Kyrgyzstan's Government Toppled.
Silver Spring Travel Blog› entry 4 of 19 › view all entries
Maybe I was just paying less attention back in 2005, but I do not remember this much media attention devoted to the "Tulip Revolution" which sent Akaev packing for Moscow. Bakiyev was betrayed by the very forces that helped him topple Akayev in the first place. So now it looks like Roza Otunbayeva, Social Democrat, career diplomat, and politician will head the caretaker government. She has already announced that elections will be held in 6 months, that families of victims will received financial assistance, and that she will negotitate with Bakiyev for his resignation. Sure it's just talk coming from a damaged capital city, but that's more than most revolutionaries pretend to promise.
I have seen a lot of commentary which suggests that the riots were "unplanned and disorganized." Really? What kind of disorganized, unplanned protest tracks down the interior minister and beats him, marches purposefully on government buildings (including Bakiyev's home), topples an autocrat, secures 4 of 7 seven provinces, holds a press conference, and gains the support of the Russian government - all in 24 hours! This was well-organized.
And then of course there is the tiresome coverage of the American-run Manas Military Base. "Planes still flying - kinda!" Well, swell. But I don't really care at all. So it's a base for operations in one of our two catastrophic wars.
To me this seems like a revolution in which otherwise peaceful intellectuals decided to take the Machiavelli route to power. Otunbayeva has just been sitting on the sidelines of power her whole life watching less capable people than herself lead the country. There must have been some point when she and the other former Bakiyev allies decided that their only route to power was to manipulate the poor into commiting acts of directed violence. To be honest, I expect good things from an Otunbayeva government. I'm sure she will do a much better job of playing more powerful countries off one another - something that successful leaders of small countries have done since time immemorial. Women leaders are arguably less prone to nepotism. But what do I know - I am writing this post on a website called "travbuddy."
I was considering flying home from Bishkek at the end of my trip. Bishkek has better connections to Moscow than other Central Asian cities and I have a double-entry Kyrgyz visa for extra convenience. I planned to be in Kyrgyzstan at the end of July. I'll be waiting and seeing.