President Lukashenko is not an ever-hesitant character like Leonid Kuchma, he is not like Americanized Edward Shevardnadze either
Revolutions in the former Soviet Union are no longer velvet and bloodless. They turned into the attacks staged by the militants and the suppression of the coup d'etat by the government troops. The backdrop can make even the most “bloodthirsty regime” look like a defender of a country's integrity and security, a guarantor of peace for the population. The attack on Andijan made the “exporters of democracy” look like common political terrorists. The puppeteers sunk their teeth into yet another “revolution” but their teeth got broken by a “small yet very proud republic.” The plans of the “belligerent democrats” were obvious.
GUUAM, the anti-Russian group comprising Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldavia, showed interest in Uzbekistan, a voluntary member of the above group, from the very beginning. However, Uzbek President Islam Karimov refused to take part in the anti-Russian friendship. He said the GUUAM had no economic objectives whatsoever. Uzbekistan could not do anything but turn into a target for the yesterday's “well-wishers” following the statement by Mr. Karimov. President Karimov envisioned the consequences too. Judging by the results of the Black Friday, he seems to have made necessary arrangements. Belarus might have been the next one on the list after the seizure of Uzbekistan. The area is indispensable for creating a “sanitary zone” around Russia. Washington, pro-Western media and brand-new democracies in Kiev and Tbilisi were enthusiastically putting “black marks” on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Now the fervor of the “exporters of democracy” should abate. What is going to happen to the first signs of upheaval in Belarus provided that the revolt in Uzbekistan has been nipped in the bud? President Lukashenko is not an ever-hesitant character like Leonid Kuchma, he does not like Americanized Edward Shevardnadze either. He has a well-earned reputation of a man who can stand his ground without taking refuge in Moscow when push comes to shove.
However, even though the revolutionaries had a few doubts regarding the outcome of a blitz on Minsk, they apparently regarded Uzbekistan as their territory by default.
After all, Uzbekistan signed up for GUUAM. Installing a helmsman is the only technical problem. Having succeeded in a few post-Soviet republics, the velvet rebels must have become fully convinced that sky was the limit and they could topple governments anywhere in the CIS. It is quite noteworthy that the advocates of democracy had brushed aside their principles of a “peaceful upheaval” by the time of the Kyrgyz revolution. The street clashes, the looting of the stores and businesses, the opium-smelling crowds going out of control – all the above indicates that the extras of Independence Square in Kiev have gone through dramatic changes in the last few months. They used to be chanting a mantra to underscore their determination to see Victor Yushchenko, a guarantor of people's power, and Yulia Timoshenko being put to the helm. These days it appears quite logical that the bandits became the freedom fighters following the Kyrzyz rebellion doped up with poppy. The bandits can hardly tell democracy from tyranny but they can shoot and pillage well. Should anyone be surprised at the appropriate measures taken against the bandits? By reason of Uzbekistan's experience one has to admit that post-Soviet republics are more capable of handling a criminal uprising than a persistent smoldering discontent of the crowds. Now that the Islamic militants in the guise of freedom fighters have taken part in the coup d'etat in Uzbekistan, all the speculation about the velvet revolution should cease henceforth.
The Uzbek bandits made it quite clear that any methods or political demands can do in the power struggle. Is democracy currently in fashion? Then let it be democracy. From now on a true term will be used for describing a riot as “an armed anti-constitutional coup d'etat.