Craig Murray Book Due Shortly
After a short delay it appears Craig Murray’s book Murder in Samarkand is due out in the next week or two. The former British Ambassador to Tashkent’s account of his time in Uzbekistan is expected to be pretty explosive. Additionally, and perhaps as a primer, he has published on his website a handful of documents relating to various events during his Ambassadorship.
Perhaps the most interesting of the documents is the comments and requests for removal made by the FCO (pdf) on certain passages in the text. They offer a view of both Mr Murray’s growing disenchantment with Western policy in Uzbekistan and glimpses of an Embassy apparently in disarray.
I think the book will appeal to two broad groups : the anti-war crowd; and the Central Asian-ists. I intend to review it for Neweurasia, and so will hold back from criticism now, suffice to forewarn that this is first and foremost Mr Murray’s book, and if it does appear to be all about him, that would hardly be surprising. The excerpts and documents hint at serious personnel issues in the Tashkent Embassy, which perhaps didn’t help Mr Murray’s attempts to be a vocal and serious critic of the Uzbek government. However, as I said, I shall wait to read the book before offering further thoughts.