Tuesday :: Jul 5, 2005

The Line In The Central Asian Sand

by pessimist

As a wannabe Texan, King George should be familiar with the origin of the phrase 'drawing a line in the sand'. It is reputed to be a description of the action of William Barrat Travis when he called upon the collected Texans in the Alamo to stand and fight. He allegedly drew a line in the sand and had everyman who agreed to fight cross that line.

It's easy to already be across that line and have others join you there. You don't have to make a choice about what you are going to do as you are the one drawing the line. But what if you are challenged to cross it? What do you do then, George?

It's no secret to the world that the events of the last two months have shown you to be a paper tiger. Your support drops every day, your allies are leaving your side, and you no longer have a stranglehold on the media. You have also spit in the eye of your most-faithful lap poodle on a pet project of his, and you have alienated almost everyone with your 'my way or the highway' bravado.

You're cruisin' for a bruisin' - and a challenger has stepped up to deliver it.

The leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan met today in Astana for a summit of their regional security group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The summit highlights China’s continuing efforts to build influence in Central Asia -- and gain greater access to its energy resources -- by making common cause with Russia and the Central Asian states against militant groups.

Beijing, the major force behind the SCO, has poured more resources into maintaining it than have any of the other member states.

Got any idea where China got that money, Yore Hindness? I doubt that remembering that China is the second-largest holder of your stupid tax cutting debt would occur to you, now would it?

I didn't think so.

So what's in it for China?

Niklas Swanstrom is a regional expert and director of the Silk Road Studies Program at Uppsala University in Sweden. He says one goal is to assure stability in a region that Beijing would like to make a major source of oil and gas for its own growing but energy-hungry economy. A Kazakh oil pipeline to China with up to 20 million tons capacity is due to be completed by 16 December.

The SCO statement of intent is an interesting read in diplo-speak, but the velvet glove masks an iron fist. Just as the US and what allies remain are pointina gun at the head of Iraq and Afghanistan to cooperate with the Crusade For Crude, China is playing a similar game as well. The stakes are high - and the Chinese know where all the aces are, or they wouldn't be playing so openly.

Central Asian security summit against anti-US backdrop

The leaders of Russia, China and four Central Asian states are to meet for a two-day anti-terrorism summit in Kazakhstan starting Tuesday following a week of criticism directed at growing US influence in the region. Anchored by Russia and China, two countries that reaffirmed their strategic alliance by vowing to oppose any one state's "domination of international affairs" Friday, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will also bring together the leaders of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The first raise in the game?

Central Asian alliance calls for U.S. withdrawal date

A central Asian alliance that includes Russia and China urged the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan to set a withdrawal date from member states. Alliance members Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan host U.S. military bases used to support about 18,000 occupation forces in Afghanistan.

At talks in Kazakhstan, the Shanghai Co-operation Organization said in a joint statement that the U.S.-led coalition must set a deadline for ending the use of bases and air space in neighboring countries in light of what it said was a decline of military operations in Afghanistan.

“As the active military phase in the anti-terror operation in Afghanistan is nearing completion, the SCO would like the coalition’s members to decide on the deadline for the use of the temporary infrastructure and for their military contingents’ presence in those countries,” the statement said.

Why would the Chinese push for such a statement the week after sixteen US troops are killed engaging the Taliban in Afghanistan? They must believe your claim that Unocal Vice-President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai is in total control of his office in Kabul, George!

Or maybe not:

"We support and will support the international coalition, which is carrying out an anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan, and we have taken note of the progress made in the effort to stabilize the situation," the SCO said in a declaration at a summit in the Kazakh capital.

"As the active military phase in the anti-terror operation in Afghanistan is nearing completion, the SCO would like the coalition's members to decide on the deadline for the use of the temporary infrastructure and for their military contingents' presence in those countries," it said.

U.S-led military forces have been deployed at air bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to back up the anti-terrorist campaign in neighboring Afghanistan. According to the U.S military, Uzbekistan hosts at least 800 U.S. troops, while 1,200 U.S.-led troops are in Kyrgyzstan.

Tajikistan has allowed the French air force to use Dushanbe airport since 2001 as a base for logistical support to its troops in Afghanistan. Some 200 French air force personnel are based there.

A Kremlin foreign policy adviser, Sergei Prikhodko, said the group had not demanded an immediate withdrawal. But he added it was "important for the SCO members to know when the (U.S.) troops will go home."

The Kremlin did not object when Uzbeks and Kyrgyz agreed to host U.S. troops. However, Moscow's suspicion of the West has increased recently amid speculation the United States is encouraging the overthrow of Central Asia's pro-Russian authoritarian governments.

Chinese leader Hu Jintao said at the summit he believed "the fate of Central Asian countries is in their own hands and they are wise and capable enough to sort out their domestic problems on their own."

Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, said some outside forces were joining radical Islamists "to create instability and undermine the region economically in order to impose their own development model."

Karimov put restrictions on the U.S air base in Uzbekistan after Washington joined calls by other Western nations for an international probe into the Andijan massacre.

However, Russia and China expressed support for Uzbek authorities at the time. The alliance's move appeared to be an attempt to push the United States out of a region that Moscow regards as historically part of its sphere of influence and in which China seeks a dominant role because of its extensive energy resources. Russia in particular in recent years has pushed for what it calls a "multipolar" world, seeking to balance alleged U.S. domination of foreign policy issues.

Remember your opposition to the Iranian gas pipeline deal between Iran, Indai, and Pakistan, George? Wanna know what good you did?

It wasn't good for the country you claim to lead!

Iran, India and Pakistan joined the SCO Tuesday as observers.
If they become fully fledged members, the group will represent half the world's population.

You must really feel like a Big Man now, huh Dumbya? First you get over One Billion Muslims upset at you, then you add an additional 3+ billion Chinese, Indians, Iranians, and Pakistanis.

But you know what? at 10-1 odds or worse, we'd have to be damn good fighters to prevail in that fight! But since our own military says we're too fat (in addition, many are too old), we aren't looking too good in that role.

Maybe if you had listened to saner minds than the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse who talked you into this mess in the first place, China wouldn't be upset that you are trying to mess with their Unocal purchase plans. And by not trying to run two wars on the cheap (read: running up the American Excess International Credit Card) so you could cut taxes for those who benefit most from the sacrifice of working class blood in the defense of American Plutocracy, China wouldn't have the scratch to do so in the first place.

But no. You knew better, didn't you?

And look at how grateful India is! You sent Colin Powell to India last year with a promise that more American high-wage high-tech jobs would soon arrive gift-wrapped on their shores. Most recently, IBM saved enough money by firing 13,000 Americans to hire 14,000 Indians in their place - FOR LESS!

And look at how they thank you:

India plans to fight terror along with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the Shanghai body's terror fight

Will Australia be next to join?

And what about your buddy, Pooty-Poot? Didn't he just send you a telegram congratulating you on Independence Day, and pledging unshakeable" partnership between Russia and the United States?

I'm ancient enough to remember when the Cold War was a bit too hot to touch, Dumbya! When I hear "Ties between the two former Cold War foes are based on 'mutual trust and partnership', I think about Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove and On The Beach.

[For you Gen X'rs who think you're conservative hawks and aren't old enough to remember Ronald Reagan, you might want to check out The Day After and Threads. They are both at your favorite retailer - Walmart.]

These movies were very real to me, as I had read John Hersey's Hiroshima and Robert Trumbull's Nine Who Survived [a story of nine people who survived BOTH atomic bombings! It's in your local library - that place where the FBI checks up on your reading habits - assuming you can read, that is.] I remember hiding in the basement during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I take Nuclear Winter very seriously. So when I hear such faint praise spoken through clenched teeth, I am on Red Alert - MAD may be on its way!

But I digress. We were only talking a regional war involving over 50% of the world's population against the United States of Avarice, not the Nookyooler End of Human Life on Earth.

Isn't it odd that those no-good liberals are already voicing opposition to the SCO position?

Uzbekistan was widely denounced for the harsh suppression of the May uprising in the city of Andijon. Uzbek authorities have said 176 people died during the fighting. Human rights activists say as many as 750 may have been killed. Russia and China have expressed support for Uzbek authorities' actions. The New York-based Human Rights Watch last week urged the organization to condemn the Andijon killings. "If the Shanghai group ignores such a gross violation of fundamental rights, it undermines its own credibility in the region," said Holly Cartner, the group's Europe and Central Asia director, in a statement.

See, George? When the cause is just, even liberals will stand by you.

But since you don't seem to care about 17 Afghani civilians killed in a revenge bombing raid, why would you care about 500 Uzbeks? Are you not man enough, unlike your father after Tiananmen? You thought you were man enough to take Saddam when Poppy didn't! That only took - as of posting date - 1938 'coalition' lives along with at least 22787 Iraqi lives, and over $200 billion Chinese-held-debt-dollars - so far.

What a Manly Man you are!

Well hear me now and believe me later, you're through in this town, Buster Brown! The world is on to you:

Karimov, in an apparent jibe against the West, said outside forces were seeking to stir up trouble. “(They) aim to create a situation of so-called manageable instability and ... foist on us their own model of development,” he said.

Those of you who have read John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man [highest possible recommendation!] know of which Islam Karimov speaks.

So since you done ruined the plans of all those corporate types you promised easy gold pickin's, you best hope that they don't start tellin' Patrick Fitzgerald what they got on you.

You might end up wishing they only ran you out of town on a rail.

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pessimist :: 6:11 PM :: Comments (15) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!