Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 15 May 19 - 25, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Out, Central Asia!
Below is a report on the testimony of Elizabeth Jones, US assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, before the US Senate last December. It comes from Kazakhstan courtesy of BBC. I could find no mention of Jones' Senate testimony in any US newspaper. Fortunately, we have Kazakhstan which is only about 6547 miles away and so it is possible for US citizens like me to find out what our leaders (so-called) are doing.
People in the US - and all over the world - were originally told it was necessary to launch a military attack on Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban and to arrest Osama bin Laden.
But as far back as December, Undersecretary Jones said something quite different in the media-free privacy of the U.S. Senate.
She explained that no matter what happened in Afghanistan, the US and its allies would stay and "assist" the Central Asian Republics. However:
Many who oppose US policy will see the phrase "Caspian Sea energy resources" and think, "Aha! It's oil! They're after oil."
I don't think that's useful for understanding US policy. If the US Establishment needed oil then, as Mr. Castro has argued, they could buy it. Or they could buy the oil wells. Or the local oil companies. There really is nobody interested in standing in the way of the US having a reasonable supply of oil.
Rather, the US establishment, and the Empire of which it is a leading part - perhaps we should call it the New World Empire - is very much interested in protecting its current hegemonic position in the world from possible future challenges coming from Eurasia - namely, from the still-nuclear-armed former Soviet Union.
Hence the drive into Central Asia.
In her Senate testimony, Undersecretary Jones made it clear she wishes to transform the Central Asia Republics into US protectorates. She didn't say it outright, of course, but she used easily decipherable code:
Ahh, "a strong civil society." This phrase has a definite meaning in the New World Empire. "Civil society" is strengthened when USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy and other government agencies in the U.S., Norway, Holland and Germany, as well as seemingly private groups, like the CIA-connected Open Society Foundation of George Soros, move in.
What do these agencies do?
They fund people who work for the Empire in the guise of "democratic" this and "human rights" that and "institutes for economic reform" and "independent media."
In the words of Allen Weinstein, the man who conceived the National Endowment of Democracy:
Washington Post, September 22, 1991
To "strengthen civil society" these fake democracy-funding agencies set up NGOs, newspapers and TV stations and political parties as a Fifth Column to destabilize local societies along vulnerable lines of conflict. Or they inflame regional conflicts in the guise of "peace" and "mediation" groups. Ultimately these Fifth Column groups stage, or attempt to stage coup d'états, always under the guise of democratic reform, thus putting US operatives in power.
This happened in Yugoslavia and Philippines. It was attempted in Belarus and Venezuela. The basis is being laid for such coup d'états all over the former Soviet Union.
Since Ms. Jones gave this testimony, the former Soviet Central Asian Republics have become closely involved with the US military, turning over their territory for military bases and allowing NATO forces to train their troops. This situation poses a grave threat to national sovereignty and increases the potential of war and massive destruction all over the world. This Empire is living on the edge.
Note that more than once Ms. Jones explains that the US drive into Central Asia, which is Russia's backyard, does not conflict with Russian interests. Does she mistake the Russians for morons? Does she mistake us all for morons?
Ms. Jones' preposterous statement calls to mind the famous words of the German playwright, Mr. Brecht:
Bertolt Brecht, 'Hollywood' in COLLECTED POEMS 1913-1956
USA pledges not to abandon Central Asia after Afghan war
The USA will not abandon Central Asia after the Afghan war, Elizabeth Jones, US assistant secretary of state, has told a US Senate subcommittee hearing. She said that the USA wanted to help Central Asia carry out reforms in return for help in combating terrorism, but made it clear that assistance was conditional on economic and democratic reforms and the observance of human rights. Jones outlined US priorities in the region: combating terrorism; reform; the rule of law; Caspian Sea energy resources. She described US cooperation with Russia in Central Asia as "extremely close", and said that the USA had more common ground in the region than areas of rivalry with Russia, China, Turkey and Iran. The following is the text of the report by Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency. Subheads have been inserted editorially.
"The stakes in Central Asia are undoubtedly high," Jones said. "The USA now has thousands of troops working jointly with their Central Asian counterparts in a region which was part of the Soviet Union only 10 years ago. We count on the governments of these states in ensuring the security and wellbeing of our troops and in obtaining vitally important intelligence data, which has helped us carry out such an efficient military campaign in Afghanistan," she said.
Jones said it was in the interest of the USA that "the restoration of Afghanistan helps develop Central Asia as well. We want to bring in goods and materials for postwar restoration from neighbouring countries as much as possible, in order to stimulate their economies," she stressed.
Jones said that the Central Asian countries are interested in receiving assistance from the USA. "Uzbekistan has asked for support for its relations with the IMF and other international financial institutions. Kazakhstan needs more foreign investment and support to develop the local private sector. Turkmenistan may need support to develop local public organizations. Kyrgyzstan needs help to restructure its debts. Tajikistan, the poorest state in the region, which still has not recovered from the 1992 civil war and a drought, needs a wide range of humanitarian, economic and political aid," Jones said in her report, a copy of which the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency received from the US embassy in Kazakhstan.
Democracy and human rights
The USA must step up "constant support for democratic political institutions, local NGOs and the independent media" in all five countries.
At the same time, Jones stressed that the USA would render assistance to the Central Asian states only "providing that the latter take specific steps towards reforms."
The USA believes, Jones said, that "certain countries" in the region should noticeably step up their economic reforms and democratic processes, the observance of human rights and the formation of a strong civil society.
"It is not easy to assist in carrying out reforms in Central Asia," Jones, who headed the US diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan several years ago, said. The USA is "largely" concentrating its aid on programmes "to enlighten and encourage the next generation of leaders in the region". This aid includes "the FLEKS name transliterated programme for secondary schools, a programme for university students on the law on supporting freedom and the Muskie programme for graduates. The AYREX name transliterated exchange programme is for young specialists, and the Peace Corps is carrying out a wide-range of programmes for the next generation," the report says.
She does not justify "the existing problems and acute aspects" in Central Asia, however "generations may have to change in order to radically change the basic nature of these (Central Asian - Interfax-Kazakhstan) governments." "One has to recall the history of the region in the 20th century," Jones said.
The USA has three four are listed "major national interests" in the region, she said: preventing terrorism, to providing the tools to carry out political and economic reforms, establishing the rule of law and ensuring the safety and transparent development of Caspian Sea energy resources.
At the same time, she said, cooperating with the countries in the region in combating terrorism, the USA must pay more attention to the observance of human rights. "Our (US - Interfax-Kazakhstan) numerous initiatives to promote human rights, democracy and economic development are as important as the assistance we render in ensuring security and combating the real reasons behind terrorism," she underlined.
The development of huge Caspian Sea fuel and energy resources and ensuring their reliable export onto the world market, she said, "largely" defines whether Central Asia will be able to gain economic independence and raise the living standards of its citizens. According to Jones, the USA's policy in this sector focuses on helping these states set up numerous reliable transport routes to export these resources onto the world market.
These hydrocarbon resources are currently being exported to the West in transit via pipelines in Russia, she recalled. The USA, she said, is trying to expand the export opportunities of the Central Asian countries and the companies which are operating there. The White House stresses that its "aim has an antimonopolistic nature, and not an anti-Russian one."
In connection with this, Jones took "pride" in saying that the construction of the most important Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline would start next summer and that by 2005 the pipeline would start exporting oil to the world market. The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan-Shakh Deniz Azerbaijan's gas deposit gas pipeline is also under way.
At the same time, Jones "is satisfied with the fact that the Caspian Pipeline Consortium oil pipeline is officially operating now. This pipeline, linking Kazakhstan with the world market via Russia, shows Kazakhstan's desire to cooperate with the former Soviet republics in developing the Caspian Sea energy resources."
Kazakhstan - the leader
According to an assessment by the USA, Kazakhstan is the country with the highest economic potential in the region. "Stable, multi-ethnic and nuclear-free Kazakhstan, will, most likely, become one of the fifth largest oil producers in the world by 2010. EBRD regards Kazakhstan as the leader amongst the former Soviet republics in terms of economic reforms. US investment in Kazakhstan has exceeded 5bn dollars and is increasing," Jones said.
Discussing cooperation between the USA and Russia in the Central Asian region, Jones described it as "extremely close". In her view, "both states want long-term stability and prosperity" in Central Asia, in which they have "important interests".
Jones said that President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin "are leading our countries to a new level of cooperation in many spheres, including in Central Asia".
"Putin showed wonderful leadership by actively coordinating the efforts of the leaders of the Central Asian countries to stimulate their cooperation with the USA in combating terrorism. This confirms our old claim that Central Asia is not a game in which only one party could be a winner," Jones noted.
The USA supports the efforts of Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to create a new scheme for dividing the Caspian Sea "as long as these efforts do not hamper the future transportation of hydrocarbons."
"We have more common interests than areas of competition with Russia and other regional powers - China, Turkey and even with Iran," the report stressed.