Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I was hoping for!

Kazakh former Prime Minister, Akezhan Kazhegeldin, writing in for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty explains why he is Welcoming America Back.
Belonging to a clan makes being principled impossible as clans esteem loyalty more highly than convictions, sometimes even more than common sense. And what U.S. politics has lacked in recent years on the international arena is principles. The peoples of Central Asia have felt this especially strongly because they had expected concrete actions to follow President Bush's declarations of support for democracy and human rights.
...we can now expect there to be less national self-interest in international politics, less of a split between "old" and "new" democracies, and less willingness to turn a blind eye to violations of democratic standards for short-term gain.
(The key word there being "less", since there will never be politics without self-interest.)

Mr. Kazhegledin has very high expectations of the US now, and he may be disappointed. But he's got better ground to stand on in making his case of less clan-based politics in Central Asia. He's an idealist, but I cannot see why a shot of idealism can be bad for his region and beyond.

And for another reaction on RFE/RL related to Central Asia, Obama Victory Sparks Hopes For Change In U.S. Policy In Central Asia.

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