FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Freedom Spells B-A-K-U

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

One of our favorite targets for 1998, and for all years, is the conservative”human rights” group Freedom House. Last year, we reported onhow Freedom House was lauding the supposed gains for human rights in theUkraine at just about the same time that a major Freedom House executive,Mark Palmer, was entering into lucrative business deals in that country.

Now, it seems a similar charade is taking place in Azerbaijan, whereU.S. oil companies are slavering over vast oil and gas reserves. A wholehost of former government officials are helping the oil companies get afoot in the door in Azerbaijan, including former national security adviserZbigniew Brzezinski. Zbig is on the payroll of Amoco, the largest US investorin Azerbaijan’s oil fields, which could produce 3 million barrels per dayby 2010.

One of Brzezinski’s tasks for Amoco is to improve the image of Azerbaijanand its president, Geidar Aliyev. This is no easy feat as Aliyev’s regimeis guilty of terrible human rights violations. Furthermore, Congress hasbeen much more sympathetic to Armenia, with which Azerbaijan fought a bloodywar a few years back.

But Brzezinski has fallen to his task with relish. The New York Timesinterviewed him last year when it was preparing a major story on Azerbaijanand he told the newspaper that Aliyev is “a real cool cat”. LastJuly, Brzezinski testified before Congress that Azerbaijan and other formerSoviet republics had lived under communist rule for seven decades and shouldnot be expected to establish democracies in a short period of time. (Brzezinskiexpressed far less understanding about the need to transition to democracyafter the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza regime in Nicaragua.)

Zbig also sits on the board of Freedom House, which has become one ofAliyev’s most fervent supporters. Last year, Azerbaijan was one of onlytwo countries that Freedom House elevated from the category of “notfree” to “partly free”, an improvement which Azerbaijan andthe oil companies have been using on Capitol Hill to win support for Aliyev.Freedom House claims that it moved Azerbaijan up due to “the emergenceof a more vibrant civic life” in the country. Meanwhile, Freedom Housepresident Adrian “Sticky Fingers” Karatnycky money from the USAgency for International Development to travel to the capital of Baku ona fact-finding mission.

Here’s another coincidence: after resigning from his post as nationalsecurity adviser, Anthony Lake also took a position on the board of FreedomHouse. There’s only one mystery that remains. What oil company payroll isLake on? CP

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail