and journalist for EurasiaNet.org , doesn’t expect them to do so.



That being said, there’s something to be said for the policies currently employed. Namely, it has worked thus far, with only one notable hiccup. In 2005, when the US condemned the Uzbek government for killing 500 of its own citizens in the Andijan Massacre, the oppressive regime expelled Americans from Karshi-Khanabad air base. Those opposed to reform would point to this incident as a strong reason why officials have been hesitant to push humanitarian issues. (Shishkin par. 9) Although they are unlikely to admit to such a claim, pushing these issues would likely increase business costs as the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan find alternative sources of income, rather than rely on American leases, and companies America relies on would be unable to use bribery to reduce the price of transportation of goods and oil. The volatile situation in both of these Central Asian countries also creates an argument against pushing reform. In Kyrgyzstan, the ousted authoritarian leader Bakiyev was replaced with a more liberal one, but this has potentially further destabilized the country, as Bakiyev has fled south to rally his followers. Attempting to pressure the Uzbeks could embolden potential rebels and lead to a revolution and a civil war.



The situation in Uzbekistan is already tenuous and unstable, and the American government needs to account for the multitude of factions existing within the country. Discontented protestors of President Islam Karimov’s oppressive government were fired upon by federal soldiers in 2005. The Andijan Massacre, as this has become known, has official estimates of about 500 dead and undisclosed numbers of wounded. (Wright, Tyson par. 9) The surrounding region has erupted in protests as Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, Libyan, Jordanian, Mauritanian, Sudanese, and many other countries’ liberal movements have been protesting over the past several months, and Egypt has experienced a revolution. It would not be unlikely for this democratic fervor to spill over the borders into Uzbekistan and ignite the powder keg of ill will that has existed for awhile against the government. The current policy pursued by American leaders will probably upset the liberal protestors, and must be reformed to accommodate the liberal wing, while still appeasing the authoritarian regime in control. If we don’t, the liberals are more likely to view the American presence as an artifact of the old, authoritarian, and corrupt government that would need to be removed, and indeed, there is “plenty of discontent to prey on” (Fergana par. 7) Many farmers have lost their land recently in the Andijan Valley, and suicide bombing attacks have increased in the region (Fergana par. 3). With the regrouping of extremists, it isn’t a stretch to imagine a general rising in the area.



The unrest in Uzbekistan comes largely from the human rights abuse by the government, and if the American government wishes to maintain an image as the world’s preeminent supporter of human rights and equality, we need to do more to support these victims. Beyond the obvious, the Andijan Massacre, Uzbekistan is known to jail even mild civil rights supporters. It’s also not unheard of for the government to come up with false charges, deny visitors and medical necessities, and unfair trials. For instance, independent and outspoken journalist Abdurakhmanov had marijuana and opium planted on the underside of his car, the police didn’t take proper investigative actions, he was subjected to an unfair trial, and after being sentenced to ten years in jail, the decision has been upheld twice on appeal. (Imprisoned par. 3,4) Another example of imprisoned human rights reformers includes Azam Formonov, member of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan. He was arrested with another member of the organization in 2006, on charges of attempted blackmail. After being tried without an attorney or public defender, Formonov was sentenced to nine years in prison. Since then, he has discussed how he had been tortured during trial proceedings, is held at a “severe” regime prison when he was sentenced to a “general” regime prison, has been tortured while in prison, and been subjected to unfair punishments while in prison. He has been denied amnesty, and visitations have been limited and cut short for his family. (Imprisoned par. 12-18) These unfair imprisonments and many other similar situations in other countries would receive not only more media attention, but possible American intervention. Recently, a situation has come up that directly affects America and her interests in the small country. Abdulmalik Boboyev, a journalist for the Voice of America paper, has been arrested for charges of defamation and being a “threat to public order and security.” (Kucera par. 2) At the time, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe released a statement that condemned the actions of the Uzbek government, but the US embassy in Tashkent hadn’t released any opinions prior to the trial. (Kucera par. 3-6) Since the trial, which fined him roughly $11,000, and the appeal, Boboyev and his lawyer claim that “at the trial that no proof of his client’s guilt had been presented at the trial.” (Ruling Upheld par. 4) Even so, the Tashkent City Court has upheld the decision made by the Mirzo-Ulugbek Court, and a further fine of $8,200. The United States seems to be ignoring these issues, taking few stances. The government cannot continue to do nothing as innocent civilians are imprisoned, fined, and massacred in Uzbekistan, while at the same time supporting military intervention in Libya.



The nearby country of Kyrgyzstan also suffers from a violent and fractured political structure which threatens American interests and needs to be monitored and accounted for. Six years ago now, the Kyrgyz government was subject to a revolution after “disputed parliamentary elections.” The widespread dissatisfaction came from the rampant “corruption and authoritarianism” of the government (Salih par. 6).In early 2010, the Kyrgyz government was overthrown after violent clashes between protestors and police forces (Salih par. 1) Roza Otunbayeva, former foreign minister, has taken control of the government and has maintained control ever since, but the situation remains volatile. In August of the same year, a businessman and party leader attempted to lead a “heavily armed” coup against the established government, but failed (Attempted coup). His known supporters were arrested and their weapons seized. The US government, though worried about the possible increase of the rent of Manas Air Base, has done nothing to stop the internal violence or create stability. Especially now that the UN coalition is very publicly intervening in Libya, the US actions seem hypocritical. How can the government take action in some countries, but not in others?



Since the beginning of the Cold War, Washington finds a rival across the world in Moscow, where politicians are doing everything they can to hinder American goals. In 2009, Bakiyev, then leader of Kyrgyzstan, announced that Manas would be closed in exchange for “more than $2 billion in emergency assistance and investments from Russia” (Cooley par. 2) The deal fell through when Obama personally intervened and the rent increased from 20 million to 60 million (Salih par. 13), before the president’s intervention however, a Russian analyst publicly declared the Russian-Kyrgyz talks produced the “most desirable outcome for Moscow” (Manas air base closure par. 2). Since then Otunbayeva has met with Putin, where Russia pledged an undisclosed amount of aid to the Central Asian country, and they have reportedly forged “better” relations with Russia (Kanli par. 5). American government officials also fear increased Moscow influence over negotiations between Washington and Bishkek (Salih par. 10), despite both “US and Russian officials declared their willingness to pursue some basic cooperation that might avert a new round of Manas-related bidding and competition” (Cooley pg. 5). The government, in pursuing military-centric policies, have somewhat pushed away the Kyrgyz government and given the Russians wiggle room. The government needs to pursue a more wholesome policy so as to exclude the Muscovites from influencing American deals. Ensuring American deals will remain profitable to the Kyrgyz people and government needs to be balanced with completing American military goals.



With all of these complications and rival factions vying for control of these small countries, it might almost seem easier for American assets to be withdrawn from these countries entirely, but that is simply not an option if American military objectives are to be achieved. Manas Air Base “has been an important hub supporting the war effort in Afghanistan since the US military opened it in December 2001” (Cooley pg. 2). The US, having used Manas as both a transit center for supplies and arms and before that as a staging center for the invasion, (Salih par. 9) cannot afford to lose such an important military installation. Similarly, Uzbek base Karshi-Khanabad “average[s] 200 passengers and 100 tons of cargo per day” (Global Security par. 9). K2 continues to play a vital role in the region, and is “well known by military aircrews as the most hospitable and efficient airfield in the region” (Global Security par. 6). Beyond the statistics that show America needs these installations, government spokespeople have also supported this opinion. In May of 2005, Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman stated that access to K2 is “undeniably critical in supporting our combat operations” (Wright par. 6). In July of the same year, shortly after America was served an eviction notice from K2, inquisitive journalists asked how the military would deal with the loss. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in keeping with the obscurity of politics, merely responded “We always think ahead. We’ll be fine” (Wright par. 4). For those familiar with political jargon, the lack of definitive answer means they don’t know how they’re going to deal with the situation, further lending credibility to the idea that these bases are necessary. American policy makers need to balance what seems like it could be a black and white issue. On the one hand, you can push political reforms as hard as you do in other countries. Alternatively, the government can ignore human rights and ensure we will continue to hang onto our bases. However, the danger in the first of losing bases and increasing the difficulty of continuing the war ensure this isn’t an option. At the same time, the hypocrisy of the second when America prides itself on protecting the people rules this out as well. Finding a delicate balance between the two will be a difficult task.



However, we definitely have the power to push more than we have been. In Uzbekistan, in order to support the Afghani economy, the government has sponsored the creation of the Northern Distribution Network. Contracts to build railroads have been awarded to an Uzbek firm, Ozbekiston Temir Yollari, have poured over one hundred million dollars into the Uzbek economy (McDermott par. 1). This source of income is also protected by American assets, and is more or less guaranteed. Some analysts believe that threatening to drop American protection or ending the trade along this route would deprive the Uzbek government of a massive source of income, and can be used as leverage to promote civil rights (Kucera). That’s not the only way America can fiscally threaten the Uzbek government. The American government has been giving Uzbekistan and other countries millions of dollars in financial aid, which it has often withheld due to the lack of political and economic reforms (Wright par. 14). Continuing to withhold this money is a strong incentive for the Uzbeks to rethink their hard policy. We also have many friends in both the governments and the populations of both countries. The Kyrgyz communities surrounding Manas provide a great example of the bonds created between Americans and these Central Asians. In 2006, “local mayors were invited by Col. Randy Kee… for a comprehensive tour of the base” (Bonds of Friendship par. 6). Grass root groups such as these can help to put pressure on the local government, and in turn, on a more national scale. American diplomats wouldn’t be alone when they push.



But really, what’s the point of pushing? Isn’t it just unnecessary risk? Not at all. American influence is likely to succeed in pushing economic, social, and political reforms, and as has typically been the case, a more democratic government will be friendlier with the US government. As is the case in Uzbekistan, the increased cooperation between the two governments will reduce labor costs in achieving American goals by increasing infrastructure and helping ferry supplies to American assets (McDermott par. 4). Just as importantly, the Uzbek and Kyrgyz governments also can gain much needed stability by passing reform. The general corruption and authoritarianism has potentially radicalized many in the region, and even threatens a north-south civil war in Kyrgyzstan.



America needs to put pressure on the countries of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to pass civil reforms. Historically, the United States has stood for freedom, for liberty, for justice, and the common man. We cannot remain hypocritical, supporting some beleaguered peoples, such as in Libya, and ignoring others. At the same time, American policy makers cannot forget military goals, and the reason we created these bases in the first place. The War in Afghanistan must remain a priority, and between these two goals, a careful balancing act must be maintained.
Last edited by Kagetora on Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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