April 09, 2006

On the importance of Turkmenistan. Monkeys know and love the comic-opera dictatorship that is, when viewed from a safe distance, Turkmenistan. But did you know who Turkmenbashi has been hobnobbing with recently? Or why? The great game is being played there, with momentous consequences.
  • A super-condensed summary appears in the third link: Thus the gas that Ukraine is relying on to keep it out of trouble is going to start heading East instead of North, and, given past practice, that can only bode badly for the reliability of supply to such places as Italy and the United Kingdom. Anyone who lives to the west of Turkmenistan could feel chilly in coming winters if they succeed in commanding a higher price for their gas. I was going to write fairer instead of higher, but the spare cash is probably going to end up as colossal statuary or ice palaces or something...
  • He'll build a fucking giant melon out of soap or something in the bloody wilderness somewhere.
  • As the great poet Turkmenbasho said, "If you have gas, I will give it to you, if you have no gas, I will take it from you".
  • The Russian bear is in a funk while China's dragon snorts and Europa looks upon the scene while knitting woolen shorts. That Bashi's mad they all agree yet still they come to call, they know that Nazarov's a nut, his word means sweet fuck all. The Turkmen's plight under his thumb, to all is clear as glass, but money trumps a conscience here, while Bashi passes gas.
  • O rushin' bear come nowhere near the Chinese bor- de. Have some beer!
  • *sigh* de = der This may come as a shock to German sensibilities. But this is not a perfect world.
  • And the great thing about business with China is no awkward questions will ever be asked about your domestic policies! Good post apodo. I see all sorts of evidence of this new scramble to secure energy resources and the diplomacy and rivalries it produces (Putin was here in Beijing only a few weeks back mooting new pipelines too) but rarely stop to get a coherent overview of where it's all going. I'm sure you know Registan as a source of information on developments in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus.
  • I'm not surprised our resident poets have highlighted the irony of Turkmenbashi's situation - all powerful at home, up till now he has always been (Russian gas company) Gazprom's bitch in reality. Finally he has some like-minded people to do business with on equal terms! I almost find myself hoping Putin finds a way to slap him down. Is that very bad of me?
  • By way of further clarifying matters, monkeys know, but do not love, Turkmenbashi. Bashi's unreliable and erratic dealings with other countries in general and Russia and Ukraine in particular has been commented on repeatedly here, as has his appalling treatment of his own people.
  • monkeys know, but do not love, Turkmenbashi. I said Turkmenistan, not Turkmenbashi, but still repented of writing it. When seen through the safe, distorting lens of a Monkeyfilter poetryfest, it's hard to keep a proper perspective on the place sometimes.
  • I said Turkmenistan, not Turkmenbashi Well, actually, you've said both, apodo. Understandable, since to speak of Turkmenistan now is to speak of the self-styled Turkmenbashi, Saparmurat Niyazov. What Turkmenistan has, besides Turkmenbashi, is gas and oil. Abiezer's article suggests China is a disinterested partner, but there are no disinterested countries when it comes to energy nowadays. Developing countries like China and India have no less interest in acquiring energy than developed countries. Bashi knows this, and if he can make a better deal, of course he will. But always with the unspoken proviso that tomorrow he may make another deal altogether with someone else. Playing one country's needs against another's is nothing new for him. This has been his technique thus far -- and one can hardly expect less of a deal with China, should sticking by an agreement prove troublesome for the Bashi. Because the Turkmenistan story, ever since the disintegation of the USSR, has been all about Bashi.
  • Despite his obvious madness, bashi has been quite adept at brutally quashing internal dissent while also professing neutrality with regard to the many conflicts raging in his region. Upon his eventual demise (whether from natural causes or otherwise) Turkmenistan will require successor. That bashi's replacement be a champion of human rights is probably not at the top of the list of qualifications, as far as those interested in oil and gas are concerned.