Monday, July 17, 2006

Laughing With Murray

I knew he was a hero, but I didn't know that he was so perfect a writer! Especially when he depicts the Butcher of Samarkand discouraged and disillusioned by the EBRD criticism in Tashkent, can't help cease laughing:

"Karimov first went ashen faced. Then he ostentatiously removed his earphone and tossed it away. Then he placed his head in his hands, covering his ears before slowly moving his hands round to cover his eyes, then allowing his head to slump forward until it almost rested on the table. He remained in this extraordinary posture for ten minutes. At one stage Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, put a consolatory arm around him".

Hahahaha... I wish he'd stay in that extraordinary posture for the rest of his life with the consolatory arm of Nazarbayev resting on his bloody shoulder.

Or another witty sally: At one point Clare Short (who I admire for her heroics too) gets tired of stupid sham statistics and rhetoric of the Uzbek Economy Minister and waves him away quite bluntly by saying "Thank you, Minister. That's all very interesting. But it's 2:30 in the morning, we're very tired, and we're going to bed." Then in the car she asks Craig:

"Is he always like that?"
"No, usually he's worse".
"Bloody hell! Was any of it true?"
"No, this year there has been a growth in fake economic statistics of 182.7 per cent."

And one of the most shocking facts of the book to me was the timing of Clare Short's resignation from the post of DFID minister. After all the horror she witnessed in Uzbekistan she returns to London and the next day she resigns from the government. Perhaps Uzbekistan was the last proof of her being associated with a bunch of miserable thugs and she didn't want to be among them.

And there are lots of facts concerning Tajiks and Tajikistan in the book too worthwhile to be translated.

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