Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Hero or An Embarrassment?

He is a man called "a hero" by Mohammad Salih, an Uzbek opposition leader, and "an embarrassment" - by Jack Straw. Straw was outraged by his un-diplomatic courage and wailed: "Craig Murray has been a deep embarrassment to the entire Foreign Office". While John Pilger gives an opposite assessment of Muray's bravery: "I thought that diplomats like Craig Murray were an extinct breed. A man of the highest principle". So, whom to believe? The one who deceived his own nation in order to get his teeth deep into Iraqi land (Jack Straw) or the one who predicted the Andijan tragedy and paid with his own blooming diplomatic career for the word of truth (Craig Murray)? I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter one. And no doubt, I would have acted exactly like him if I were Her Majesty's Ambassador in such an appalling land like Uzbekistan. And it will be better understood if you get his long-awaited book "Murder in Samarkand". The Government tried to obstruct its way to our hands and postponed its realease several times. Finally, they agreed to play another act of "democracy" and agreed with its release after trimming Murray's writing with their sharp and dispassionate pen of censorship. Nevertheless, there are still lots of facts they wanted to hide away from our sights that could be found in the book. Some of them are really funny and entertaining, like this one: before flying to Tashkent Murray visits Jack Straw to get his directives for his mission. The talk was short and empty. "As I was walking out, he called after me, 'Oh and, Craig, whenever you get to... wherever it is you're going... tell them I'm thinking about them.' That was the extent of my instructions". Who cared a damn in Uzbekistan if Jackie was thinking of them? They knew it would never change anything in their lives. But their eyes were directed to his Ambassador and he did what he could do for them: he revealed thrilling facts of Karimov regime's savage nature and most importantly, his own governments association in some of the creepiest crimes of the Butcher of Samarqand. I'm thinking about translating it into Persian. Pity, cannot translate it into Karimov's native language.


Shamsi said...

i read it was published, Viva Murray! It is another victory of righteousness to get the book published! but how can i reach out to the book?! am shivering of desire to read it!

Darius said...

Shamsi-jaan, I can imagine your desire. Unfortunately, the only ways are asking someone to fetch it for you from London or order it on Amazon. By the way, the first way sounds more reasonable for you, since Zar is still in London and getting back to Dushanbe soon. Just ask her to get it for you. It is purchasable in London bookshops now.