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NEWS

Uzbek(bek) outrage at Cain

18 October 2011
www.politico.com of 10/18/2011 - Asked earlier this month by CBN's David Brody how he would deal with "gotcha" questions, like who's the president of Uzbekistan, Herman Cain
dismissed the issue as unimportant - but Uzbekistan is actually important to American economic and political interests abroad.

"When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I'm going

to say, 'You know, I don't know. Do you know?' Cain said, dismissing as irrelevant "knowing who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world."

He could have found a less relevant country. As Joshua Foust writes 

from neighboring Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. relationship with Uzbekistan is an important part of a strategy for a region that includes Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And Carolyn Lamm, head of the American Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce, blasted Cain's comments.
"Anyone who's going to lead our country needs to know about our important foreign relationships," she said.
"U.S. business in Uzbekistan is very important, some of our top companies are doing excellent business there, including Boeing and Case New Holland," Lamm said. "It does enhance jobs in the United States. So it's incorrect to think that it doesn't, and really a conversation with any of our members would probably tell you in great detail why that is and how that is."
Wrote Foust, "Cain is correct to be dismissive of the petty "gotcha" questions reporters will ask him. I wouldn't blame him for not knowing the current President of Chechnya like Candidate Bush 11 years ago. But if Cain is to argue that some countries aren't important to America - a sensible thing - he should at least figure out which countries are important. Uzbekistan is surely one of them."
We also reached out to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington for comment, but they appear not to be answering the phones there this week.