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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

When a nation changes its mind

Or two nations, as in this case:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld held separate meetings with leaders in Kyrgyzstan, who promised continued base facilities in the country, and in Tajikistan, which permits flyover, fueling and emergency operations. The public assurances marked an official turnaround by the countries, both of which on July 5 joined Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in recommending a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign troops. The United States has used the bases and air access rights since the 2001 war in Afghanistan. (Washington Post: Rumsfeld Wins Assurances in Central Asia; Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Say U.S. Can Still Use Bases (reg. prob. req.))

What the article doesn't state is what possessed those two countries to change so drastically in a matter of 21 days. What powerful influence could the U.S. have possibly applied to make two countries do such an about face? How much money changed hands? Or, did they change their collective positions just because Mr. Rumsfeld visited? Surely they wouldn't go all gaga like he was some celebrity hanging out at a skate park for photo ops.

Click images for 640 x 480 versions.

Photo credit: I did not take these photos. They were taken last summer at a suburban Chicago park by someone in the Chicago area skating scene and sent to someone else in the Springfield area skating scene and thereafter procured by someone else in the Springfield skating scene who sent them to me.

Posted by Marie at July 27, 2005 12:58 AM


I think Rummy probably suggested that if those countries didn't want our crack 150,000-strong WMD search team coming in and spreading democracy all over the place, they might want to reconsider their positions.

Posted by: Dan at July 28, 2005 8:35 PM

Yeah. I bet you're right.

Posted by: Marie at July 28, 2005 11:49 PM