Kyrgyzstan wants us out but the Russians can stay. Uzbekistan is demanding that we leave. What's going on here? According to this analysis, the U.S. drive for democracy has the leaders of these countries, and many others also, I suspect, moving towards Sino-Russian influence and away from that of the U.S..
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), comprised of China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, closed its annual summit meeting with a call for U.S. bases in their countries to be closed. This call was answered immediately by the respective governments of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
The great fear of the -stans here is of the takeover of their governments by extremist Islamics, or so they say. The strategy of the Chinese and Russians is, of course, to reduce / eliminate American influence in the region. For the Chinese and Russians this is global politics as usual. For the -stans, they believe it is for their own survival. They might be right.
This is a thorny problem for George Bush and his minions who dream of establishing or helping to establish democratic ideals everywhere. I always think of Egypt. The first government in an Islamic dominated country to crack down on the Islamofascists in order to survive was Gamel Abdel Nassar's Egyptian government, and that was in 1955 or so. The crackdown was brutal. Anwar Sadat continued to hold the Muslim Brotherhood under his boot heel until they finally killed him on international TV. Everytime the Muslim Brotherhood or the dozens of organizations it has spawned get too uppity, Hosni Mubarek steps on them now.
What are you going to do? The spread of democratic ideals and institutions is a worthwhile effort. The only way that these people will be able to leave the 7th century where they still live and enter the 21st with the rest of us is by democratizing themselves. But if this democratization allows Islamofascists to take control of their governments, what have we gained? Imagine facing a dozen Irans, all wanting nuclear weapons with which to annihilate the Jews and the Great Satan?