Kyrgyzstan’s Maksim Bakiyev: Long Live Washington’s Exiled Kings!

“The Selection, Grooming, Training, Installing, and Shielding of the World’s Most Corrupt Dictators a la USA”

A few days ago the US government dismissed its criminal securities fraud case against Maksim Bakiyev, the son of former Kyrgyzstan leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The government did not explain its decision. The US media supported the government’s abrupt and unexplained move with their usual reaction: no coverage or reaction whatsoever:

The U.S. had sought to extradite the younger Bakiyev, 35, from the U.K. to face trial on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and obstruction of justice. Dismissal of the case was confirmed today by Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn, New York. He declined to comment further.

Here is some ultra-light coverage of the Kyrgyz government’s reaction to this ‘quiet and unexplained’ dismissal: [Read more...]

Another ‘Viable’ Candidate Bites the Dust …

Maksim Bakiyev: A Groomed Puppet Who Never Came to Be King

STBakKyrgyzstan’s Wanted Fugitive: Maksim Bakiyev. The story is more or less the same - the one that has been repeating itself for many decades.  The one based on a script written by the very same conductors who wrote the ones before, and who will probably be writing the ones to come (yes, they’re blessed with longevity; a curse for the rest of us). The location - always a resource rich country or one strategically crucial to resource rich countries. A viable candidate (sometimes candidates) chosen based on the exact same set of criteria - such as degree of corruptibility, and degree of atrocity or criminal tendencies. The grooming and training locations also are the same: the United States of America or the proxy brother, The United Kingdom. The supporting actors are a combination of old timers, think World Bank or IMF, and newer ones with even fancier names, such as XYZ Democratization and Development Fund, posing as well-intentioned NGOs. Okay, enough with the details, since we are very familiar with this repeating script and its consistent execution - collectively known and referred to as United States Foreign Policy.

The Bakiyev ‘Groom & Plant’ script, like almost all its predecessors, contains the same good ole classical elements: strategically important Central Asian nation, vital US fuel supply artery to keep the war machines humming and destroying in Afghanistan, major artery for transportation of heroin, puppet NATO partnership & the same-o-same-o big bad Russians to compete with, dozens of US NGO’s planted to serve you-know-who’s interests (here is a hint: not the people of Kyrgyzstan nor the American people), a staged and orchestrated revolution by our State Department - named after a innocently beautiful flower - to overthrow the guy who was closer to China & Russia, planting a new corrupt despot clan all carrying the same last name-Bakiyev. Then taking the son, the prince, Maksim Bakiyev, under ‘the mighty’ wings and starting his grooming and training here in the United States, helping the new groomed prince set up companies to corrupt & embezzle, and actually having our CIA operator(s) and politicians partner up with him in these enterprises - allocating  US financial experts, politicians,  and operators to execute a massive embezzlement scheme by the ‘groomed & planted’ prince, later to become a wanted fugitive ‘groomed but no longer planted’ prince with at least $70 million to be rescued and brought under protection…

CilBasically, with the Bakiyev story we have another all too familiar foreign policy and practices abroad scenario repeating itself. Before I get into that way too familiar story I want to revisit a couple of old ‘groom & plant’ examples I have covered here at Boiling Frogs post, starting with a ‘groomed & planted, and later protected’ Former Prime Minister of Turkey, Ms. Tansu Ciller as a perfect example of a Middle Eastern leader who was selected, declared ‘viable,’ supported, promoted, installed, and protected by our foreign policy script writers:

1. Ms. Ciller completed her advanced degrees in the United States – M.S. from the University of New Hampshire and PhD from the University of Connecticut. During this extended period while she resided in the US we had ample time and opportunity to train and mold her for the leadership position in Turkey.

2. Ms. Ciller was granted citizenship in the United States. In order to keep this fact from tarnishing her image during her candidacy campaign in Turkey and afterwards, we designated her US citizenship status ‘Classified and Top Secret’ on the grounds of Sensitive Diplomatic Relations. To this date, despite all attempts, Turkish authorities have been unable to have these files opened.

3. Ms. Ciller and her husband Ozer Ciller were closely involved with certain CIA operations prior to and after her return to Turkey, and their intimate relationship continued throughout her tenure as Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey. In fact, the CIA’s Roger Tamraz (see BCCI) was their partner in two front companies: ‘Emperyal’, which acquired and operated six (6) Casinos in Turkmenistan, and, ‘Lapis,’ involved with the oil pipeline project.

4. Ms. Ciller and her husband, before being considered ‘viable’ by us, already had an established shady financial past, including involvement in an embezzlement scandal connected to the collapse of ‘Istanbul Bankasi’, one of Turkey’s largest private banks. This along with involvements fortified Ms. Ciller’s qualification criteria when compared to competing applicants.

5. Ms. Ciller understood and participated in Turkey’s important strategic and operational role in the supply and transportation of heroin. She skillfully and very aggressively combined and furthered the marriage between the state military-police-intelligence and the underground heroin industry. Her notoriety even reached the German Courts, where she was accused of supporting and protecting the drug mafia – active not only in Turkey but elsewhere, including Europe and Central Asia.

6. Ms. Ciller played a direct role in scandals involving corruption, embezzlement, and state sponsored terrorism and narcotics operations. The best known scandal, one of her masterpieces, is known as ‘Susurluk’. Ciller and her husband – who is known for his mafia links and dealings, were directly implicated in Susurluk. The high profile kept by Ms. And Mr. Ciller during these scandals and their handling of them afterwards significantly bolstered their ‘value’ and ‘viability’ for us.

7. Ms. Ciller’s ‘known’ wealth is confirmed to be over $50 million, all of which was gained after she became a ‘’viable’ candidate supported directly by the US. A large portion of her investments and accounts are in the United States.

BhuttoZAnd here is our second example with the almost exact same script, a ‘groomed & planted, and many times rescued’ puppet(s) in Pakistan. I am making that ‘puppet’ plural since the same script happens to extend to the spouse who currently rules, kinda! And here is the list for the Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ms. Benazir Bhutto:

.

1. Ms. Bhutto obtained her bachelor degree in the United States – BA from Radcliffe College at Harvard University. Later she attended Oxford University in the UK where she pursued International Law and Diplomacy. She spent a total of eight years in the US and UK – 1969-1977. Again, this time spent ‘abroad’ was ideal for the satisfactory grooming of Ms. Bhutto for ‘installment.’

2. Ms. Bhutto was granted British Citizenship and maintained her dual citizenship throughout her career as a candidate and later as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Her husband, the current President of Pakistan, also received British citizenship and has maintained his dual citizenship to date. The perceived conflict of interest back in her home country did not prove to be an obstacle for ‘us’ or the Bhuttos, thanks to our PR and global image projection activities.

3. Ms. Bhutto and her husband maintained intimate relationships with the underground economy and high level players of the heroin pipeline. Ms. Bhutto was a close ally, protector, and intimate friend of convicted Pakistani Drug Baron and Former Parliamentarian, Ayub Afridi, who like Bhutto, was given protection and safe haven in Dubai, one of our closest allies. These relationships and direct connections, some of which were directly inherited from her father, significantly bolstered Ms. Bhutto’s value for us and our British counterparts.

4. Ms. Bhutto and her husband proved to be desirably ambitious and admirably skilled in using their power, position, and connections, together with our protection, to misuse their proceeds of corruption and embezzlements to accumulate great wealth. Today her husband, who inherited this wealth, is the fifth richest man in Pakistan with a net worth of nearly $2 billion. As confirmation of their successful accumulation of wealth, in the 90s Ms. Bhutto and her husband purchased a 20-bedroom mansion in Surrey, England. They were known for their proficiency in receiving ‘kickbacks.’ Just the kickbacks they received from Swiss Cargo Inspection Companies alone were worth $12 million, which they stashed wisely in offshore companies in Swiss bank accounts.

5. Ms. Bhutto’s Bill of Mental Health was not of much interest. However, she was permitted to transfer credits from her husband, Mr. Ali Asif Zardari. His is a far more interesting mental health record, made all the more interesting since she pledged to place him in an official position of power. He and his ‘mental health’ conditions proved to be extremely useful in ‘necessary’ operations involving murder, drug smuggling, corruption, and embezzlement, thus our making an exception for Ms. Bhutto was justified in this particular case.

6. Ms. Bhutto exhibited great skills in ‘Multiple Image Projection’. With our direct backing and promotion she quickly sold her image as a needed progressive, democratic, and pro humanitarian leader for Pakistan. Just as quickly, at home in Pakistan, she was able to establishherself as equal to if not better than her dictatorial predecessors by sanctioning and carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture, persecution of religious minorities, and arbitrary detention. She also determinedly took extraordinary measures to muzzle the independent media. These skills were also applied to her utilization and exploitation of feministic support. At the same time she was portraying herself as a progressive and feminist example for ‘that’ part of the world, she was making deals and establishing close ties with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, notorious for their abuse of women…

Maksim Bakiyev: A Brief & MSM-Preferred Case Background

Let’s start with the commonly known, easily retrievable Wikipedia and mainstream media based background on Maksim Bakiyev and related recent news.

Who is Maksim Bakiyev? He is the 33 year old, fugitive, Kyrgyz businessman, the younger son of Kyrgyzstan’s former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Maksim currently lives in the United Kingdom - where he’s been granted residency and provided with protection (including for his embezzled millions). He studied legal law in Kyrgyzstan. According to his Wikipedia bio:

He received additional education on legal issues in Britain and the US. As a student, Maksim worked in a consultation firm, specializing in investment into emerging markets in Central Asia and the Middle East. Maksim was widely believed to be the richest man in Kyrgyzstan.

Hmmmmmm. What are the major information points missing here? What the heck did he really study in the US and Britain? Which universities? Was it Langley Campus? Where did he reside? McLean, Virginia? What was the name of this mysterious consulting firm specializing in investment into emerging markets in Central Asia & the Middle East? Was it one of James Baker’s firms? Or was it Henry Kissinger’s? Or, was it Carlyle? And, how did he become the richest man in Kyrgyzstan, from having nothing, in less than 5 years?

After skipping over all these important ‘missing links,’ we are fast forwarded to the latest presented by the media and here at Wikipedia:

Maksim was in charge of delivering fuel to the Manas International Airport, which also hosts a US airbase,[2] through Mina Corp. Maksim was appointed the head of Central Agency for Development in October of 2009. Since the 2010 overthrow he has been charged with embezzlement and abuse of power by the interim government. It is suspected that transferred about $35 million of a $300 million loan from Russia into his private bank accounts.[3] Prosecutors also allege that companies he owned almost $80 million in taxes on aviation fuel.

And finally, his latest and current status has been summed up below:

When the 2010 uprising took place, Bakiyev was headed to the US for a series of meetings in Washington.[5] However, he never showed up, and it is believed he spent his time in Latvia. In May Interpol posted Maxim Bakiyev as wanted on its website.

On June 13, 2010 Maksim was arrested in the UK when he landed at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire in a privately hired jet.[6] He is seeking asylum there, but the interim Kyrgyz government is demanding his extradition. A senior Kyrgyz official warned that the interim government would consider shutting down the Manas US airbase if Britain refuses to hand him over. [7] However, this was later denounced by president of Kyrgyzstan, Otunbaeva.

On June 18, 2010, it was reported that Bakiyev was granted temporary asylum in the UK, but this was later refuted by the UK Border Agency. [8] He does however have permission to stay pending consideration of request for asylum.

As you can see above, I highlighted another important missing link – a major point that has been so far glossed-over: This fugitive was initially headed to the US for a series of meetings in Washington. And these meetings were set up during and after the scandals involving him coming into the surface. Okay, at The State Department, CIA, and of course the not-so-visible agenda-setters at their companies, think tanks, and front NGOs? Then what happened? I guess  it was decided that he was too hot of a potato in too hot of an environment, so our State Department put a request to their counterparts in Britain to kindly ‘receive and harbor’ their ‘groomed & planted’ Kyrgyz prince…and they did.

So the above information is the sketch, the general story line on the ‘Bakiyev Story.’ Then, there are some additional juicy details and tidbits provided by a few, although still highly sanitized and consciously refrained from posing ‘the real’ questions. Let’s take a look at these and pose logical questions as we go.

Maksim Bakiyev & ‘Foreign’ Facilitated Embezzlement Schemes

So how did Maksim Bakiyev’s meager personal business grow into a major empire encompassing banking, oil, and telecommunication industries? We don’t have the complete answer to this question; not yet. Not with so much information still buried and ‘protected,’ and with only little sketchy details here and there. [Read more...]

KYRGYZ ELECTIONS AND THE DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY


Mizgin's Desk Reports:

What's happened to all the defenders of democracy?

Surely you remember them? They were the ones crying foul in the immediate aftermath of the 12 June presidential elections in Iran. The defenders of democracy twitterized the ensuing protests, including some twitters from questionable sources. This leads one to wonder how much outside support for a Moussavi-faced regime change had to do with actual democracy, particularly since the same defenders of democracy, just a week before the elections, were calling for the vaporization by nuclear weapons of the very same protesters.

As the twitters tweeted out over the results in Iran, another presidential election rounded the corner in another part of the globe--on 23 July in Kyrgyzstan. In the absence of massive twitterers in the case of the Kyrgyz presidential elections, we had to rely on more mundane sources of information, like the NY Times:

The leading opposition candidate in Kyrgyzstan essentially withdrew from the presidential race on Thursday even before voting had concluded, asserting that widespread fraud had assured the incumbent’s victory.

The candidate, Almazbek Atambaev, a former prime minister, called on the public and international organizations to reject the election as unlawful. Mr. Atambaev instructed supporters who were working as observers at polling and vote-counting stations to leave, and he demanded that a new election be organized.

[ . . . ]

Mr. Bakiyev has accused the opposition of airing phony charges of vote-rigging in an effort to explain away its lack of popularity. Voting on Thursday, he declared that the voting would be fair, saying that the Kyrgyz people cared about democracy.

As noted in the piece, the OSCE monitored the election process in Kyrgyzstan and published their observations:

The observers noted instances of obstruction of opposition campaign events as well as pressure and intimidation of opposition supporters. The shortcomings observed contributed to an atmosphere of distrust and undermined public confidence in holding genuinely democratic elections.

Election day was marred by many problems and irregularities, including ballot box stuffing, inaccuracies in the voter lists, and multiple voting. The process further deteriorated during the vote count and the tabulation of results, with observers evaluating this part of the process negatively in more than half of observations.

The VOA has more:

He [OSCE spokesman Jens-Hagen Eschenbächer] said observers noted incidents of ballot box stuffing, multiple voting, and even vote buying. In addition, he said, OSCE representatives were not allowed to monitor the vote count.

"The observers were not allowed to be present and monitor the count. There were two cases for examples where the ballots were not counted at all and just packed," he said. "The form was filled in with the result but the votes were not counted. We had three observer teams who saw people in front or near polling stations handing out money in exchange for promises to vote for a candidate," he added.

Why did the great defenders of democracy fail to twitterize this obviously questionable election? Could it be they remain on tenterhooks with regard to the extension of the lease to the US of Manas Airbase?

“You know what this is for,” Emilbek Kaptagaev recalled being told by the police officers who snatched him off the street. No other words, just blows to the head, then all went black. Mr. Kaptagaev, an opponent of Kyrgyzstan’s president, who is a vital American ally in the war in nearby Afghanistan, was found later in a field with a concussion, broken ribs and a face swollen into a mosaic of bruises.

[ . . . ]

The United States has remained largely silent in response to this wave of violence, apparently wary of jeopardizing the status of its sprawling air base, on the outskirts of this capital, which supports the mission in Afghanistan. Indeed, the Obama administration has sought to woo the Kyrgyz president since he said in February that he would close the Manas base.

In June, President Obama sent a letter to Mr. Bakiyev praising his role in Afghanistan and the campaign against terrorism. Mr. Bakiyev allowed the base to stay, after the United States agreed to pay higher rent and other minor changes.

The lack of criticism of Mr. Bakiyev underscores how the Obama administration has emphasized pragmatic concerns over human rights in dealings with autocratic leaders in Central Asia.

Kurmanyek Bakiyev came to power after the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)-sponsored "Tulip Revolution", from Pepe Escobar at Asia Times in 2005:

One thing is already certain: the Tulip Revolution will inevitably be instrumentalized by the second Bush administration as the first "spread of freedom and democracy" success story in Central Asia. The whole arsenal of US foundations - National Endowment for Democracy, International Republic Institute, Ifes, Eurasia Foundation, Internews, among others - which fueled opposition movements in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine, has also been deployed in Bishkek. It generated, among other developments, a small army of Kyrgyz youngsters who went to Kiev, financed by the Americans, to get a glimpse of the Orange Revolution, and then became "infected" with the democratic virus.

Practically everything that passes for civil society in Kyrgyzstan is financed by these US foundations, or by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). At least 170 non-governmental organizations charged with development or promotion of democracy have been created or sponsored by the Americans.

The US State Department has operated its own independent printing house in Bishkek since 2002 - which means printing at least 60 different titles, including a bunch of fiery opposition newspapers. USAID invested at least $2 million prior to the Kyrgyz elections - quite something in a country where the average salary is $30 a month.

For more on the neoconservative NED, check RightWeb. Among the neoconservative luminaries directing the great defenders of democracy at the NED are former senator-turned Turkish lobbyist Richard Gephardt; Obama's "special representative" for the current Af-Pak disaster, Richard Holbrooke; former PNAC member Vin Weber; and Mr. "End-of-History" himself, Francis Fukuyama.

That should be enough to scare anyone's socks off right there but wait--there's more. There are other great defenders of democracy working to secure US hegemony in Kyrgyzstan and the rest of Central Asia. Among those is the Fethullah Gulen movement.

A year ago, Gulen, who's resided in the US since 1998, petitioned the Federal District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania to obtain a permanent residency card which had been denied by both the USCIS and Administrative Appeals Office. Apparently, the USCIS believed that the CIA was funding, at least partially, some of the global Fethullahci activity, from Turkish daily Milliyet:

Among the reasons given by the US State Department's attorneys as to why Gülen's permanent residence application was refused, is the suspicion of CIA financing of his movement.

[ . . . ]

"Because of the large amount of money that Gülen's movement uses to finance his projects, there are claims that he has secret agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkic governments. There are suspicions that the CIA is a co-payer in financing these projects," claimed the attorneys.

[ . . . ]

Among the documents that the state attorneys presented, there are claims about the Gülen movement's financial structure and it was emphasized that the movement's economic power reached $25 billion. "Schools, newspapers, universities, unions, television channels . . . The relationship among these are being debated. There is no transparency in their work," claimed the attorneys.

At the time, Luke Ryland covered the case extensively. However, the fact that the court ruled in favor of Gulen should come as no surprise since others who worked hand=in-glove with The Agency also received green cards--people like Mehmet Eymür, who ran the Turkish intelligence service's (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı - MİT) Special Intelligence Department (Özel İstihbarat Dairesi-ÖİD) under Tansu Ciller at the time the Susurluk scandal broke open.

Or to Abdullah Catli, a state assassin who was wanted by Interpol and was found dead in the crashed Mercedes at Susurluk. Catli was an international heroin trafficker as well as a member of the Gray Wolves, an extreme Turkish nationalist organization that had its roots in the CIA's Turkish Gladio program. As a Gray Wolf, Catli was an old acquaintance of Mehmet Ali Agca, the would-be assassin of John Paul II. In fact, it was Catli who gave Agca the gun that Agca used in the papal assassination attempt. Catli went by the name Mehmet Ozbay on his green card and lived in Chicago for about 10 years, from the mid-1980s until 1995.

Fethullah Gulen is definitely in august company.

But what does Fethullah Gulen, our second great defender of democracy, do in Central Asia? Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Fethullahci (followers of Gulen, sometimes more loosely referred to as "Nurcular") expanded Gulen's educational system into Central Asia. His high schools and universities can be found throughout the region, including Kyrgyzstan. But what is their purpose? Gülen schools aim to educate the children of the elites:

Although revenues raised by school fees are often used to enable access by less-privileged students, it remains an inescapable fact that the movement's educational model is elitist. In Turkey this is contributing to the creation of a parallel and Gulen-inspired elite. In post-communist Central Asia, the main location of Gulen's overseas educational activities, successful applicants are usually the children either of the wealthy or of government officials.

[ . . . ]

Although Gulen schools represent only around ten percent of Central Asia's education system, it could be that--in a tacit partnership with the Turkish state--the movement's activities will over the longer term intensify the emotive and material bonds between Turkic peoples--or their elites--and states. The Gulen network's Central Asian elites could in time take on the forms of their Turkish counterparts, thereby encouraging the emergence of a pan-Turkic world linked by overlapping and fused identities. This could in turn ease the development of economic interactions, and even encourage closer state-to-state relationships. Such an evolution would not quite accord with the kind of "Turkish model" that Ankara's secularists have sometimes hoped might be adopted in Central Asia, but it might dovetail with the pan-Turkic aspirations of nationalist elements in Turkey.

That would be the expansion of "pan-Turkic aspirations of nationalist elements" of NATO's Turkey in a region whose countries enjoy overwhelming membership in the SCO. In addition, education of the children of the elites helps to ensure a pro-Turkish--and pro-NATO--indoctrination in the next generation which will eventually come of age and step into positions of power. By 2006, the Gulen's ideology had diffused throughout the Kyrgyz educational system:

Foreign Islamic groups are becoming increasingly active in Kyrgyzstan, such as Tablighi Jamaat from Pakistan, and followers of the Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, (Assistant professor of politics and government at George Mason University Eric)McGlinchey said. Gulen’s thinking was "pervasive" throughout the Kyrgyz educational system, especially Manas University and the Osh Theological Institute. "Kyrgyz are turning elsewhere to define who they are as Muslims and it’s a wide-open playing field and we’re not quite sure where they’re going to turn in the future," he said.

The Russians, suspicious of the activities of the Fethullahci in Russia, closed Gulen schools in 2007 and, in 2008, banned Gulen's movement from the country altogether, citing connections to the Gray Wolves. Apparently, the Russians didn't want a CIA-backed Turkish-style stay-behind program established among them. Perhaps they remembered how Zbigniew Brzezinski baited them into Afghanistan in 1979 and are now more wary of falling into an American-backed Islamist trap.

Since Russia's ban, Turkish schools in Central Asia, including Gulen's, have become more and scrutinized as regional governments suspect a hidden agenda. For more on the Fethullahci and how the movement is becoming the third power in Turkey, see this analysis (PDF) from Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst.

The US and Turkey are not the only powers aiming to create a Strategy of Tension in Central Asia. We shouldn't forget that the great defenders of democracy from the NED are neoconservative PNAC'ers who were also behind the 1996 "Clean Break Strategy" that went on to forge a tight military relationship between Turkey and Israel--united with the bond of US military hardware "sales". "Sales" of course is a very loose term particularly when one realizes that 80% of US military sales to Turkey under the Clinton administration were paid for by the US taxpayer. In this case, the term "military gifting" might be a more appropriate choice of words.

The third of our great defenders of democracy at work in Central Asia is Israel, coming to the region since the fall of the Soviet Union:

Israeli officials and business leaders find Central Asia attractive as an investment opportunity for a variety of reasons, including the region’s abundant natural resources, and its large pool of relatively cheap but skilled labor. The region also represents a potentially important market for specialized goods, such as machinery, chemicals and plastics. And in helping to build local economic opportunities, Israel additionally hopes to reduce the desire for Jews in Central Asia to emigrate. At the same time, Israel can offer Central Asian officials a unique trade conduit to world markets. Israel has free trade relationships with the United States and the European Union, as well as with Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Jordan and Turkey.

[ . . . ]

[Avigdor] Lieberman’s visit to Kyrgyzstan sought to establish parameters for trade. The two sides discussed the establishment of direct air links between the two states, as well as the possible opening of a Kyrgyz Embassy in Israel. Israeli delegation members explored potential deals in transport communication and tourism.

Israel’s relations with Central Asian states continue to focus on conditions for Jews living in the region, including the Jewish community in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archives]. Since the 1991 Soviet collapse and subsequent economic upheaval, many Central Asian Jews have emigrated. Israel was among the first states to recognize the independence of the Central Asian states. Kyrgyzstani President Askar Akayev was the first Central Asian leader to visit Israel in 1993. Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev has visited Israel twice, most recently in April [2001].

According to that piece, the Israeli government also engages in education through an organization that falls under the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV. Somewhat like the Clinton arrangement with "military gifting", it would appear the US taxpayer is funding MASHAV through USAID:

Through the MASHAV Cooperation Agreement, recently developed and funded by USAID/CAR, Agriculture Consulting Centers devoted to agribusiness development have been established in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

And this isn't just in Kyrgyzstan but throughout most of Central Asia. Even the Peace Corps has gotten a piece of the USAID-MASHAV action:

In 1999 the U.S.-Israeli-Kyrgyz MASHAV Agri-Business Consulting Program was established to address the agricultural side of the region's income problem. The program led to the construction of a greenhouse at the Oasis Agricultural Site where agricultural producers in the region receive both formal and one-on-one training from agricultural experts.

[ . . . ]

After much study, the owner of Oasis Site and a group of farmers in the region concluded that constructing a fish farm was the answer. The farm would host regular sessions where experts and local residents could meet and learn how fish farms are constructed, maintained and managed to reach sustainable profitability. Unfortunately, the group did not have the funds to build such a farm.

To resolve the problem, the Oasis owner and a local professor took their concern to a Peace Corps volunteer serving in the area. Through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, which collaborates with individuals across America and facilitates their donations to specific community development projects, funds were raised to build the fish farm and buy fish to fill it.

However, agricultural support for small- and medium-sized businesses and Peace Corps-sponsored fish farms aren't the only capitalistic enterprise at work in Kyrgyzstan. There's a lot more going on--like the arming of Kyrgyz commandos by Israel:

Several private Israeli companies have agreed to render technical assistance to the special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan. This assistance will include equipment, police jeeps, and also special gear used for dispersal of demonstrations and in operations against terrorists, in particular in mountainous area. Moreover, the Israelis will take part in creation of the educational antiterrorist center in the territory of republic. It will train and prepare officers of the commando of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and National Security Service (SNB). An option to involve Israeli instructors ex-servicemen of the elite divisions of police, army and Israeli General Security Service (SHABAQ) in the process of training is also considered. AIA was informed of that by the personal secretary of one of members of the Israeli delegation, which visited Bishkek this month.

Both sides tried to avoid publicity of such negotiations in every possible way. As a result, neither in Israeli, nor in Kyrgyz mass-media there were no information published on the issue. The reason of such privacy is dictated both by the level and the agenda of negotiations, and the person, who was behind the organizing of the meeting.

This secretive arrangement took place in 2006. How many more secretive military-type agreements have been reached by now is anyone's guess,

US involvement in Central Asia, along with the involvement of its two most powerful allies in the region, should come as no surprise to anyone. Just as Adolf Hitler publicly announced his intentions for Germany's future when he published Mein Kampf, so the Americans have done the same with a small book published in 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard (the entire book available for download here). The goal of US Eurasian policy, according to Brzezinski, is as follows:

"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.

[ . . . ]

". . . [H]ow America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (pp. 30 - 31)

Earlier I mentioned that Russia's ban on the Gulen movement was, perhaps, a sign of Russia's refusal to take more American-sponsored Islamist bait like it did when Brzezinski and the Carter administration offered it in 1979. Perhaps Russia and the rest of the SCO countries remember Operation Gladio and are taking action to ensure that a similar stay-behind program does not become established in their territory or sphere of influence. Perhaps Russia, along with Kyrgyzstan, is offering bait of its own by allowing the US to continue to occupy the Manas Airbase. This time around, though, it's the Russians making the offer and it may very well turn out to be that Afghanistan becomes America's second Vietnam.