Monday, September 25, 2006

Our Buddy

Nursultan Nazarbayev runs Kazakhstan. You might not want to piss him off too often. AP (09.25.06):
"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Monday with Kazakhstan's foreign minister as the U.S. sought closer ties to the oil-rich country despite what critics call its disturbing backslide toward autocracy. Before the meeting, Rice did not answer when asked whether human rights or energy would top the agenda for the meeting with her Kazakh counterpart." U.S. Pursues Closer Ties With Kazakhstan
What's more important, human rights or energy. Hmmmm. Let's see. Hmmmm. Geez. We just don't know. Uhhh, energy? What has Nursultan been up to? "(A) blast-furnace operator-turned-Communist functionary", Nursultan "has led Kazakhstan since 1990, when it was part of the Soviet Union, and has since won a series of tainted elections. His government has banned or refused to register opposition parties, closed newspapers and harassed advocacy groups. Two opposition leaders were found dead of gunshots (a three-round suicide and a three-person hunting accident) in disputed circumstances." Oh, and he also "has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of pocketing the bulk of $78 million in bribes from an American businessman." Nursultan also has his own webpage.


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