FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Clinton Praises the "Suharto of the Steppe"

by JEFF BALLINGER

A NY Times report of the “monster deal” for a uranium-mining concession in Kazakhstan pulled few punches. It was explicitly linked to a similarly gargantuan donation to the “William J. Clinton Foundation”–a $31 million down-payment and pledge of $100 million more. The mining hot-shot donor, Frank Giustra, says that he was merely flying Bill over to Central Asia to assess progress on the Clinton Global Initiative’s eleemosynary hoohah. Corporate records show, according to the article, that he signed a preliminary agreement two days after he and Bill shared a midnight dinner with strongman, Nursulatan Nazarbayev.

“Our kind of guy”–those were the words used by one Clinton official back in 1995 after the noxious Suharto made a “private visit” to the Oval Office. The Times’ David Sanger pressed other administration officials on why this dictator was accorded such deference (the meeting was a standing-room-only affair). He was told that there was a “different litmus test” for the butchers, thieves and oppressors seeking favors at the Treasury ATM (or the Pentagon). I’m guessing that it was something like: Show me da money!

Even worse than the tawdry deal-making was Clinton’s praise for the Kazakh’s president-for-life and his democratic credentials. After scoring a Suharto-like 91% victory in 2005, Bill buttered up Nazarbayev thusly: “Recognizing that your work has received an excellent grade is one of the most important rewards in life.”

Times’ writers Jo Becker and Don Van Natta, Jr. continue: “Last September, just weeks after Kazakhstan held an election that once again failed to meet international standards, Mr. Clinton honored Mr. Nazarbayev by inviting him to his annual philanthropic conference.” On top of all that, there has been support for Nazarbayev’s laughable foray into international statesmanship–he wants a key role in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is a very important player in election-monitoring in the former Soviet states and Eastern Europe. It also has a highly-respected mechanism for human rights advocacy.

Several days ago when I was reading Suharto’s obit in the Wall Street Journal (by my old friend, Rick Borsuk), my thoughts immediately swung to Nazarbayev. Rick opined that the Javanese general was the last of his line – or words to that effect. No longer would there be decades-long repression overseen by one dominant figure. Nazarbayev has already lasted about twenty years in power and could easily eclipse Suharto’s mark of 32, but only with the support of foreign investment. (For an obit excoriating Gen. Suharto, see the Assoc. Press )

Infected with the rhetoric of Bill Clinton, Giustra promises to “empower consumers and workers” – tell it to Kazakhstan’s beleaguered miners! They are not likely to have full political and trade union rights until, maybe, 2020–if Nazarbayev departs the scene after a run like Suharto’s. Giustra has also named his do-gooder efforts by co-branding with Bill: The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative.

JEFF BALLINGER’s book, “Protests and the Corporate Response; Tiananmen to Seattle” will be published by the University of Pisa this Winter. He is a co-founder of No Sweat Apparel. He can be reached at: jeffreyd@mindspring.com

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail