Friday, May 28, 2010

blurred vision

Two Kyrgyz men talking politics
According to my eye doctor I’m legally blind without contacts or glasses. Yet recently my vision has been noticeably impaired even with corrective lenses and I’m pretty sure I know why.

Kyrgyzstan’s government has been turned upside down and my eyes are struggling to adjust. My lack of exposure to such extreme political turmoil has effected how I process the ramifications of this revolution.

Coming from across the pond my perception of political unrest during times of transition is laughable, limited to election-day-snafus, such as the Florida recount fiasco in 2000. So applying events that took place in Bishkek to the United States is difficult.

It is hard to fathom an unruly group of US protesters storming the Capital Building, torching the Department of Justice, trigger happy snipers atop government buildings, looting in downtown D.C., having the president fly to a southern state out of concern for his safety, only to flee the country days later with his family, relinquishing the presidency not with a resignation but by running away.

I pass my lunch breaks in Bishkek by nonchalantly inquiring about the abrupt transition of power in Kyrgyzstan with my co-workers. Their input has granted me a “before and after” glimpse of Bakiyev’s presidency. Aside from a few unfounded conspiracy theories the current consensus seems to be- a step away from the previous government is a step in the right direction.

They do express concern about the intermittent protests recently in the south, Bakiyev’s stronghold. Should the protests continue the concern is for the interim government and its already weak hold on authority. It also seems the people of Kyrgyzstan are growing impatient. They are wondering when the interim government’s actions will start speaking louder than their words.

Whether it’s an western election or eastern coup, being in Bishkek has allowed me to see a common thread that runs the length of the globe; how quickly new governments witness their widespread popularity turn into whispers of puppetry.

Or maybe I’m due for another eye exam.

No comments:

Search This Blog