Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WHO, WHAT. WHERE -- WHY SHOULD I CARE?

There was a coup, a serious rebellion and a close a call in Kyrgyzstan. The violence that gripped Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, forced President Bakiyev to flee for his life. 85 people were killed, and 1500 needed medical aid.

Most pundits agree the big loser is the U.S.

I don't know about you, but I am derailed when I see -- keep seeing yet another unpronounceable name -- Kyrgyzstan.

Sure, I have an atlas, and I found it. It's the bright green color on the map. And Google got me to a audio dictionary.

The NY Times educated me -- this country (5 million people) is on mountain, bordering China, bordering other unpronounceables -- Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The mellow voice pronouncing these new names on my TV made the area sound calm, moonlight mellow, but it isn't -- nothing there is stable -- all these places need us, want American money-money-money, and U.S. protection.

Today, Kyrgyzstan is back in the news. In Bishkek, the former chief of the President's staff, Kanybek Zhoroyev, was arrested and is being held for some reason. President Bakiyev's hiding out some place in the area, that Russia and Obama arranged.

Is your head spinning? Mine is. I'm worried about Arizona stopping people who don't look like they belong in the state. And the Arizona guy trying to get a seat in the senate, and McCain, all het up, revving up a major attack on the White House's ideas about immigration.

Trying to figure out who, what, and why, I came across a picture of pretty school girls studying in Krygyzstan. (Pretty pink, and no faces -- is UN pretty to me.)

Years ago, when I was a child, I recall hearing lots of talk about "isolationist America."

There has always been a strong isolationist streak in American political life. President Washington, then Adams, then Jefferson, each of them (in different ways, for different reasons) kept us from getting entangled, and when President Madison got us involved it was almost a disaster -- so the idea of staying out of European Wars became an accepted principle for us.

Anyhow, (I'm saying this in a whisper), I wish we were able to turn back the clock, ignore the unpronounceables -- all those ?-?-stan places. The only people I know, who know all the names and can pronounce them in a mellow, moonlit tone are Obama, Hillary, (and probably Valerie Jarret).

(Gee, I'm still never quite sure how to pronounce or spell Al-Quaeda or Osama bin Laden.)

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