It seems that the Peace Corps made an excellent decision in hiring local Kyrgyz gunmen to rescue the volunteer from their besieged building, especially considering that the car was checked for Uzbeks at a roadblock. A Blackhawk full of US Marines or Rangers probably could have rescued them, but not as quietly as the locals did. That’s scary stuff, but of course almost nothing compared to what’s happening to some locals.As I argued in my Orbis articles, NGOs and groups like the Peace Corps must inevitably wind up supporting warlords, mafia dons, and terrorists. This case is obviously neither the first, nor the last. Of course, the Kyrgyz gunmen are the ones terrorizing and killing the Uzbek minority fleeing for their lives. Your US tax dollars at work...
As I mentioned in my post about Linda Polman's new book War Games, she explains the reasons for this horrible phenomenon (even argues "humanitarian" NGOs would have paid Nazis during WWII if they operated under the same system as today) lie in the underlying immorality of NGOs and Western governments.
Meanwhile, NPR posted this account:
Over two days, ten aid workers gathered in safe houses on both sides of the conflict. When our food ran low, neighbors smuggled us bread and tea and refused to be compensated. But others sent rocks through our windows and demanded bribes. And all the while, bands of young, ethnic Kyrgyz, enraged by rumors of students having been raped, terrorized the streets around us. They ransacked Uzbek apartments. They torched markets and restaurants. They burned vehicles, piled them into barricades, and shot at those trying to escape the city. By night, gunfire and screaming mixed with thunderclaps.UPDATE: Judging from to R.B. Moreno's blog post, the Peace Corps appears to be in full cover-up mode:
Hired drivers, wearing bandanas, brandishing a hatchet and a rifle, were hired to ferry Moreno and his colleagues to an airfield. For 20 minutes – “20 long minutes,” he writes –- they idled, awaiting directions.
Update (5:30 PM, June 15, 2010) -- The U.S. Peace Corps has requested that this post be removed until further notice.Memo to Peace Corps HQ: That's sure making a case for transparency, open government, and the public's right to know! I wish someone in Congress would ask the Peace Corps how much they paid the Kyrgyz gunmen, and from which funding allocation the money has been taken...plus, of course, why were volunteers not pulled out before the violence erupted? Also, since R.B. Moreno was sent by the US Government to teach "journalism"...doesn't it set a bad example to make him publicly show that his dispatches are censored by the US Government? Kind of looks like the Soviet system, which we were supposedly trying to change, IMHO.