Thursday, July 5, 2007

news from Ashgabat

Nice picture by C.J. Chivers of supreme Turkmens past and present in a new International Herald Tribune story. I am especially fond of the hi-volume, helmet haircut seemingly required of all autocrats.

The actual article by Chivers is a little strange -- and while it might be said that it's merely a reflection of Turkmenistan -- there seems to be an assumption that somehow the US occupies some kind of moral high ground as if spreading democracy has it's own value... and getting access to massive natural resources is merely a cool side-effect. Could just be little cynical me, of course.

And maybe Berdykmukhammedov has seen a bunch of Scorsese films, or maybe C.J. Chivers deserves the credit for writing his story like one. But this brought a smile to my face: 'In April, he [Berdykmukhammedov] fired the country's senior law enforcement officer on national television. "I have a whole file with evidence against you," he said. "I could dishonor you like a dog."'

All I have to say is: "My Vizsla is smarter than your government official."

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