It's Alive! Democratization, That Is.
But the spark is still cranked up and the monster of radical, repressive 7th Century Islam may still be reborn as something altogether new and different. Reports Registan:
United-Front opposition protests kicked off today throughout northern Kyrgyzstan – reportedly ranging from hundreds to thousands of demonstrators in four main district centers. Just as with the alleged 100 hunger strikers parked outside Parliament, numbers seem largely inflated with Russian press taking the lead. (Over 3 visits, the most I’ve seen just standing around is at 60 people.) ...Complex affairs if you're not following them with regularity, but the gist is this: Freedom still rings in the hearts of men -- people very different than us, but there it glows -- the unquenchable spark, glowing, aching to burst into a flame.
Bishkek police are reportedly beefing up their numbers. Almaz Atambayev, the new Kyrgyz prime minister has categorically forbidden law enforcement agencies from using firearms to enforce order during public rallies, while 24.kg reports Bishkek police buying 1000s of rubber bullets from a private shop. ...
Meanwhile, the opposition reiterated its demands for “early presidential elections and reform of the Constitution without Bakiyev’s participation,” as Atambayev is set to forward a newly completed draft of the constitution to Bakiyev on April 10. The United Front has dropped promises from an earlier 200,000 protestors set to show on Wednesday to a “sure 50,000,” while most news-sites echo Kulov’s cocksure prediction : “power will be peacefully transferred on April 11.”
Well, not exactly an unquenchable spark. If Pelosi, Reid and the Dem Bizarro-Leadership have their way and we abandon Iraq, and Iraq's' democracy disintegrates into more Islamist repression, the people of Kyrgyzstan and others like them will lose hope.