Weekly Round Up for Nov 6

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A few Interesting News Items

Crackdown on Terrorism in Xinjiang

CentralAsiaThere is an interesting news item on Xinjiang which was picked up by only a very few in the US media:

“Police in China's far west have launched a crackdown on terrorism and stepped up a hunt for suspects who took part in deadly ethnic riots there four months ago, the regional public security ministry said Tuesday.

Hundreds have already been arrested and nine people sentenced to death following the July 5 riots, which saw Uighurs (WEE'-gurs) attacking Han Chinese in the regional capital of Urumqi. Nearly 200 people were killed in those attacks and in the revenge killings of Uighurs by Han Chinese in the days that followed.

Uighurs are a Turkic Muslim ethnic group linguistically and culturally distinct from China's majority Han. The Uighurs see Xinjiang as their homeland and resent the millions of Han Chinese who have poured into the region in recent decades. A simmering separatist campaign has occasionally boiled over into violence in the past 20 years.

China says overseas Uighur separatists orchestrated the riots to worsen ethnic divisions and bolster their campaign for independence but the government has provided little evidence to back up its claim.”

The Chinese government doesn’t want to provide any evidence because right now they don’t want that kind of an international incident. However, anyone who knows about this conflict and the related developments would know that the overseas orchestrators are: number One – the United States - followed by Turkey and Pakistan’s ISI. Unfortunately, thanks to our media, mainstream and alternative alike, very few people in the US have ever heard of this ongoing saga.

EU to Kiss & Make Up with Tashkent

UzbekKillingsThis development reported by Asia Times is not that unrelated to the piece above.

"The worsening Afghan war has brought some good news for Uzbekistan. On Tuesday, the European Union announced it was lifting a four-year old arms embargo against Uzbekistan. The EU imposed wide-ranging sanctions in 2005 after Uzbek troops fired on civilians during an uprising in the city of Andizhan in Ferghana Valley, and Tashkent rejected calls by Western countries for an international inquiry into those killings. Tuesday's decision completes an incremental process stretched over the past year or so on the EU's part to kiss and make up with Tashkent.

Aside from the veracity of the EU claim, the reality is that Europe not only blinked first, it also bent its knees while doing so. Brussels kept a straight face, though, assuring the world audience that it would "closely and continuously observe the human-rights situation in Uzbekistan … [and] assess progress made by the Uzbek authorities."

Clearly, no story quite ends in the Central Asian steppes. There is always a sub-plot, often more than one. It is against this complex backdrop that the uniqueness of Uzbekistan - a cradle of Islamic culture and civilization - needs to be grasped. The West learned the hard way that the pre-requisite of an effective engagement in Central Asia is a full-fledged relationship with the regime in Tashkent."

I encourage you to read the entire article. As I’ve emphasized repeatedly there is no real coverage of this simmering region by the media in the United States. Asia Times is one of a very few news publication with consistently solid and thorough coverage of this highly important area.

Scowcroft’s Pimping Business

ScowcroftHere is an item totally hidden in one of McClatchy’s blog pages. Thanks to one of our readers who brought it to my attention:

“There's nothing like litigation to crack open a window into a secretive world of power and intrigue. All those lovely depositions and legal documents...

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer kept alive a lawsuit filed by the Scowcroft Group against Toreador Resources Group. That's Scowcroft, as in former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and former CIA deputy operations director James Pavitt and former undersecretary of state Arnold Kanter and former assistant secretary of state Walter H. Kansteiner III and...

The Scowcroft Group says that Toreador failed to pay it an agreed-upon "success fee" for a deal involving the purchase by a Turkish company of the South Akcakoca Sub-Basin natural gas concession.

Scowcroft contends the work included:

obtaining necessary Turkish government approvals for the...transaction...and ensuring the Turkish Ministry of Energy’s endorsement of the transaction and the rapid governmental approval of the transaction."

Begging the question: just how does one go about "ensuring the Turkish Ministry of Energy's endorsement"?[Emphasis Added]

The deal closed last year for $55 million, and the Scowcroft Group says it is owed $850,000. Judge Collyer declined to dismiss the case, which means unless it settles there should be a lot more information on the public record about how an international consulting firm does its business.”

Those of you familiar with my case know all about Mr. Scowcroft’s Lobby business for Turkey and his chairmanship of The American Turkish Council (ATC). Just like AIPAC, without having to register under FARA, Mr. Scowcroft has been serving the Turkish business, government and operatives’ businesses (includes ANY kind of business) for years, and with NO scrutiny. This sheds a tiny bit of light on how these kinds of pimping operations go. To put it simply:

The pimps here are a former national security adviser, a former CIA deputy operations director, a former undersecretary of state, and a former assistant secretary of state. Just like any good ole ordinary pimp these pimps want their commission for facilitating business transactions. Except these particular pimps have been milking their past positions, and thanks to our media only God knows how their ongoing access to those pimps-to-be who are still in the government is contributing to their lucrative pimping business…

Boiling Frogs Interviews

Our upcoming interview episodes include Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald on Afghanistan, Joe Lauria talking about the latest involving the United Nation, Mizgin Yilmaz on Kurdish related issues and Turkey, and Kristina Borjesson on the worse than sorry state of the US media today.

GuantanamoFilesOne of our upcoming guests is Andy Worthington, author of the Guantanamo Files, The first book to tell the story of every man trapped in Guantanamo. Andy lives in the UK, but will be in the US for the screening of ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo.’ I’ll attend the screening in Washington DC at the New America Foundation. I know the film will be screened in other US locations, including on the West Coast; check it out if you are interested.

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  1. Hi Sibel,

    Are you still looking for writers/editors/researchers? If yes, I know someone who might be interested in talking to you. What’s the best way for them to reach you?

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