Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Will There Be a Central Asian Spring?

Will There Be a Central Asian Spring?- By Joanna Lillis | Foreign Policy

Imagine the strongman leader of a strategic, Western-friendly, Muslim-majority nation blatantly rigging an election to exclude dissident voices from his puppet parliament. Ring any bells? A year after two Arab presidents, Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, were chased from office, launching the Arab Spring, it should sound familiar.Nursultan Nazarbayev, leader of the oil-rich Central Asian state of Kazakhstan, just did precisely that, while the West -- mindful of Kazakhstan's oil and gas wealth and position astride a supply route to Afghanistan -- barely batted an eyelid.

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