What is Kazakhstan about?

That the Russians and Belarusians are invading Kazakhstan right now is no wonder at all: the subversives, protesting against higher gas and fuel prices, also demanded that Kazakhstan abandon all alliances with Russia and that both President Tokayev and the government resign immediately. Moscow cannot put up with such political demands. Kazakhstan is a major oil and gas producer and also supplies about 40 per cent of the world’s uranium. Kazakhstan is home to a number of first-class mining companies: Lukoil from Russia, CNPC from China, Chevron and ExxonMobil from the USA, Shell from the Netherlands, ENI from Italy, and Total from France. Insofar as oil and gas extraction has been allowed to the foreign corporations, uranium extraction remains in Kazakh hands. It is a tasty morsel for all the countries that talk so much about green energy at the moment, but in fact are preparing for the future that will be based on nuclear energy. After all, Russia’s nuclear missiles and power plants, Baikonur and space presence depend on Kazakhstan.

Rioters topple statues of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the “Elbasy”, the father of the nation, as Nazarbayev is called for life, the man who once guaranteed friendly relations with Moscow as long as he was honorary chairman of the Security Council. The Nazarbayev-Tokayev tandem has been uneasy for some time, however, and now the Father of the Nation left his fatherland aboard the private plane of his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, a billionaire and one of Kazakhstan’s richest men. We know such stories from different countries. Main characters: oligarchs serving foreign capital. Behind the protests could be Mukhtar Ablyazov, another controversial oligarch who is at odds with the current government team in Kazakhstan and who used to live permanently in Paris, but is now in Kiev. Please note: in Kiev. If you think about the role of the oligarchs in the upheavals in Ukraine in recent years and at present, it will immediately become clear to you that this is an attack by the West, namely the USA and Ukraine, who want to “facilitate” the forthcoming talks between Biden and Putin with a blow to the “soft underbelly” of Russia, i.e. Kazakhstan.

Tokayev has also taken advantage of current events domestically to remove the government that was loyal to Nazarbayev and especially Abish Satidbaldila, the former president’s “man” who was deputy chairman of the Public Security Committee. As a result, Tokayev took full power, which enabled him to get rid of Nazarbayev painlessly. From Moscow’s point of view, what happened is actually a palace revolution, a shock. Not only because, as it turned out, in practice there is no ironclad guarantee of life for the former head of state, but also because Putin has been demonstrably respectful towards Nazarbayev and somewhat, perhaps even more, disrespectful towards Tokayev. At the recent CIS summit in St. Petersburg, he met with “Elbasy” and found no time to talk to the current president. It is likely that if a new government is formed, relations with Moscow will be different and probably more difficult for Russia.

The Western world is enthusiastic about the revolution and interprets what is happening on the streets as a struggle against dictatorship and for democracy, but it seems to me that this perspective is misleading and that it is worth looking at the situation in Kazakhstan from a different, non-European angle. We tend to see the roots of the revolutionary events in the bad mood related to poverty and the lack of reforms in the authoritarian state, which drives people to the extreme and to the streets. Apart from what can be seen with the naked eye and what is difficult to question, there is an even deeper level, which is the logic of the people living there. In any Central Asian society, clan and family relations are more important than political divisions or material differences.

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Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind

There used to be a time when European countries would conquer other continents to spread Christianity, i.e. to save the savages – as it was said – from eternal damnation. Since Christianity has been dead for many decades now, Western nations have rolled out a new religion: that of human rights. The advantage of the new creed is that it is supposed to be universal – as such was adopted by the United Nations – and does not require the different peoples of the world to renounce their religious beliefs. Rather, the religious leaders of all the other faiths fall all over themselves to show that their religious precepts have always been in line with the universal human rights or, indeed, that the human rights derive from their creed.

Be it as it may, the human rights religion is a political tool in the hands of the powerful for subduing others to their will. Under the pretext of defending human rights – wars are launched, missiles are fired, revolutions are staged and governments are toppled. Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan – you name it – have all been subjected to penal measures in the name of preventing humanitarian disaster from occurring or spreading. The countries were bombed in the name of saving the lives of – yes, yes – women and children and oppressed minorities of all types. Even when the Americans did not know what to do with the incorporation of Crimea into Russia, Victoria Nuland, while listing the alleged Russian violations of the international law and – how otherwise! – human rights, pointed to the alleged prosecution of the homosexual “community” as they say.

The human rights religion is only used when it becomes useful. The fate of Uyghurs in China was not a problem for the “international” opinion for decades until it fit Washington’s plans to use it as a pressure to be exerted against Beijing. Since China has been regarded as America’s rival vying for world dominance, the human rights card is being played more frequently. When you lend your ear the the Western media, then all the message that you get is that the Middle Kingdom is a den of perpetrators of the worst atrocities aimed against particular groups of people: Uyghurs, the Tibetans, Christians, political dissenters and so on, and so forth.

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Turkey: the Game Changer

The deal between Ankara and Moscow has been signed and sealed and the first shipments of the S-400 air defence system have just landed on Turkish soil, at a military airbase located at the vicinity of the country’s capital. The second-largest NATO army is acquiring weapons and materiel from a state that by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is viewed as inimical.

Turkey occupies an area which is bridging Europe with Asia and neighbouring some of the war-ridden countries like Iraq and Syria in the volatile region known as the Middle East. It is also strategically important for NATO because it controls the Straits between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and because it outflanks Russia from the south. A NATO member since 1952 Turkey – although a Third World country – wanted to remain a loyal member of the Alliance with ever closer ties to the Western world. Not only did Ankara join its troops to the NATO but also lent its territory to the pact. The reader will have remembered that it was the American missiles deployed to Turkish territory which caused anxiety at the Kremlin and induced Nikita Khrushchev to retaliate by deploying Soviet missiles to Cuba, which led to the international conflict threatening to culminate in a third world war. The strained relations between the two superpowers were only eased when both the Soviets withdrew their missiles from the largest island in the Caribic and the Americans removed theirs from Turkey.

Turkey’s membership in the Alliance has never meant that Ankara was a patsy in Washington’s hands. It skilfully guarded its sovereignty and pursued its own interests. Thus in 1974 Turkish armed forces landed in Northern Cyprus, establishing there of a separate Turkish state and a permanent – as yet – division of the island predominantly inhabited by Greeks. Thus Ankara dared to thwart the interest of another NATO member – Greece – and Athens could do nothing about it. Turkey was strategically too important and that is why it could afford to act independently of NATO’s most important allies.

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Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

  • The dollar volume of homes purchased by foreigners from April 2018 through March 2019 dropped 36% from the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Foreigners bought 183,100 properties with a total value of about $77.9 billion, down from 266,800 properties valued at $121 billion a year earlier.
  • “The magnitude of the decline is quite striking, implying less confidence in owning a property in the U.S.,” the Realtors’ chief economist says.

Source: CNBC